A Blast from the Past to Help Me Face Fear

Funny what we forget.

I’ve been trawling through my old blog posts and articles recently as I’m in the process of rebranding and refocussing the work I do in Tea & Empathy. The blog’s been going nearly 3 years now, and with only a handful of exceptions (most due to family bereavement) I’ve managed to write a post every week, so that’s a lot of content – of variable quality admittedly!

It’s interesting to look back now and see my journey of the last 3 years so clearly charted, all the highs and lows. In some areas I’ve moved on in my thinking and ideas; in others what I wrote still absolutely holds true. Some posts I’d completely forgotten I’d written, so it almost feels like they were written by someone else!

One post resonated particularly, written back in March 2014 as I was facing my fear of skiing again after the bad leg break I’d had the previous year. I outlined some core beliefs I hold, that absolutely still stand for me. Being reminded of them is helping me to push through some internal resistance and procrastination:

  • A certain past does NOT mean a certain future. Just because I broke my leg once absolutely does not mean I will do it again. Yes, it happened, and feasibly it could happen again. It’s possible, but not probable; in truth the actual risk is much lower than my fear of the risk.
  • The sooner I face my fears, the easier it will be. The longer I leave a fear un-addressed the bigger and scarier it becomes. My fear is just a response to an IMAGINED future scenario. Facing the fear brings more certainty, other more positive possibilities and a balanced reality. This is where the Bear under the Stairs comes in – if you’ve read my previous post on the wisdom contained in children’s literature you’ll know I use Helen Coopers beautiful book as a great story about how many of our fears are born out of our own imagination and confronting them head on (with the help and support others if necessary) is the best way to overcome them.

  • We can’t always control what happens to us, but we CAN control how we respond to any given situation. This is probably THE most important thing I’ve come to learn, and no doubt will come back to this theme again, but for now suffice it to say that I believe we always have a choice in how we want to be – it may not always be easy, but we do have a choice! And I choose to not lose out on joy and living life in the moment through imagined fear of possible but not probable futures.
  • That said, we feel emotion for good reason. It’s just sometimes how it shows up may not be helpful! So I won’t deny or ignore my fear – it’s there to keep me safe. I’m not going to start taking stupid risks. However I can look for the balanced truth beneath the fear and make my choices accordingly.

I’d love to hear if there are times you’ve been able to push through your own fear and resistance. What helped you? What would you add to the list above?

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