Today I wanted to talk on a more serious note about something that I think we all have experienced at some point in our lives. It comes in many shapes and forms and grows in size as we give in to it. Like many uncomfortable things in life, it can be hard to talk about, especially if we want others to perceive us as confident and unflawed. It’s the big, nasty, f-word. Fear.
I have a love/hate relationship with this word. I hate the stigma that surrounds fear because fear does not look the same to me, as it does to you. Likewise, you should know that you do not have to justify the validity of your fears. But what I love about fear is that we ALL live with it, we ALL feel it, and we ALL deal with it. You know that girl on Instagram with the seemingly perfect life? She lives with fear. You know your best friend who you think has it all together? She lives with fear. They all live with fear. The bottom line is… we all have fear.
So now that you know that you are NOT alone when it comes to living with fear, I want to help you cope with it.
1. Name It
Alright, so let’s start by naming the beast. I’ll start:
I’m afraid of being misunderstood.
I have a fear of not being liked for who I am.
I’m fearful of being judged while I pursue my dreams.
Think of what exactly it is that you are fearful of. Is it caused by insecurities? Is it something you can control? Whatever it is, being able to put your finger on it will help identify the fear when it affects us most. When you have identified it, it’s no longer unknown and illusive. It’s out there in plain sight for us to get a little bit more comfortable with.
2. Own It
This part is really important. By owning your fears, you take away its power to control your life. In theory it sounds simple, but it requires a ton of bravery and courage which I KNOW you have no shortage of. Owning your fears says “Hey, I might be afraid of this, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
In order to fully own your fears, you need to be okay with exposing them. There’s an undeniable power that comes from exposing these raw parts of ourselves and not letting them slow us down. In other words, owning your fears is complete badassery and the world should watch out.
3. Share It
You might be thinking I’m crazy. Why would I want you to share something that makes you vulnerable? That’s just it, because it makes you vulnerable. We are drawn to vulnerability because it’s real and authentic. By sharing your fears with others, a few amazing things happen. First of all, it opens up a meaningful conversation beyond the surface. Believe it or not, people care about how you’re really doing and they will listen.
Secondly, there’s a very good chance that someone else shares the very same, or very similar fears that you have. Starting a conversation with someone who you share a common (or uncommon) fear with is a recipe for deeper connections. In a world fed by automated Instagram comments, like4like, and bots, it’s becoming harder and harder to find deep and meaningful connections.
And lastly, share your fears because in the end, we are more alike than we are different.