Monday, January 11, 2010

Fear is scary

Someone asked the Dalai Lama how he dealt with fear to which he replied "I invite it in." Well, I don't usually invite strangers into my house so I thought it would be great to make it more familiar.

Fear is an emotion. It is pretty straight forward. Fear is a warning signal that goes through the brain to let the system know that you are about to experience a change in the current state of being.

Think about being in a bubble. You are standing in the center of the bubble and everything around you is safe. When something on the outside approaches the bubble an alarm goes off. "DANGER! Do Not Pop the bubble!" When we hear that alarm and look up at a dangerous threat to our safety we now have the information we need to move our bubble. BUT when we are inside looking out at something we want, we step forward to get it and guess what? The alarm goes off again! Our decision becomes to step accross the alarm to make something happen or step back into the center.

For this reason, hope can feel like fear. The funny thing about fear is that it is only an alarm. It does not have any messages or truths to offer you. It does not predict the future so it cannot tell you that you will fail. It cannot tell you that you are the one person on this planet that is neither good enough or never gets what you want. Those messages come from other places. Old places. Fear is just fear.

When we can recognize fear as fear, then we can fight it. How? Well, this becomes the work. We weild the weapons of perserverance, discipline, and determination. These are the tools that move us from inside to out of comfort zones. These are things that bring success. We strengthen those muscles every time that we face our fear and move toward what we want. Sometimes we will choose to honor ourselves and know that facing the fear is enough for a start and go back and build up the determination and perserverance to move later. That is ok too.

Underneath it all, to face fear is to trust in who we are at a level we didn't know we were capable of.

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