Fear isn’t an Excuse. It’s an Emotion. Or Your GPS
Why didn’t I try this sooner? I was afraid.
Why didn’t I want to admit how I felt? I was scared.
Why didn’t I take a chance? Fear.
Why didn’t I raise my hand to volunteer? I panicked.
As if fear were a reason.
As if being afraid was a good reason not to do something.
I’m tempted to say that fear isn’t a reason, it’s an excuse. But you know what? Fear isn’t even an excuse. It’s just an emotion. It’s an unpleasant emotion, sure. Sometimes fear is useful – like when it gives us that shot of adrenalin that allows us to move quickly out of the way of that car backing up.
But fear is not useful when we use it as an excuse not to do something.
Fear is an emotion. We feel fear because we think that something bad is going to happen.
57.725% of the time, what we fear is actually ANOTHER EMOTION!! We fear being vulnerable, being hurt, being embarrassed, feeling stupid, invisible, hopeless, sad…you fill in the blank. (yes, I made that number up)
We experience emotions. They will not kill us. They might be uncomfortable, sure, but they are the stuff that makes up our human experience – the pleasant and the unpleasant emotions alike. If you sit through an emotion – even an unpleasant one – you will see that it will pass. It just does.
Why do we waste so much time being afraid of feeling emotions? Our brain is trying to protect us, of course. But we’re grown-ups now, and we don’t need as much protection as our brain thinks.
Consider this: Fear just might be useful information – or not – but you are the one who gets to decide what you will or won’t do. You can decide to be brave, right?
My teacher describes fear as our GPS – telling us exactly where we should go, because that’s where our next challenge is. Love.
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