I recently saw a meme F.E.A.R has two meanings,  Forget Everything and RUN or Face Everything and Rise…The choice is YOURS!!!  I don’t know about you, but fear is one of the most crippling feelings in my opinion.  For example, I have an irrational fear of bridges over water, while in a vehicle.  I can swim, but I am terrified of being trapped in a car that has plunged off the side of a bridge into a body of water.  On the other hand, see a spider need help, I’m your girl….unless they are big and hairy, then you’re on own,and you really need to consider relocation as well!

I envy those people who have no fears, or who at least have learned to conquer them.  I was talking with someone who worked in public service and was also in the military.  I asked him if he was afraid of anything, he said he had plenty of fears, he just didn’t let them control him.  It got me thinking about all the things that I run from, or allow to control me that are just so irrational.  I know I can’t be alone on this one, right?!?! So why do we allow ourselves to be controlled by our fears?

Looking back over the years, I can see so many times when I had the opportunity to take my life back, change my circumstances, live a better life, and yet I was so afraid I allowed it to paralysis me.  Over the past several months I have worked on this one pretty hard.  There are so many times things would come up and all I wanted to do was run.  Little by little I started facing some of those fears, and it got easier and easier each time.  I still want to run A LOT when things get uncomfortable and I just feel the fear creeping in, but I’ve learned how to approach these fears differently.

Whenever something comes up that scares the living crap out of me*, I ask myself a few questions.  What are you afraid of?  Why does this scare you?  Is this something that could harm you or anyone around you? If its a situation and not a thing, like a spider, I’d asking myself…What’s the outcome you want from this situation, if it were perfect? What’s the worst thing that could happen?  IF the worst case scenario played out, would it be a life lesson or a life ending outcome?  It’s truly been amazing the difference in my perspective of these “feared” things and situations as I’ve began to do this.  I’ve noticed that it feels like life has slowed down a bit.  The fear would make things feel like they were in high speed, unable to breath and think through things.  Now, it feels like I have some control over my fears, and that feels SO incredible.

It feels kind of crazy to sit and ask yourself questions, at least in a very deliberate way, and not by your mind just wandering on topics, but it’s amazing how much quicker you can find the answers you were searching for.  There are some things that I find are just not for me, time to move on from them or not expose myself to the situation or things any more (like bridges….just avoid anywhere with bridges…ok I’m kidding…maybe), and then there are things that I would have ran from in the past out of fear, but have decided its time to face them head on.  I don’t want to go through life thinking that timing was off or if things had been different, because frankly that’s just a bunch of B.S. fear talking to you.  There are plenty of things in life I don’t feel ready for, and need to take baby steps even if facing those fears, but baby steps are far better then throwing something away out of fear.

So I guess my friend really was spot on with his statement regarding his fears.  It’s really ok to have fears, frankly its natural and probably pretty healthy, its just how you control them vs allowing your fears to control you!

*bridges, snakes and big huge hairy spiders are not subject to these questions….those are written in stone “rational” fears!