What is fear? A.K.A.: False Evidence Appearing Real. In this sense, fear is neither “good” nor “bad”, but it does serve a REAL purpose in your personal growth. In the recipe for greatness, fear is a necessary ingredient. Without it, we would not know success – just like we can’t know light without darkness. While contrasting shadows and light doesn’t soothe the pain, fear is part of the “chiaroscuro” of life that turns on positive change. The key lies in knowing the purpose of fear – but how?
Get Quiet. Fear is often masked at first by guilt, sadness and a plethora of other misnomers. Get quiet and unmask the first set of feelings. I guarantee you’ll find fear underneath. Then ask questions such as, “What is this fear showing me ABOUT me? Am I doing something out of step with myself?” Lean into it. Interrogate it with curiosity. Engage it in a line of questioning.
Allow: Become tolerant of uncertainty. Get comfortable with allowing time for the answers to evolve organically. The universe is not a cosmic crystal ball but a fascinating, unpredictable set of intricacies that is there for the taking. For example, the phenomenon of taste perception called layering explains how we perceive flavors sequentially rather than altogether, offering sophisticated blends that pique and fade across the palate. (A good curry sauce!) The universe can provide clarity through layering. So, fear can be the precursor to pain, followed by emptiness, followed by more fear, followed by clarity, etc.
“The only way out is through” or “what you resist persists.” Without welcoming the fear and asking what it serves, we not only miss an opportunity for potential but we’ll probably have to face the same thing again in another form. In sum, we delay our greatness - a greatness that we often “pooh-pooh” with doubt and trepidation.
Caution: This post may create fear in you. Use it in a conversation with a trusted friend or use it as fuel for your own private inquisition, but please accept it as your invitation to greatness.