“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of it.” Mark Twain
We dream of getting rid of all of our fears; erasing them like they’re words on a chalkboard. But the thing is, fears are a natural part of this human experience. They’re inevitable. And believe it or not, our fears are sometimes a good thing. Fear can push us beyond our comfort zones or signal to us that something isn’t “right” – allowing us to change course. The problem is that most of the time we buy into our fears or make them our enemy, which results in us staying stuck or unable to make important changes in our life. We tell ourselves, “If only I knew that things would be all right, I’d take the steps necessary to make the changes I need to make.” We mistakenly believe we must master dealing with fear before we build the courage to move beyond where we are right now. But, even those who have mastered certain fears eventually recognize that a life without fear is impossible. They change shape, form and severity. The key to learning to live with fears is to stop fighting against them. Recognize fear and welcome it as a friend. Like any charged emotion, fear contains possibility because when we have the courage to resist or not give in to our fears, something magical happens. We gain confidence and self-esteem. We go where we’ve never gone before and learn more about ourselves from our fears than we could ever have in our comfort zones. Think of it like surfing, if you will. Staying on top of the wave of fear sure feels much better than being hit by the oncoming wave over and over. So, the next time you’re tempted to run away or yell at your fears, welcome them and look them in the face – because when you do, you’ll learn to live a more fulfilled life.
Weekly Path to Peace: Develop the courage to resist your fears.
- Look at your fears in the face this week. What fears are currently holding you back, keeping you down or are the cause of your excuses why you can’t change your life? Write them all down. They will not overwhelm you. Take the time to be honest and recognize what fears you wish would simply go away and write them down.
- Spend time looking at one of the fears you identified as your friend. What is it here to tell you? Is it time to push you out of your comfort zone? Is it gently trying to tell you that your current circumstances aren’t working? Listen to the important message your fear is sharing and embrace it so you can move beyond it and take action.
As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.