I've long said that fear is not all bad.
In many ways fear keeps us safe from harm. but sometimes fear gets confused on what's harmful and what's helpful. If you're a parent, you at one point loved fear (yes I said loved fear.. stick with me) because fear kept your child safe.
You taught your child to stop and look both ways before crossing a street. That was fear protecting your child from getting into possible danger. So fear can protect us from possible dangers.
However, the goal of utilizing fear is not to keep your child from ever crossing the street. The goal of utilizing fear is that your child cross the street safely. This sets us up for utilizing fear in a way that not only protects us but also pushes us to progress.
It's when the fear sensors get dirty that we run into trouble.
We begin to see possible danger where danger does not exist. We allow fear to run the entire show instead of just doing it's protection part. Fear all of a sudden looks at things with a magnifying glass and makes objects appear larger than they are, giving us False Evidence that Appears Real.
Well then, how do we clean off the fear sensors and have fear do it's job of protecting us while allowing us to proceed but with caution. Well, my way of working with fear is to take it by the hand and say "come with me, let's do this, we're going to be ok, let's let trust lead this one."
Seems that by allowing fear to play it's important role we build a healthy, useful relationship with fear instead of fearing fear.
Instead, we can recognize that it's showing up for a reason. Fear wants us to proceed with caution and be aware of our surroundings. What a great friend to have, one who keeps us safe. We should all have a friend who's looking out for our best good.
Many times I’ve taken fear by the hand and dove in. Now, fear believes things like "this might not be 100% safe" so I often take some time pondering, reflecting, planning, checking in with others and testing and when I’m ready (or at least mostly ready) I dive in.
As I dive in fear calms down. I realize that whatever it I’m doing has an element of FUN and there's no need for a 100ft. wall of protection. Fear doesn’t leave and I don't want it to. It's got a job to do and it's doing it. BUT, I'm taking fear by the hand and doing whatever it is I want. I’m not letting fear stop me. Just protect me.