Being Brave Isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear and finding a way through it.
The only place that fears really exist is in the mind. Fear is created through thoughts and driven by emotions. It is all-consuming, overwhelming, and devastating.
That deathly grip is fear. Suffocating you with its stories of a reality that isn’t true and yet we believe it and convince ourselves that it is real.
What if we called fear a mind game? A game where our minds try to convince us that what we are thinking, and feeling is real. Fear is the villain, and our true authentic self is the hero. Our true inner knowing and self-trust are what will be our companions on this road of overcoming fear.
Sometimes we are faced with scary situations. New situations are triggered by old experiences. Experiences where our brains needed to keep us safe and so create a coping mechanism. Sometimes these coping mechanisms are not healthy and do not support us however there has now become a pattern, a go-to when a new situation seems or is perceived as similar.
The journey through self-awareness to understand patterns is so powerful. Moving from being blissfully unaware to complete awareness is the deepest growth point someone can move through. This is not something that happens overnight and takes time and patience as you step out of the patterns or coping mechanisms.
Fear is a deeply ingrained pattern that can feel exactly the same in intensity as it did the first time you experience something similar. Our brains are designed to keep us safe and when it perceives a threat in the world around us, we will kick into the path of least resistance and follow our old conditioning.
How does one overcome fear? Self-reflection is key, breathing is key, and reminding yourself that you are safe is key.
If you are in a state of panic when you have been completely overcome with fear, practicing a mindfulness technique can bring you back into the present moment.
Using our sense’s name:
5 things you can see
4 things you can hear
3 things you can touch
2 things you can smell
1 thing you are taste
And then breathe. Deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your nose. Calming our nervous system down is important to begin to self-reflect. You may even need some time before you begin to journal. Always tune into your body to feel what is going on.
When you feel fear rise up in your body, I want to encourage you to acknowledge it. I want you to do the brave thing and turn and face whatever it is you are fearing. What is the worst thing that could happen if you did?
Would it be scary, hell yes? Would you panic a little, you may however you will be able to navigate yourself through this fear the more you do this.
Grab your journal when you are feeling like that and ask yourself some of these questions:
- What is this fear connected to
- Is there an experience this may be connected to
- What is this fear trying to tell me
- What are the thoughts and feelings connected to this story that has come up
- How can I re-frame (shift your thoughts from what they are into something different and more positive) these thoughts
- If I do, what would I be feeling now
- What is one small thing I can do to help shift this fear in my body
It is okay to feel this way. Know you are not alone in this journey so please reach out to someone who can be there for you to walk you through what you are feeling. Remember to show yourself a lot of self-compassion and don’t order rank your suffering. What I mean by that is whatever you are going through is big for you and that is okay no need to compare yourself to others and what they are going through to make your fear/issue/experience seem smaller.
Being brave with our lives does not mean we put on our armor and act like there is nothing wrong. Being brave with our lives means giving ourselves permission to turn and face the dragon and remind ourselves how powerful we actually are.
Courage is contagious, so how courageous are you going to be today?