“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”
~ Lemony Snicket
Lately it seems like a lot of people are filled with fears that don’t make sense. Fears that are not life threatening, fears that more irrational. Fears that never even happen. Fears brought on by the chatter in your head, the media or your perception of life.
There is a place in the world for rational fear. For basic survivial or physical or emotional danger. It’s in our system to keep real danger from taking place… a child getting hurt, a wild animal heading for you… the adrenline system kicks in and pow! you are saved.
We often have the same physical effects whether a fear is irrational or rational: a pit in our stomach or nausea, your heart rate goes up, your face may be flushed. You may shake or tear up. You might have sleepless nights and constant worry. Or you may experience a panic attack.
It might be anxiety about what the future could bring. What if I don’t have enough money for retirement? What if I can’t help my children with college? What if I run out of money for groceries next week? At school I see the fear parents have for their children. Is my child going to read when he should? Is he growing enough? Does she have friends? Fear can be also be caused by:
• lack of confidence (you may be wrong)
• fear of following your passion (what if it doesn’t work out)
• fear of change (better to stick with the known than the unknown)
• fear of what will others think or maybe just one person (I’ll look like a fool)
I call this being in Fear Mode. I’ve recently felt these fears myself. Fears about my children, my finances or fears about my future retirement.
Be fearful and let that stop you. OR be fearful, confront, gather courage and move forward regardless. But how do you do that, how do you let go of fear?
I love these quotes that really explain fear:
1. “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Acknowledge your fear. Understand where it’s coming from. Say it’s name – debt, losing your job or relationship. There, you said it now take action! Many times life seems worse at night. Sleep on your fear and address it in the morning. Try to see it from an objective view not your perception. Detach from it personally.
Because…“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
~ Marie Curie
2. “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Many people would rather be miserable and not try their passion rather than step into the unknown. You want something so much but fear gets in the way. If you let go of that fear, you can listen to your heart and move forward. Get outside of your fear and the box. Then listen to your heart.
3. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? ― Marianne Williamson
Believe in yourself. Doubt is like a disease infecting all parts of your body. Doubt takes away all the good, positive feelings and replaces those with negative ones. Tell yourself that you are awesome even if you don’t quite believe it yet. Because…“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
4. “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
What will someone else think? We often fear other’s opinions. You must let go of the opinions of others…“What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
5. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
~ John Lennon
You know the wonderful feeling you have when you are in love. Everything is brighter and seems possible. View life with love. View people you know and don’t know with love. When you let go of fear and love instead, you open yourself up to your full potential. Courage comes from the middle English word “cor” which means “heart”. Embrace love in your life.
6. “Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
~ C. JoyBell C.
There’s something out there that’s really worth it. Say “Thank you” to your fear. It’s hard to be grateful for the roadblocks. But don’t let the roadblock stop you. That’s when you grow and become a better person. Learn and then change your fear into courage.
7. “Join with me, in all of your doubt and discomfort,
I want to reflect the most brilliant part of you.”
~ Tess Marshall, from the Bold Life
I’d love to recommend Tess Marshall’s blog, The Bold Life. I interviewed Tess last year here and she guest posted at Zen Mama on Halloween here. Tess has lived her talk and I’ve been reading her blog, the Bold Life, for years.
8. Lastly, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera, sera. What will be, will be.”
~ Doris Day
We don’t know what the future holds. Surrender, let go and look forward to a future of abundance with gratitude.
Read “Saving Yourself from If Only” for another perspective on “what if” questions.
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