Fear and anxiety is normal, just don’t let it drive the car

What are you afraid of? I’m not talking about spiders, or snakes, or ketchup – although these are legitimate fears (seriously, I know someone who’s scared of ketchup). But what are you really afraid of? What are the fears you hold so close inside, you can hardly admit them to yourself? What gives you anxiety as you’re trying to fall asleep? I think it’s time we acknowledge it’s okay to be afraid. We all have fear and anxiety. I’m afraid basically everyday. What’s not okay is letting that fear and anxiety control your life.

Quote from Susan Jeffers, author of 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway': "The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow"

Quote from Susan Jeffers, author of ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ SOURCE

What am I scared of?

Take a minute, take a breath, close your eyes and ask yourself. What am I scared of, what’s making me anxious? For me right now I’m scared of this blog completely flunking. Of it not growing at all, not achieving my aims, not building that community I so want to create. Afraid that I don’t have what it takes to do it well, that I’ll never learn the technology and I won’t be strong enough to put in the time it needs. I’m anxious I’m not going to make a good yoga teacher, afraid I’m not studying enough. I have huge fear and anxiety about the changes I’m making in my life, so much so that I have to remind myself to actually work on changing things everyday.

Top that with a splash of general existential angst, a fear of dying and you’ve got a regular day for me.

Listen to your fear and anxiety, but don’t let it control you

The thing is, if we ignore our fear and anxiety, and push it away, eventually it’s all going to burst out of that locked box inside us. Better to make friends. Let them know you hear them, but they won’t be driving the car that is you today.

Remember that everyone has fear and anxiety. Even the most confident people, often always the most confident people. That’s something I’m learning as I go through life. The people who appear outwardly the most confident are often inwardly the most riddled with fears. They just know how to not let them be in control.

So what can we do?

Be Brave Bold Robot graffiti

Inspirational toilet graffiti in Sonora, California. 

Talking to someone about what I’m afraid of, or writing the fears down are great ways of acknowledging them. The added benefit of this is that when you hear or see your fears, they normally don’t seem so scary.

Return to the body and stretch out. We hold fear and anxiety in our bodies. If we’re feeling afraid or insecure we’re more likely to physically move in toward ourselves. So open it up, lengthen the spine and open your heart space. You’ll feel instantly stronger.

How do you cope with your fear and anxiety? Let me know any tips you’ve found to be particularly useful!

 

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

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