What fear can teach you

Fear is good teacher but all students can, at some point or another, be resistant to its teachings…

 

Last week, I posted about how to tell whether you’re thriving or surviving in your life (abroad or at home). I mentioned the mindset shift I learned from Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map, which got me asking:

How do I want to feel? instead of What do I want? or even worse What can I get?

And lastly, I shared with you my own answer to this question (aka. my core desire feelings), which are currently:

  • connected
  • fearless
  • truth
  • & simple.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, be sure to read this post first.

 

In response, one of my readers wrote to me with some deep, deep questions. Among them were these two gems:

What does fearlessness represent for you? Would feeling fear prevent you from feeling connection?

While fearlessness and connection are two concepts with close ties for me (and I believe I’m far from being the only person who relates the two), it is not feeling fear which prevents me from feeling connected, but rather giving into fear.

Allow me to explain…

Many people think that fearlessness is the absence of fear, but let’s spend a moment pondering that.

lamp ride

Here is what I know: whenever I feel a tug at my heart to do something that I know deep down will lead me to growth and feeling more whole and fulfilled, I feel fear.

Some days, the fear feels so debilitating that I can’t bring myself to do much but procrastinate. A few years ago, I’d numb this fear with my TV addiction, which I’ve kept in check more recently. Ever since leaving the security of a 9-5 not so many weeks ago, there’s a cloud of fear hanging over me. Yet it’s an old friend I’m learning to recognize and come to terms with.

Ever heard this quote?

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” – Jack Canfield

Now you have.

My point is, I don’t exactly want to get rid of this fear. I know why it’s there: it tells me when I’m headed in the right direction. If I didn’t feel any fear and be completely at ease in everything I did, I think I’d feel like my internal compass was broken.

[bctt tweet=”Fear is a marker that tells you which way the unknown, uncertainty & growth lie. @irinapravet http://bit.ly/28OBiQS”]

I know this is not going to sit so well with some people. I know many of us opt for comfort and security at any opportunity. Yet I’ve spent enough time running away from the fear to know, that I’ll only end up facing it again, so I might as well learn how to deal with it.

I recently chose the word fearless as one of my core desire feelings (CDFs), instead of courage or bravery, because the word fearless acknowledges that fear. Despite it, my goal is to move through it when I believe there’s something worthwhile on the other side. (For example, you won’t find me bungee jumping, but you’ll find me at Tedx.)

So how do I chase fearlessness? The first step is to give it a personal definition:

The feeling of being fearless is the moment you decide to do the thing that scares you, and start doing it. Much like the somersault you get in your stomach when you ride a rollercoaster on that first downward incline. If you think of fear as a curve that rises up and then falls, fearlessness if the moment right after the highest peak, when the curve begins to slope downwards.

Fearlessness is the feeling of excitement, terror and adrenaline that leads you to face your fears, make progress, and realize that you can master your mind.

Once you start doing the thing that scares you, you’ll notice that your excitement, your adrenaline rush and your terror can indeed coexist – even if you have the same amount of terror as when you started. But the feeling of fearlessness is that awareness you bring to it, that leads you to believe you can move through it anyway.

Once you can recognize it, you can identify opportunities to act in the presence of fear, and feel fearless!

 

I notice that fear stands in the way of many people going out and learning a language: fear of making mistakes, fear of being judged, fear of being mocked or ridiculed, fear of being misunderstood, fear of not being good enough.

I also notice that this fear, or rather, the interpretation of fear as something which tells us not to do something instead of telling us it’s the very thing we should be doing, is what keeps people stalling at their current level of language ability, feeling disconnected and isolated, feeling insecure and incompetent.

So tell me, how do you want to feel? Or more importantly, how do you not want to feel? What can you do right now or within the next 24 hours to help you feel more like how you want to feel? Leave a comment below!

xo,

irina signature

 

 

If you’d like to explore the question ‘How do I want to feel?’ further, don’t miss out on an intimate A Desire Map Weekend workshop happening Saturday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 3rd. Registration closes Thursday, June 23rd at midnight.

We’ll look at feelings in the holistic context of your life, and through the following lenses: Lifestyle & Livelihood, Creativity & Learning, Body & Wellness, Relationships & Society, Essence & Spirituality.

For more details, click here.

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  • Nice one Irina…

    I am reminded of famous words of Emerson…”do the things you fear, and the death of fear is certain”

    And by the way, asking yourself ‘how do I want to feel?’ seems a very powerful concept. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Irina Pravet

      Great quote Miliind, thank you for sharing and for your comment! =)

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