Transcending Fear

I’ve been asked this week by my life coach to take a look at my fears. To be aware of where they come from. To notice where they’re leading me. To be conscious of what it is about my fears that derail me. Today was day 2 of paying attention to those fears.

I fear my greatness. I fear the responsibility that comes with owning my greatness. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m the greatest there ever was. But I am saying that I have greatness within me (we all do). And I’ve not been honoring that greatness. I’ve been putting that greatness in a corner and protecting it with all my might.

I’ve noticed about my fears that they’re not leading me anywhere. They’re allowing me to retreat. Retreat into the comfort of playing it safe. Because if I go after my dreams, then I’ll have to live up to them. And that just breeds more fear. But the thing about living up to my dreams is that it’s not possible. We can only live into ourselves. Which means that there’s nothing to live up to; there’s just me.

And then just as I get this right in my head, the fear pops up again. So I look to see what the purpose of my fear is. The purpose of fear is protection. Fear is a natural reaction to danger. The mind senses danger when it senses the unknown. The unknown breeds the fear, and the fear stops us in our tracks. And for some things this is good. There probably is danger down the dark alley at night by myself. But let me be practical about the fears that I have.

The fears that I have are not protecting me from real danger, they’re simply protecting me from discomfort. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never grown while sitting in a space of comfort. Growth comes from surviving discomfort. I’ve grown in the space between jobs. I’ve grown in the space between relationships. I’ve grown in the space between death and being left “behind”. But I’ve never grown while sitting on my couch watching a rerun of Friends I’ve seen for the hundredth time (at least not the kind of growth I’m referring to here!). Or from focusing on one thing at one time because that’s just the easy thing to do.

What I’ve learned so far this week is that my greatness is more powerful than any fear that tries to stand up to me (as long as I pay attention to it). It’s about being aware of the fear, calming it down, and moving forward. Sometimes the moving forward comes quickly, and sometimes we take a step back. But make no mistake… a step back is still a step forward–some roads just are windier than others.

So take a moment to notice your fears. To see where your fears are leading you. To pay attention to where you retreat and how you allow yourself to get derailed from what’s really important to you. Then honor the greatness that lives within you, and take a step forward—no matter which direction it takes you.