"Death is not the biggest fear we have: our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz
It has been noted that fear, when it rears it’s ugly head, is one of the biggest obstacles to living life and is the number one reason people fail to achieve life goals.
Unfortunately, most of us suffer from some form of fear.
At some point in life, and in one form or another, we’ve all felt the uncomfortable lingering presence of fear. It could have masked itself as doubt, hesitation, paralyzing indecisiveness, anxiety, melancholy, anger or the reason you’ve ignored your authentic desires for so long. Whatever the situation may have been, chances are you felt that fear was in total control and all you could muster up were more methods of avoidance to forego dealing with the fear.
When fear is present, as in dominating your choices and inhibiting your actions, it feels like it will never leave. It feels unyielding and relentless; as if it’s something you’d like to stay away from.
The problem is while you hover in this state of avoidance and quiet panic, movement toward change and personal growth remain at a standstill. Of course, we can recognize that to some degree it’s normal to want to avoid that which scares us. There are certainly times when a bit of anxiety are constructive and by all means appropriate.
However, this does not include the fear that prevents you from going after the things you want most in life. At this stage, “there’s a ongoing struggle between desiring growth versus clinging to security.” Growth (change) can be uncomfortable, unknown and awkward, while security can be…security.
Taking a position to avoid the uncertain change that life continues to provide and operate solely from a place of wanting security, would mean that the opportunity you have been presented to develop courage has been denied.
“The more courageous you are, the more likely you are to act on your fears.Take a study on arachnophobia – a very specific and common fear. To assess courage and better understand how it relates to fear and anxiety, researchers tested a sample of 32 participants, each afraid of spiders. They were shown a display of 4 taxidermied tarantulas and “asked to move their hand as close to the spiders as they felt comfortable”. Scores on a measure of courage were linked to the distance people kept their hands from the spiders. Those with higher levels of courage moved their hands closest, while those who ranked lowest were most avoidant of the spiders. In essence, courage is a willingness to approach fear rather than avoid it. Thrivers are courageous; they’re aware of their fears, and they know how to use them to catalyze personal growth.”
Courage is about living authentically, feeling the fear and doing it anyways.
As we move through this life, we are continuously given opportunities to choose. At this juncture of choice and when you are provided with your next opportunity to choose fear, or growth, remember, “fear can be a good thing.
It grants us opportunities to grow, to challenge ourselves in unexpected ways and to develop the courage to endure uncomfortable situations. It helps us to become more flexible and more resilient. But to derive the benefits of fear, we need to cultivate courage.”