To me, being unafraid or fearless doesn't equal not feeling scared or not feeling fear, it just means feeling the fear and doing it anyway (as Susan Jeffers said in her most famous quote). Taking a chance, daring to dream, choosing a new path.... these are scary things!
To me, being unafraid also means being okay with feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes the best changes and progress come when you're in the midst of an uncomfortable situation. Getting of your comfort zone can precipitate unexpected transformations and surprises.
At my school, the teachers are always being told to 'Get comfortable with being uncomfortable', because this is the best way for us to innovate, create, and learn new things.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is take a forward step, no matter how small. Taking that step (even whilst being fearful) is letting fear and being unafraid exist together (yes, I think this is possible) as a propellant. 'Fortune favours the bold' as they say!
It's also scary to really 'feel' your feelings, especially the all encompassing ones, and let them flow through you, rather than control you.
I'm much less afraid now than I used to be of sitting with my feelings and letting them wash over and through me. I know they can't hurt me.... only the way I respond to them can. (A great counselor taught me this at a time of emotional turmoil - thank you Pat.)
How about being unafraid to love yourself unconditionally and accept yourself wholly?
Being unafraid to be the real you, and let others 'see' you too?
Being unafraid to say 'no' and hold firm to your boundaries when your self respect and self care demand/deserve it?
Being unafraid to make a mistake and look silly or stupid because you know you really want to try something.
Many people find some or all of these things challenging. People who grew up being people pleasers (like myself), and wanting to be liked by everyone (to the detriment of themselves), struggle with being more unafraid. We're too frightened of upsetting other people and losing the things we've placed importance on.
Learning to work on my 'unafraidness' has helped me feel happier and more at peace these last 10 years or so. Practising mindfulness, gratitude, and learning the art of 'letting go' have all played a part in my development. Recording and noticing things to be thankful for has led to a new feeling of satisfaction that's not dependent on external validation.
Using things like the 'Serenity Prayer' and 'The Four Agreements' has given me a new perspective about my place in this world, and how to flourish within it.
If you're interested in practicing gratitude in a mindful way, I've created some pages called 'Witness Your Week'. (Click here to get them.)
Building a written gratitude ritual over time has been proven to lead to greater happiness and joy, and a better sense of contentment. I'm more willing to try new things and take risks, because I have a long list of things to be grateful for that aren't dependent on the outcome.
As Buddha once said:
“Let us rise up and be thankful, because if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
Your dreams, your feelings, your opportunities, your wants, your needs, your talents, your abilities, your worthiness, your inner child, your inner adult, your past, your present, your future.... all these can give us cause for fear (even when they're exciting and good).
Being unafraid is about realising this is okay!
Feeling fear is normal.
Being unafraid to feel the fear and continue anyway (as appropriate), is something I continue to work on so I can facilitate forward movement in situations I think offer hope, potential or opportunity for my personal growth!
How about you?
Are you able to 'feel the fear and do it anyway?'
Is fear itself something that scares you?
Do you have any tips or strategies to help you through whatever fear it is you may be facing?
Happy Monday, Daydreamer.
May your mojo and magic be with you this week as you step forward no matter your fears.
The best way out is always through.