Okay so like many of you no doubt I had read the book by Susan Jeffers “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. For me it was over 20 years ago, thanks to our little stint in networking marketing. (Yes it was Amway but as life has proved everything happens for a reason so, no regrets.)
Anyway I remember, it sort of helped me at the time and, one occasion in particular that jumps to mind,was preparing to telling my then boss, that I had crashed her Company car. However the only thing about that is, that other than actually running away’ (which I did contemplate, she scared,the scaredy cat me!) the reality was I was absolutely going to have to tell her since its hard to miss a big dent in a car.So Susan Jeffers book, did spur me on but it was more the case of being terrified and owning up and I don’t remember having a warm feeling inside after …
Anyway, life rolled on, the book got dusty and I’m not saying, I never faced any fears but too many fearful occasions were felt , without the “doing “. I kept taking the what I then believed,to be the less fearful option (now thats a whole other blog post right there “Beliefs” a juicy one that I will share later) without realising that everytime you run away from a fear,it just finds you,again and again and AGAIN. or maybe that’s just me? … but somehow I very much doubt it …
So it seemed evident in my life that I’d let fear in and it had stayed around for a long time … yes, even longer than “The Tiger that came to Tea ” (no, I didn’t read it as a child but I promise I’ve let that now go). It stopped me, from doing so many things and often, I let it paralyse me, yet I am now grateful to have experienced what that feels like, as once I accepted, this scaredy cat part of myself, it helped me to have real empathy and compassion towards others so yet again I’m reminded, “everything happens for a reason”.
I now realise that its not ‘lack of fear ‘but breaking through fear that is the whole point … and a new mantra sprung out at me …
“When fear comes knocking at your door (as it will alot if your still alive) you can answer but you dont have to let it in ”
So back to ‘feeling that fear’. After I had ‘woken up’ in 2010 all fear seemed gone and I thought possibly forever, I was so eurphoric so full of LOVE and after years of stumbling around in the dark I could really see. This quote best sums up my experience in July 2010 …
“I went searching for God only to find myself, I went searching for myself only to find God”
And yet … a few days later (and I’m still alive after all) fear came knocking and yes unbelievably, I did what I had always done , “I let it in”, and once again I froze, got stuck!
Now this left me feeling so confused, how could I be frightened ? I had faced my fear, I had spoken my truths, I had surrendered to God, Source, The Universe, the one Oprah talks to. I had felt the Oneness , become ‘the ball of light’, it was big people, massive and yet once again, when a day or two later fear came knocking, somehow, instead of answering that fear and facing it, I let the fear in again, not quite back to square one but it was clear I hadn’t “figured it all out ” after all.
… So then I believed (beliefs again), for a while,that if I could just shake fear off once and for all, I’d be good … done … and the fairy tale life I had foreseen during that awakening period a few weeks earlier, would happen. So I took up horseriding believing, that if I got over my fear of horse-riding, I would be less fearful of life, and yes that is true I am less fearful of horse riding, I love it now and yes, I am less fearful of life, but I now finally see that I NEED that fear feeling too, otherwise nothing is happening you stay pure and simply, even without realising it maybe – STUCK!
As life is motion, the two don’t go hand in hand, and as I’m much more aware and willing to admit to myself when “I am afraid”, I realise that fear will never go away and yet, its okay ! as when it comes knocking as it will, then it’s a sign we are still alive and its a sign that we are moving out of our comfort zone and on the other side of that is a new level of freedom.
I am now really starting to see fear, as a friend as a sign that I am moving through to a higher level of living, so every time I move up a level in my riding I go through that fear feeling and every time I speak my feelings, honestly, guess what, I grow and yes it’s made a huge differences with my relationships and my life experience .
So over the first few weeks of January 2013 I got to thinking … you need to practice something to get good at it so I’m practicing at being thankful, practising singing ( I’ve joined a choir, which believe me some people, think I should be more frightened about, but I’m so happy to be singing that fear merely tapped the door and I just plain ignored it.. but you do have to practice ‘feeling that fear’ ( and yes the singing), so that you can start to act on it and move through it and when another biggy does come up you’ll be ready … and the great thing I’ve realised is, that everyday life can present you with little ways of honing this skill it’s just a matter of whether you notice or not I guess and whether you are open to feeling it.
So then it snowed and I was presented with the perfect little learning experience … (which not cutting a long story at all short is how this blog article came into fruition) I had to do some driving through real snow! the big stuff.
My past belief “I’m crap at driving in the snow” was not going to help but within the confines of my trusty Freelander and applying the LOA and NLP principles that I’ve been studying for the last 3 years, I realised I could change that belief to be,” my freelander is good in the snow” and yes,you guessed it I had a much better experience from the off. Then came, 2miles of private road (deep in the stuff ), and a downward slope, with a wee bridge at the bend and I felt a flutter of fear . I managed to not brake as I descended thanks to my copilot NW saying just in time … DONT BRAKE , but I really had felt the fear momentarily and if I’m honest I had let it in … how did I know that – well thinking about the return journey started to niggle me and this time I was going to be on my own, so yes, I knew the fear was in yet I was determined to put it to one side and enjoy the next few hours, but every now and then fear was there gently blowing in my ear and as the clock ticked on so did my anxiety .
Finally, time to go came and as it turned out, I wasn’t on my own as previously thought. My 11 year old daughter was beside me, which spurred me into action and I asked myself, “What will make this less scary? “, (the return journey involved a steep hill) and “What do I need to be told?” The answer, I heard was,”Ask one of the gamekeepers for guidance”, so I spoke up and asked one of them and he give me a great briefing told me EXACTLY what to do (important to note he told me what to do, not what not to do) and we set off. I don’t know about you but I find that having a child beside you always makes you braver and with LOA principles in mind I was determined not to let the fear in.
We set off down the narrow road and took our time staying in in first gear and when we approached the ‘downward steep scary slope’ I got ready ,and sure enough … I felt the fear… just in my chest, just there ,but this time I breathed through it and kept in first gear exactly as I had been advised and I told my feet to ‘stay put ‘ and let the car go on its own, no braking no exceleration, and yes the car stayed true and I did get that “warm feeling inside”… I was driving down a steep snow road, the Universe was in control and as my fear dissipated, and I relaxed, it felt fantastic!
So to summarise here’s my six step strategy to feeling the fear and doing it anyway
Do it in some way when ever you can, even in little things, especially in little things and you’ll start to recognise that ‘feeling’ and recognise the feeling of pushing past your comfort zone … and you start to really trust and recognise it much more quickly and so that when a biggy comes up (as it must) you don’t panic and do a runner. Remember folks, it’s just going to keep coming at you but all your friend fear is really trying to do, if you take it on, is to set you free!
Feeling the fear and doing it anyway!