October 6, 2015

TrishBits #14: Stop Dodging Fear

Stop Dodging Fear -Trish Ring, Ph.D.

What are you afraid of? Consider how often fear makes your choices for you.

What are you afraid of? Take a few minutes and write down your worst fears. Some of mine: Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of being rejected, fearfulness for my children’s well-being. OK. Got yours? Now look closely: What’s it costing you to keep those fears?

Though I hid it well, I was a very anxious single mother. My fear ran deep, especially because of my work – as a therapist, I saw firsthand what can happen when childhood is rough, and I had a kid who had it rough. I was involved, concerned, pro-active, and, frankly, a wreck by the time he was in middle school. So, my fear cost me my sense of trust in the universe and faith that his journey was his own – not mine.

During the worst of my worrisome years as a parent, I made most of my decisions based on this formula: What if I don’t? What if I do? Which imagined outcome is more frightening?

So, I spent years dodging fear, instead of asking a very different question. Here’s the question that set me free: What is the most loving choice, for everyone involved? (That includes, of course, ‘for you.’)

The next time you need to make a decision, notice what thoughts run through your mind. Most of us dodge fear-based thoughts automatically, so slow your thoughts down and do yourself the favor of challenging them. How many of your obligations are fear-based? What would happen if you decided to move toward what you love instead of away from what you dread? Would you still be in the same job? Have the same friends? Follow the same rules?

When you stop dodging fear, and move toward what you love, you unleash an unbelievably powerful energy. Your work is like play. Your relationships are easy, fun, energizing. Your life changes, and so do the lives of those you love.

Take a look here for more about letting go of fear. And take a step, even a very, very small one, toward freedom. Decide because you’d just love to, not because you think you must. And, enjoy!

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