Embrace the F Word

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Discover, Science of Story May 16, 2017

Embrace the F Word

Amy Day Keller
Amy Keller is a director of business development who is passionate about connecting people and organizations with passion and purpose.

Relax. I know what you’re thinking but I’m not referring to that “F” word.  I’m talking about the other “F” word, FEAR.  I’m sure you know it well. It’s that terrifying feeling that something bad might happen in the future.  

nordwood-themes-179255The good news, fear is normal and is one of the things that make us human. A few fears are instinctive and necessary to our survival.  However, most of our common fears, like rejection, failure, and judgment aren’t essential to living, yet we allow them to be fully present in our daily lives.  The bad news, holding onto our fear holds us back from living a life of purpose and passion.

How many times have you convinced yourself not to take a risk because you fear rejection, failure, or judgment? Maybe you didn’t apply for your dream job or that big promotion. Maybe you didn’t express your feelings to that special someone or even share a big idea at work. Maybe you’ve talked yourself out of trying something new, like yoga or backpacking across Europe.  Like me, you’ve probably experienced every one of the scenarios and then some.

So why do we allow this little “F” word to become a giant obstacle in realizing our dreams? Why is it so hard to just let go?

The answer may not be as complicated as you think. Let’s look at fear for what it really is:

  • An anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience
  • A standard biological reaction
  • Information and signals, just like other emotions
  • A conditioned or learned response based on a memory of fear

Marianne Williamson, spiritual author, may have said it best, “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”  

luca-campioni-215076If fear isn’t that complicated, could there be a simpler solution to letting it go? Perhaps a little understanding, awareness, and practice could go a long way in lighting the path to freedom.

Like many others, I’ve allowed fear to influence my reality.  Choosing safety over risk was my standard operating procedure.  Sadly, fear was the factor in my decisions.  Instead of saying “yes” to unfamiliar experiences and new opportunities, I was offering a polite “no thank you.”  It wasn’t working.  I knew I was capable of more, but I was stuck.  In my effort to get out of my rut, I discovered yoga.  What I really discovered is a safe place to face my fears head on. It isn’t magic and it’s not always easy, but it’s worth the work.  

Speaking from experience, I offer some ancient wisdom to help you embrace your “F” word:

  • Show Up. Unplug from the world and find a quiet place to be with yourself. Find your truth.
  • Be Present. Acknowledge your fears. Be with your fear and realize you are not alone.
  • Let Go. Acknowledge your past, give gratitude for the gift of learning. Move forward with new found wisdom and grace.
  • Open Your Heart.  Ask the universe for what you want.  Be open to receiving.  Feed your soul not your fears.
  • Stumble. Old feelings will resurface, recognize them for what they are, put them in their place, and find your balance.
  • Be Grateful. Celebrate every accomplishment, big or small, they build unstoppable momentum.
  • Keep Practicing.  Commit to the journey and enjoy the ride.

So, take a deep breath and relax. Instead of running from your fears—embrace them!  And remember, “On the other side of fear lies freedom.”—Author Unknown