That inner voice of fear taunts us and holds us back from the future we deserve. We fall prey to being controlled by our past history and fear screams out, "Don't let go? Don't give up your grudges, your anger, your grief, or your excuses!"
We realize its familiar and easier to stay stuck than find the courage to move forward.
For fear has this endless monologue that spouts its warnings, "Be careful, This can't last. you don't deserve it. No one can have it all. Who do you think you are?"
And instead of standing up for yourself and shouting back, "I am a powerful, confident, and worthy person," you succumb to fear bow your head to shame, and continue on the restricted path you are on, even if you don't like it--and even if it's taking you down.
The most depressing part of this is that if you don't take up battle with fear and win, the voice gets louder and louder with each passing year. It gain strength like a tropical storm. Before you know it, fear has the force and power of a hurricane sweeping through your life, destroying all you've worked for and all you've dreamed about.
Maybe your voice of fear talks to you personally:
You're too fat. You're too old. You're too short. You're stupid.
Or your voice of fear shouts out:
It's all your fault. You make wrong choices. You time has come and gone.
Maybe your voice of fear is doubt:
But what if there isn't anyone else for me? What if I can't get another job? What if I make a mistake?
Is your voice of fear denial:
One day....some day. I have done enough. If this is all I have, it's ok.
Maybe your voice of fear is defensive or blaming:
It's all their fault. It shouldn't have happened to me. The world did it to me.
Maybe your voice of fear comes in confusion:
I don't know what to do. I'm stuck. I am overwhelmed. I don't know what I want.
When faced with our fears, (which happens several times a day for most of us), we have learned to avoid, deny or muscle though them. To access our courage, we must uncover, accept and embrace our fears. And the only way to embrace our fears is to recognize then for what they are, to accept them as misperceptions that have been birthed our of experiences from the past or as part of the challange of growing. Fear is built into our human operating system. It is a useful emotion that can, however, go awry.
You may have heard the adage, "What you resist, persists." Understanding this statement is the key to embracing your fears.
The way to reclaim your power is not to vanquish to your fears, but to open your heart to wounded part of yourself. To love and nurture this part, acknowledge and have compassion for your wounded self. When I acknowledge my fear and lay open to the gifts that it holds, I have access to the confidence and courage that I need to be authentically who I am.
With confidence and courage, we can transform our lives against fear.
Debbie Ford, Courage