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I'm Not Scared!

“I’m not scared of it anymore!” triumphantly declared one of my favorite little sproutlets the other day at the beach. He had been afraid to touch one of the living conchs that had been beached in low tide. But after watching me and my other sprouts tenderly interacting with them, he felt safe enough to hold one by himself. The joy he felt when the weight of his fear had been lifted was enough to bring me to tears.

There are some schools of thought that describe fear as an enemy that we must rid ourselves of. But fear is an ally that warns us to be cautious and present when interacting with the unknown and dangers. Fearlessness isn’t a goal I have for myself nor a hope I have for anyone I care for. If we humans were truly fearless, we wouldn’t have lived long enough to procreate. We would have all just walked straight into the mouths of sabertooth tigers or fallen off the edge of a cliff.

Fear tempers us and keeps us from being reckless. It’s only a problem when it goes unquestioned and completely paralyzes us from taking any positive actions that potentially would improve our quality of life.

For much of my life, people have used the word “fearless” to describe me. But that’s wholly untrue. I have all sorts of fears. Most are reasonable, some totally unfounded. But if I assess that I’m not in danger of grievous harm then my curiosity and my trust that I’ll survive whatever befalls me generally carries me forward. I imagine that’s the case for all people labeled “fearless.”

When we find that we’re scared to try something, it’s good to question ourselves. What is the root of the fear? Is this action likely to lead to grievous bodily harm? Then we probably shouldn’t do it, unless we’re masochists with GREAT health insurance and/or life insurance policy :-p . Is this action possibly going to change the course of our lives for the better? Then we probably should do it, even if it shakes things up. Even if it causes momentary discomfort. Even if misunderstanding-others will judge us. Even if there is a possibility that we’ll stumble or that it won’t pan out exactly how we’d think we’d like it to. At least we tried. At least we LIVED! On the other side of fear is experience and knowledge. We get to quench our curiosities and hopefully lead a richer life because of it.

My hope is that when fear speaks up in our minds, we greet it as the friend it is. Thank it for attempting to keep us safe yet question its appearance. We can ask it what are the real dangers here? What can I do or say that will assure you that I will survive? Watching trusted members of our support system face that fear first will certainly help us. As will talking it through with someone we trust. And so will envisioning “what’s the best thing that could happen?” And hopefully, a day will come when we can all triumphantly declare: “I’m not scared of it anymore!”

If you or someone you know is ready to question and face fears and would like someone to support that journey,
I would be honored to be of service,
book your appointment today!

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Hal Bailey
Hal Bailey

I really enjoyed this!

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