Last month I danced with fear many many times. To different music, beats fast and slow, and with lots of fancy foot steps – not to mention all the homely ball gowns! It was like a ‘dancing with the stars in the dark’ series. I am not usually an F(ear)Bomb person, so it caught me by surprise to be swept off my feet by this emotional waltz. Plus, I have no rhythm, so I insisted on stopping the music.
Once it got quiet I recognized that my shadow dance partner was swirling all around, looming around me in countless conversations with others. Through the Law of Attraction, not only was I personally feeling fear creep into my own mind, but I was also hearing and seeing others around me stuck in the same self-limiting fear cycle. Like with any dark force, I knew I had to shine a bright neon light towards it in order to take away its power. I knew that fear had no right to my dance floor. Here is what I learned.
Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by thoughts and beliefs that someone or something is dangerous. The thoughts sound like “what if” and look like “worse case scenarios.” So the thinking is first, followed by the emotional response, followed by the reaction to those emotions (either conscious or unconscious). Fear can paralyze you like a tranquilizer drug. It affects your brain AND body. It moves through your blood stream and creates a real physical reaction, making it hard to breathe or even move. True, sometimes fear makes you MOVE FAST, like when a lion is chasing you. In today’s modern society most of us don’t live in wild cat country, so instead we freeze. We let fear stop us in our tracks and form an ice cold bubble around our heart. Once fear is inside you, it flows out of your own body & mouth into actions and words that negatively influence the environment and others around you. Therefore actually attracting the exact response, negative energy and things you do not want!
Once I really let all that sink in – and I have honestly been writing this blog post for over 30 days now – I understood deep in my bones that fear is illogical and toxic. I could then also see how silly we humans are as I examined what people around me were afraid of.
Getting hurt by others or the environment as we move thru life. Not having any and having too much money. Loving too much and not being loved enough. Losing an old crappy job or trying to get a new unknown one. Searching for a new partner or letting go of an old one. Working your body too hard or not hard enough for health & fitness. Letting old dreams die and birthing new ones. Fear of letting others down and even worse letting down yourself. Fear of being sober, honest or open and fear of lies or being numb. Losing all your possessions or drowning in meaningless things. Fear of failure but even worse, fear of success and worthiness.
In their polarity I could see what they all have in common. Each of these silly yet powerful fears drive us 100mph into our comfort zone, where we don’t risk either success or failure. They push us into the gray middle ground where nothing is too scary but also nothing really significant is ever achieved. Where being ‘good enough’ or ‘comfortable’ is the goal. Usually these ‘safe’ goals are told to us by others trying to protect us or maybe they are just held back by their own fear and limiting beliefs
Determined to reject fear as one of my daily thoughts or emotions, I knew that awareness was the first defense. Watching, listening, feeling for when that dark dirty dancer wisps on by me or is swing dancing with those around me. Then paying attention to the energy, sounds and visuals I expose myself to daily to ensure they do not generate fearful thoughts or feelings. My willingness to have honest open conversations with those I care about around fear has also been a game changer. Knowing all this has given me my strength back to look fear in the face and even create “Fear Challenges” where, in a safe environment, I push to do the things that scare me and make me really uncomfortable so that my potential can get some regular exercise too. I also plan situations each week that get me hanging around brave badass adventurous people so that my definition of ‘comfortable’ is redefined and truly means always growing instead of remaining stagnant.
I confess it has taken me 50 years to learn the hard way but I also fully embrace I am nowhere near done evolving yet. I used to be afraid of being alone and now I crave it. I used to fear reaching out and being rejected but now I leap at opportunities to hug strangers. Professional and business risk sound scary? Hell, I live and breathe that world 24/7 nowadays. For fun and exercise on weekends I go on outdoor adventures where I could get lost, get wet, go hungry, be too cold or too hot or possibly run into a wild animal but I say BRING IT ON. Why? Because when I quiet the music of the world, take off the dancing shoes and instead listen to my deep wise soul…all I hear is the roar of courage.