How to Stand Up to Fear
Fear is a contraction; acceptance is an expansion. Each moment we choose one or the other. - John Selby, “Expand This Moment“
My whole family (as in the humans… the cats, guinea pig and hamster didn’t partake in the evening’s events) attended a special ghost tour in Owensboro last night. F-U-N! I won’t get into ghosts, monsters, or things that go bump in the night right now because…
- I’m not trying to scare the wits out of anyone.
- I’m not trying to scare the wits out of myself!
However, as ghost stories were told during the evening, I watched people’s faces. Some people in the group (especially men, oddly enough) pretended not to be listening. They’d watch the traffic drive by, look at their phones, or seemingly be engrossed in what the sidewalk was doing at the moment. “I don’t hear any of this, so it can’t be happening….”
Some were so enthralled by every word that I was certain if I’d screamed “BOO!,” about 8 women would have had heart attacks, some men would have climbed trees, and half of the rest would’ve thrown themselves on the ground, curled up in a fetal position, and cried for their mommies.
You’ll be glad to know I kept my “BOO!” under wraps.
Some people (including most of my family members… most, mind you) were like me – watching, listening, and enjoying the evening’s entertainment. We were thinking, “This could all be true… or it could all be not true. Either way, I ain’t scared of no ghost.“ I did, in fact, channel my inner Ghost Busters.
This morning, while baking brownies, I thought back to a few of the people’s expressions during some of the stories. They remind me of three very powerful and true words: Fear is Paralyzing.
As the day wore on, I thought more about fear. Given the fact that today is Halloween, I suppose this is appropriate enough. I have Halloween Punch to make, as well as a big Halloween meal, so (for once!) this post won’t be a long one. I just had a few thoughts I wanted to throw out there.
How Fear Weakens You
We all have things we’re afraid of. We each have our own fears. As for me, my biggest fears are snakes and tight places. I’m actually claustrophobic – in the worst possible way. I had an MRI once, years ago, that nearly caused my life’s warranty to expire.
If I were to be on a long hike through the woods, my fear of snakes would weaken me. I wouldn’t be the strongest hiker and I wouldn’t enjoy my hike nearly as I could because I’d be looking left… right… front… back…. up… down… under… Been there. Done that. Wore myself out.
I have pushed myself a few times with my fears to try to confront them. I once came across a snake in the yard. My impulse was to run to the house, flinging my arms wildly and screaming like a banshee, but I made myself stand in place, mouth closed and arms by my side. Mr. Slimy took off like a shot – more afraid of me than I was of him. If he’d had arms, I’m certain he’d have waved them.
It was a small victory, but it made me feel a little stronger. I also saw the movie “Snakes on a Plane” when it came out because I wanted to see if I could take it. Again, it made me feel a little stronger than my fear.
As John Selby wrote, Fear is a contraction; acceptance is an expansion. Each moment we choose one or the other. Each time we stand up to our fears, the stronger we grow. When we prove that we can look fear in the eye and not flinch (or run screaming), our fear weakens.
Whether your fear is public speaking, the dark, snakes (shudder), spiders, meeting new people, clowns, taking a chance on something (or someone), vampires, or something so ridiculous you’d never even admit it out loud – don’t allow fear to have the upper hand.
The longer fear reigns supreme, the stronger it grows and the bigger it gets. However, if you’re able to take control, the weaker fear becomes and the smaller it shrinks. Basically, fear can either weaken you or you can weaken fear. We are capable of a lot more than we ever give ourselves credit for. The problem is we never realize how much fight and endurance we have lying inside of us because its dormant so often.
Every now and then, intentionally step outside of your comfort zone and find out just what you’re made of. You may be surprised!
Have a very happy and very safe Halloween! I have A LOT of big plans for Self Help Daily in November, and then beyond that. I’ll tell you all about them in tomorrow morning. For now, there’s punch to be made….