Ever wonder how much fear rules our lives? I do.
This isn’t meant to be a depressing blog, but I have been thinking a lot lately about what holds us back. My clients talk about fear with me all the time. They don’t always call it fear. But that’s what it is, and it’s running wild!
We’ve become more selfish. There are more roadblocks to being in and with community. There are new rules – or old rules no longer hidden. Reality seems to have shifted. I don’t have control. Never really did. That’s scary.
Margaret Wheatley challenges us in her recent book, Who Do We Choose to Be. She challenges our search for hope. She believes the opposite of hope isn’t despair. It’s fear. I tend to agree with her.
“Hope is not an innocent motivator. It’s bipolar: fear is its other nature. Every time we get lifted up by a hoped-for outcome, we get dragged down when we don’t succeed. Hope than fear. The endless cycle.”
When we face our fears – face them deeply – we can wiggle our way to clarity. It is in our discomfort…our perceived inadequacies…our dark places…where we find the magic – that beautiful, fearless place. It takes great heart to tackle our fears. I rarely find myself going there willingly. It means I now have to move beyond what I know. Even if that known is no longer serving me well.
When fear rears it’s ugly head, it’s generally because our ego is taking us for a ride. Fear doesn’t care about our heart, which has only our best interests in mind. So every time we try to please someone else, hold back hard questions, or turn a blind eye to injustice all for the sake of not rocking the boat, we give into fear. We lose a piece of ourselves.
Instead, what if we…
- Feel the fear. Sit with it. Embrace it.
- Name the fear. Understand it. Know it.
- Face the fear. Claim our integrity. Lead with insight.
My mantra this year? Live fearlessly and don’t ask for permission.