How do you feel when confronted with fear? What happens to you?
Does it make you want to run away? Do you get paralyzed and cannot do anything about it? Or do you get aggressive? Do you want to fight, to push it away, to resist it? Or do you see it as a challenge and use its energy to learn to overcome it?
Each of us deals with fear differently. Identify your way of doing it. Which of the above resonates with you? Think back, how did you react in your life in situations of fear? Are you actually aware, acknowledging that it was fear that made you act that way?
"Are you allowing yourself to admit that you have moments of fear?"
We all do.
Some of us were conditioned to never show fear; fear being something to repell; fear being something weak; man not being allowed to have fear or show fear. There is many different conditionings around fear. Which one is yours?
I have had many different ways of dealing with fear. Depending on what provoked it. For example a big spider or snake would cause me to retreat and seek help in carrying it out of the house (I do not kill animals or insects).
The fear of speaking in public would challenge me to do it anyway. The fear of being an outsider or being left out used to make me act as people pleaser (read more about it here). The fear of not being good enough used to make me judge others and make them small (a way of aggression, of fighting and resisting it).
One of the many things which confirmed for me that facing your fear is actually the best thing you can do was the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” by Susan Jeffers (buy here with affiliate link). I mean, in general, facing, accepting and acknowledging things is always the best way to deal with something; hiding, ignoring or negating something has never helped anyone in the long run.
I still do prefer to not face the snake though. For that one I still run or freeze and look for help ;-)
In the Transformational Training around Love & Sexuality I did with Gaia I took a leap, which took me to a whole new level of facing my fears.
In one of the exercises we had to get completely naked in a circle of people, talk about our body, the loved and the shamed parts, what we appreciated about it and what we hated, the whole story around our body. While at the same time turning around and facing each person in the circle and looking them in the eyes. The others in the circle had to look at our body the whole time, at every part, especially the shamed ones.
Do you cringe inwardly when you imagine yourself having to do this?
I certainly did! It brought out a hell lot of fears and some more:
Fear of judgement
Fear of not being good (pretty) enough
Fear of not being liked anymore
Identification with the body
Shame about not having a “perfect” body
BUT… I knew I was here to grow, to learn, to evolve, to face my shadows, my demons, my fears and to overcome them.
What did I do?
I chose the two men in the group that I found most attractive and asked them to be in my group/circle.
I feared them the most. In the past I always had wanted people to find me attractive and of course, mostly men. And of course, mostly men that I found attractive or had an interest in.
I knew that if I faced them, I would be able to face anyone afterwards. I knew that while I was at it, facing my fears, going all in would be even more powerful.
Which inspired Gaia to call me a “powerful pixie” ;-) Pixies are mythical creatures like fairies. They are benign, mischievous and childlike and leave fairy dust behind them.
Back to the main topic.
There I was in a circle with two very attractive men that I really cherished as friends. Remember my fear of being judged and not liked anymore when people see me naked & raw?
I was freaking out!
Internally. You couldn’t see it on the surface. So I told them. And they all were super supportive.
Finally I mustered the courage to get rid of my clothes. I took them all off. Fast. If I would have done it slowly I am not sure I could have gone through with it.
So here I was. Completely naked in a circle of clothed people. I started to talk about my body. About the parts I loved, about the parts I did not love, about neglecting it in the past, about my teenage years when I had an eating disorder, about my wounds, about my scars, about my self-worth related to my body. I told its story.
With every word I shed a layer. With every word I got more confident. With every word I let go of fear and shame and body identification. With every word I felt more at ease.
When the exercise ended I could have stayed naked for the rest of the day. I did not care anymore. At all. I was good. I was happy. I was fearless. I was a powerful pixie.
Facing my fears in this moment brought me a magical gift.
The gift of identifiying less with the body, of not attaching my self-worth or self-esteem to my body, of letting go any judgements around my body, of loving my body the way it is.
It is a gift I will cherish forever and be forever grateful for.
Facing your fears can bring magic, power and confidence into your life that you could never have dreamed of.
Be brave beautiful souls, face your fears, feel them and then: do it anyway.