| By Laurel Moll |
Do a quick Internet search on fear and you’ll find ton of motivational quotes saying “fear is a liar,” books about “how to conquer your fear,” and endless “fearless” hashtags attached to pictures of beautiful people.
For so long, the mainstream message on fear has been all about how you can get rid of it. But, what if I told you that fear is actually your friend?
Fears are clues, placed in your life like a breadcrumb trail, guiding and pushing you to grow and pay attention to your deepest longings.
You are fearful when you’re out of our comfort zone and when you don’t know how things will work out. But, if you follow your fears and allow them come to the surface of your daily life, you take away their power to haunt you.
Bottom line, if you’re scared, it’s well worth your time to take a closer look.
Read on for 5 simple reasons on why you should start following your fears instead of running away from them.
5 Reasons to Follow Your Fear
- You’ll create more happiness and fun in your life.
Fears can actually serve you in a positive way if you ask yourself why you’re afraid. Likely, it will lead you to learn what’s holding you back from having more passion and fun. Make a list of five to 10 things you’re scared of and see if a handful of them are things you actually really want.
- It teaches you how to roll with the punches.
When you make a habit of facing your fears, it builds a strong muscle for adapting to changes with ease. When challenges come up – like losing a job, going through a breakup, or missing out on a promotion you thought you deserved – you can learn to breathe and have curiosity about the next opportunity coming your way instead of freaking out about why things didn’t go as you planned. The death of one thing is always the birth of another.
- It hurts more to run away from your fears than to face them.
The experience of fear itself is usually most intense before you get around to facing it. More times than not, the stuck, panicky and sweaty feelings all happen in the moments leading up to the experience. As soon as you take the first steps, you are face-to-face with fear as an old friend, and the exhilaration of facing it becomes more powerful than the fear itself. It’s the buildup that holds all the tension.
- You’ll realize that you’re stronger and more confident than you think.
Keep going and decide to take action in spite of your terrified moments. If you can be willing to trust that something beautiful and exciting is on the other side of whatever you’re scared of, it will help you find the courage to face it. Take the first step and you might just be surprised at how tough you are.
- You’ll start making your dreams come true.
Most of your biggest fears are likely terrifying because they’re super important to you. For example, I used to be very shy and scared to speak up for myself or have my voice heard. But when I started facing those fears, I realized I was so scared because writing, teaching, and sharing my stories are my biggest passions.
Try spending just a little more time getting curious about why you’re afraid. Whatever your biggest fears are, they inevitably will run your life, whether in subtle or drastic ways, until you give in and pay attention to them.
Following your fears won’t be easy. It will be scary, messy and uncomfortable. You won’t become fearless. You will lift up the covers on your insecurities. But, it all will be worth it. You will amplify growth, surprise and passion in your life. You’ll probably release so much tension that you won’t recognize yourself once you get started. It will be awesome.
This article features excerpts from Laurel Moll’s memoir Following Fear: How I Faced 30 Fears and Learned to Trust the Unknown. Find out more and download the e-book at www.laurelmoll.com.
Laurel Moll is a lifestyle writer specializing in personal development, healthy lifestyle and food. The Central Florida resident has a degree in technical writing and is a certified holistic health coach. Laurel also co-owns the inspirational T-shirt company Golden Rhino.