THE FEAR MONSTER

Fear is personified as childish.

"There's a monster under the bed!"

And when someone helps you to really look...

"See. Nothing's there."

As a child, you were helped to face the reality of this monster. Shown that it was just your imagination. And afterward, you could sleep. 

So how come we have such a hard time facing this reality as an adult?

I can’t look my fear in the eye and say: “You are not real.” 

Or can I? 

Perhaps it’s because adult fears are ironically MORE abstract than childhood ones?

Fear of being alone. 
Fear of failing.
Fear of other people judging me in a negative way.
Fear of not living up to my potential.  

What do these fears even mean? 

As I dig in, I realize that I CAN look these fears square. 

Being alone? This is only one perspective. 

The Truth: I really enjoy time to myself. In fact, I get unhappy when I don’t get enough alone time. So why am I so afraid of something that I enjoy doing? 

The Scare Tactic: Make a list of all the things you like to do alone. When you’re lonely use it to find center. Here is my list...

+ Learn to cook something new.
+ Write. 
+ Read a book.
+ Take the longest shower ever. 
+ Go to a yoga class. 
+ Walk around a neighborhood you haven't been to in awhile. 
+ Listen to showtunes. 
+ Take a dance class. 
+ Write love letters to my friends and family. 
+ Clean my closet. 
+ Watercolor. 
+ Hike. 
+ Call an old friend. 
+ Look through old photos. 
+ Read a cookbook. 

Failing? It’s not the end until you decide that it is. You can own that. 

The Truth: We all fail. It's part of the learning process. The only time it is deemed 'a failure' is when you decide that it’s over. It's over when you give up. If you fail in the end, it’s on your terms, not the Universe’s. 

Just because a toddler falls over when learning to walk doesn’t mean that they won’t eventually find stride. 

The Scare Tactic: Learn from what you deem to be failures. My life fell apart because I failed in a few areas of my life at once. The clean slate gave me the opportunity to put my life back together in a way that’s bigger and better than I could’ve imagined for myself. It made room for magic. The failure was just a part of the story, certainly not the ending. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It gave me my life. 

Other people judging me in a negative way? That’s their shit. 

The Truth: Why do we all need to be perfect anyway? How boring. As I meet and learn more people, I realize that the judgements people make are just a reflection of their own internal dialogue / personal perspective. 

The Scare Tactic: 

Me: “Wow, that girl is really aggressive and accusatory!” 

My inner self: "Be compassionate, she is likely over-compensating for something. Perhaps she is looking to validate herself in these actions aimed at me. This is about her. This is not about me."

Removing myself from the situation frees me from this negative energy. It allows space for compassion in a situation that would normally spur heat.

Not living up to my potential? Baby steps. 

Potential = The most abstract concept ever. 

The truth really is, all I know is that I am pushing to be something great and centering in the fact that my greatness will find me working hard. 

The Scare Tactic: Potential has no upper limit. Does anyone ever 'get there'? Working hard is my best bet in getting wherever this adventure takes me. Don't waste time by worrying. This is so much easier said than done, I know from experience. 

I am proving to myself that there is a way to look this fear monster, that I've completely imagined, square. It is not even real. It's totally my imagination. 

Do you have any helpful mental shifts or tricks? I'd love to know. 

 

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