Letting Go of Fear

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I recently pinned a quote on Pinterest that spelled out fear as “FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.” That is the best way I have seen fear described. We all have fears. They live in our minds daily and remind us that “we are not safe,” or “we should not trust,” or “we are not good enough,” or “we should not take that risk.” The list goes on and on. Our fears are there as protection. When the first humans walked the earth, they had innate fears that were valid for survival. If they sensed fear, it was probably a way to keep them from eating something lethal or getting eaten by a large animal. Now, we don’t have those kinds of threats, so our minds find ways to make up scenarios that “could” happen, but probably never will. Although protection is good to an extent, predictions and assumptions are not.

Fear has a way of talking us out of things that make us uncomfortable and rationalizing why we should or shouldn’t do something. But in reality, we have to take risks and jump outside our comfort zone to grow and improve.

Why is fear so debilitating? It can make you feel paralyzed at times. Our ego wants us to believe that this fear is real and valid, but most of the time it is not. There is a difference between our fears and our intuition. If you really listen to your gut and not your fears, you will always get the right answers. The difference is, your fears tell you to run and not look back, but your intuition will allow you to see both sides of the situation—you may still feel scared and have butterflies in your stomach, but it’s more of an excitement about something new rather than a debilitating fearful feeling. Living in the present moment is the only way to survive, because the present is all that exists. Living in the past brings on depression and living in the future brings on anxiety.

From my experience, the only way to push past that fear is to do the thing that makes you uncomfortable. It always seems scary at first, but it ends up not being that bad. I always say, what’s the worst thing that can happen? And usually it’s not really that bad. And if the worst does happen, it will be a learning experience that will make you that much stronger. We all have our crosses to bear; we all go through tough times. Not one person’s problems or experiences are worse or better than another’s. The one thing to remember is that we really have no control over what happens each day. We can stress, worry, and ruminate about things, but it will do us no good. Worry is wasteful and can only bring you heartache. Instead of keeping track of all the fears we have, all the trials in our life, all the things that “could” go wrong, why not focus on what we are grateful for and what blessings we have in our lives. It will not only rid you of your fears, it will make you feel a hundred percent better. I make a point daily, no matter how I feel, to write down what I am grateful for. It may seem ridiculous to think that just by doing that, you will feel better, but after a while, it makes a huge difference. Whenever a complaint or fear shows up in my head, I replace it with something I’m grateful for.

We can’t always be positive and joyful. We are human and need to feel the emotions we are having, but the fears we create out of thin air are not necessary. It’s time to change our mind-sets, believe in ourselves, cherish who we are, push the limits, strive for more, and be the best we can be. By making the best of each day and feeling grateful, we make the most of ourselves. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”— Neale Donald Walsch.

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