Fear, it’s a scary place to live

“All the trees are losing their leaves, and not one of them is worried.”  ~ Donald Miller

I saw this quote in a magazine and it got me thinking.  We are living in a world of uncertain times.  These past two years have felt like I was riding next to Ozzy on a crazy train.  Often filled with uncertainty for what is to come and the fragile state of our world.  I frequently feel like I’m living in a constant state of fear.  What’s next? When is the other shoe going to drop? 

Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  In reading this definition, I though what a depressing way to live your life.  Constantly on the look out for something bad to head your way.  So, I started brainstorming, how can we live a life of courage despite the caos and troubling times we are surrounded by? How can we be more like a tree, confident when our leaves are shed, come spring they will reappear?

We often look to other to make us feel safe.  Whether that is a significant other, a parent, or a friend.  But let’s be honest, that is a lot of pressure to put on someone else and we are setting ourselves up with an unattainable expectation.  Sure, people are there to support us, but it is not their job to ensure our mental well-being.  News flash, we are in charge of our own minds and how we choose to live our lives.  

So, what is the opposite of fear?  Hope? Courage?  How do we flip the switch and transition that fear into something more positive?  Here are a few tips to begin your journey of stomping out fear.

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable 

There are no guarantees in life. There will be struggles and events that will break you down.  But this is all part of the process.  Life is not a flat road, it has bumps and hills and some problems that feel like Mount Everest. Remember even people that summit mount Everest can’t stay up there forever.  We need oxygen, everyone has to come back down the other side, and you will as well.

  •  Don’t dwell on scarcity

Eliminate those things that provoke fearing thoughts.  First and foremost, turn off the news people!!!  Celebrate what you have.  Be thankful for the things that are working and focus your intention on creating more of those situations.

  •  Let go of your story

Many of our ideals and expectations are set at a very young age.  Engrained into our very being.  But does the story line, “I’ll never be able to travel because I’m terrified of flying.  My mom was terrified of flying, so she never left the state she lived in” work for you? NO!  Set aside the stories you’ve been told and create your own.  We are in charge of the course we want to live.

  •  Trust yourself

Look at how far you have come, despite what life has thrown at you.  You’re still in the game.  Look at a time in your life when something felt impossible.  You wondered if you would make it through.  You may not have done it gracefully, but you did it.  Remember those times.  They will give you courage going forward.

  • Quit Looking for stuff to fix

Home improvement shows are great, but they shouldn’t make you look at your kitchen and say, “My kitchen sucks.”  I need a new sink, the latest refrigerator, or trendy cabinets. If you have running water, your food is cold and you have a place to put your plates, guess what?  Your kitchen is just fine.

I know sometimes the thought of living a courageous life without fear seems impossible and let’s be honest no one is perfect.  You will have times where fear overtakes you and you feel like you are drowning.  But these are temporary feelings.  You will come out the other side, I promise.  There is a fact, in life nothing is permanent.  So remember when your leaves fall, that come spring whenever that may be you will again become beautiful.  

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

~ Nelson Mandela

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