To read the first piece in this two-part series on fear, faith and courage, click here.
Fear can become pleasure. It all depends on the meaning you give it.
Think about the last time you experienced fear. What did you do with it? Did you allow it to stop you in your tracks? Or did you feel the fear and did it anyway?
From my own experience and research, fear can be used as a motivator or a detractor.
Fear starts with a thought, which then creates a negative or positive meaning that builds an image that translates into a feeling.
Unless you are psychic, you don’t know what is going to happen … until you take that first step, despite the fear.
You see, it’s your thinking that manifests the story.
I get that the brain is designed to keep you safe. However, your thoughts can keep you small, limited and inadequate.
The key is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. After all, we are living in very uncertain times, and if you want to change, you have to be willing to accept not knowing what is going to happen.
Once you embrace this, you will feel a sense of freedom that will fuel your courage.
Fear is a state of mind
What you resist will persist. So, if you resist the fear, it will just get stronger.
The antidote is to be aware of it when it arises.
You can do so by practicing daily mindfulness, which is just to be present with your thoughts. Become aware of what is unfolding before your eyes. Be willing to dance with your fear as it emerges. Observe what you are thinking at that very moment.
The intention is not to eradicate your fear. The aim is to change the way you associate with the fear. Once you accept the fear, it no longer has power over you.
Recognizing, acknowledging and appreciating the presence of the fear will allow you to make a conscious decision. You choose to have faith and accept the fear. As a result, you have assurance that it is giving you clarity over what the fear is guiding you to do … or even what it is stopping you from doing.
Remember, the choice is yours. Fear is not a foe, a villain or an attacker. It can be the voice of reasoning, foresight and attention that serves you adequately, smoothly and successfully at times.
Resisting fear takes up way too much of your time, energy and creativity.
Accept it for what it is. Admit its very existence. Only then can you experience the wonder that comes with embracing fear through faith.
Be courageous and have faith
Keep in mind, courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the recognition that some things are more important than fear.
And what’s more important than fear?
So, how are we going to implement this?
Discover meaning in your daily activities by finding joy in what makes you happy.
This leads us back to the everyday practice of mindfulness. It can be as simple as just being present with the beautiful things around you, whether it’s a bird on a tree, the rainbow in the sky or the grey clouds filled with rain.
It often means choosing to invest more time in your own happiness. Take that long-overdue vacation. Spend that weekend with your loved ones. Work on that passion project you have been putting off for ages. All of these will help you remain in your center, shaping the faith you will need when problems arise.
At the same time, faith also goes hand in hand with gratitude. As you cultivate mindfulness, you will come to appreciate everything that truly matters in your life. Family. Friends. Opportunities. The little miracles we experience every day.
When you become conscious of just how blessed you are, the courage you need to push on in any difficult context will appear naturally.
Now is the time to go forward
If you learn to treasure every individual moment, over time, you will sharpen your ability to shift into a more relaxed state in the midst of a stressful situation, chaos or uncertainty.
And when you do feel a moment of fear, use it as a way to transmute that energy into excitement, adventure, enthusiasm and passion to create the day, the month … or the life that you want to live.
What if you focused every day in faith that everything is happening for us and not to us?
What if you were to find the silver lining in all events, situations and circumstances?
What kind of reality are you now creating for yourself and others around you?
Instead of backing out in the face of fear, have faith that the courage you require to flourish is always right around the corner.