Feel the Fear and Move on
"Feeling the fear" as an adult is much different from what our caregivers told us. How often did you hear someone tell you not to be afraid when you were growing up? Your parents likely said you don't need to be afraid of the dark when you went to bed. Maybe a coach encouraged you not to be fearful about trying a new skill. Did your teacher ever tell you not to be afraid to speak up in class?
Our childhood was filled with adults pushing fear away from us. So, now, as adults ourselves, we think of fear as a bad feeling. Do you try really hard not to fear anything? I did for a long time. I negatively associated feeling fear with weakness. And guess what happened? The fear always made its way back to me.
How Do You 'Feel the Fear?'
Recently, I've adopted some new thinking around fear. I try to look at it as something that will always be there. And I try to be okay with that. To put it bluntly, fear isn't going anywhere. As humans, we have feelings and emotions. And just because we don't want to have the feelings we deem as negative doesn't mean they just disappear. In fact, it's the opposite.
The more we try to make our fear go away, the bigger it becomes. So, accepting that you will almost always have fear around something makes it easier to manage. Normalizing a feeling takes away the icky feeling you get and paints a different picture. That emotion, such as fear, is no longer seen as a weakness.
How to Deal with Fear
Rather than continue to tell yourself you shouldn't be fearful, allow your mind and body to actually feel the fear. Get comfortable knowing how it shows up for you and be aware of how it changes you physically and mentally. Realize that it's completely normal and okay to feel fear. Spend a few minutes immersed in that space and then let it go. I'm serious. Allow yourself to let go of the fear. Once you've recognized it and acknowledged that it's there, instead of pushing it away, you'll find it's much easier to let it go.
Then, when a different fear creeps up, which it most certainly will, you'll know exactly what to do with it. When I feel fear, I like to journal. Getting my thoughts and emotions out of my head and onto paper helps relieve the feeling. You can try this, too. Grab a notebook and describe what you feeling as you actually feel it. Get detailed and make sure to get as much of it out as possible. You can then ceremoniously let go of the fear by ripping the paper up and throwing it in the trash.
Be okay with having fear. It will be much easier to navigate the next time a wave of emotion comes your way.
Anderson, K. (2020, November 5). Feel the Fear and Move on, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2020/11/feel-the-fear-and-move-on