21st September 2022

Fear is nothing to be scared of


Friend: So, you want something to change but you don’t want to change anything?
Me: *silence*

She was absolutely right.
And, even though this is something I work with all the time for others, it took someone else to say it out loud before I was able to see it for myself.

Annoying! And so useful. [The realisation, not my friend. She is consistently brilliant.]

Because then I was able to be honest with myself about what was really going on.

That I was scared.
I knew and understood where I was, even though it was uncomfortable.
I didn’t know what the future might hold.
And my fear of an uncertain future was greater than the discomfort of standing still.

Out loud, you might be saying
“I feel a bit stuck”
“I’ve lost my sense of direction/purpose/clarity”
Or “Why can’t I just be grateful for what I have?”

Maybe this is another way of saying you’re afraid?

Fear is not a comfortable feeling and it’s one you might actively choose to avoid.
But fear isn’t a “bad” thing. Nor is it a “negative” emotion.
In fact, fear is usually telling you something really important.

Acknowledging our fear of uncertainty and digging into it further gives us information about what’s really going on; what’s important to us and what’s at stake (our values).

As a recent post from Jo Hompstead beautifully described how, in times of discomfort and stuckness, people often want to be provided with “a tried and tested map. There is no map. It’s about navigating together and creating their own path.”

You aren’t a problem that needs an answer.
Neither are you lazy or ungrateful or a failure.
There isn’t a map with a single, tried and tested path which, if only you could find it, will certainly lead you to success.

You are an intelligent, experienced, complex human being.
And fear is a natural response to uncertainty.
Acknowledging that fear and understanding what it tells you is the first step out of stuckness and towards a future which feels a little less scary.