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Making Peace with Fear

I am terrified of rejection.

So much so that if I don’t take steps to mitigate it, I have a full-body physiological response every time I put my work out to the world. Whether that be a blog post, Instagram photo, blip on Facebook, podcast episode, idea to a friend, or worst of all: anything to do with music. If unchecked, I’ll run through a gamut of reactions not limited to: sweating through my clothes (grossss right?), losing feeling in my hands (super helpful), or tanking my blood sugar (hello tunnel vision). All of these reactions are hard on me mentally and physically – and are largely unnecessary.

After having a few bad episodes during the last few weeks, I decided to brush up on my coping mechanisms for fear and share my favorite ones with you today.

Here are 2 beautiful practices that can help you (and me!) navigate fear:

Big Magic

The first of which comes to me from Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. (If you haven’t heard of this book and you are struggling to create – I highly encourage you to flip through the pages.)

In her book, Gilbert talks about the idea of asking fear to come along for the ride every time she creates. She points out that fear is always present when embarking on a creative journey – and she sets rigorous guidelines for it to follow as she takes off. By affirming that fear will be present – and in its place – she argues you can aim to control this uncontrollable demon in your endeavors.

That’s exactly what I’m asking fear to do right now as I make this post.

In my own words, “I know you’re there – and I respect your warnings. I will hear you out on items that are valid. Just know that I will pay no heed to the silly concerns as I continue on my way.”

The magic of this proposition is that you can take this concept and make it your own. Knowing that it will be there and addressing it will provide a huge sense of relief. And that relieved state of mind is where the joy of creating happens.

The Universe Has Your Back

The second idea for handling fear is learning how to recognize it once you know it’s there. How does it manifest in your thoughts and decision making?

In her book, The Universe Has Your Back, Gabby Bernstein discusses the idea that an internal movie is playing in your head at all times. Knowing that, she asks you to consider how that movie is framed. What are stories you tell yourself? Are they based on fear? What do you tell yourself through the lens of love?

When you can reflect on the monologue in your mind and see it as being from either the lens of fear or love, you can begin to recognize it as it plays out in real-time in your life – and switch the fear lens to its more positive brother – love.

My fear based narratives center around the ideas that I am not worthy of love and I am inadequate to follow my dreams. They cloud my vision and have me fearing the dumbest things. Like writing this blog post. Because it will be rejected by everyone that reads it, and everyone will hate me because of it. Or worse! Everyone will ignore me and tell me to go away! Blah! – Can you imagine living your entire life with this guidance?!

My love based narratives paint a world of peace around me. I have a sense of direction and purpose and I ultimately feel guided and loved. Through this lens I was able to sit down to write the blog post with the ultimate goal of spreading love.

As I work through my own wounds, I challenge you to dig through your own.

Perhaps you are feeling anxiety towards an outcome (fearing instagram likes and follows) instead of focusing on the joy of performing an action (creating content you love to share).

Go in peace to create

Go forth armed with the knowledge that fear will be there and it can be told how to act. Feel peace in the idea of acting from love instead of fear.

Allowing ourselves to create is the greatest joys we can give.

If either of these processes resonate with you I highly recommend reading these two books. They are just the tip of the iceberg in healing core wounds and beliefs that aren’t serving you.

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