Fear is defined as:
An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.
I think we all can choose a path based on fear.
Here is a list of all the things I have done based on fear and a corresponding statement looking at the same situation with love:
I am fearful of getting fat so I try lots of diets.I love feeling healthy so I choose to eat nutritious food and drink water.
I have got up in the morning to go for a ride because I am fearful that if I don’t the next time I ride I won’t be able to keep up.I love feeling fit and healthy and I love the company of my fellow riders so I will get up and ride when it will add to my fitness.
I get angry with my son for staying out beyond 1am because I am fearful that he will be King hit .I love my son and so I will try and protect him from harm and I will encourage him to come home before 1am.
I am a crazy tidy person because I am fearful that someone will judge me about my homemaking skills and critique my home which I am extremely proud of.I love my home and get so much enjoyment having a tidy calm home for my family to come home too.
I do not paint or draw because I am fearful that someone will critisise my work.I love using my creative side and so I will draw for pure enjoyment.
I do not voice my opinion because I am fearful that someone will find it a stupid opinion.I value my own opinion and I will voice my opinion in a way that will not hurt anyone but will allow my voice to be heard.
I am fearful of flying in a plane because I am worried about all the things that can go wrong. I love traveling and so I will fly in a plane because it means I am going to see somewhere amazing.
I am fearful of riding because I am frightened of having another accident.I love riding and I will choose to ride because I love it not because I am fearful of having another accident.
I am fearful of singing in public because I might look stupid and sing out of tune. I love singing so I will practice and get help from my music teacher so I will sing beautifully.
I did not go near the snake because I was fearful of being bitten. I love life so I will stay away from snakes that might bite me.
I ride in a peloton because I am fearful of being hit by a car. I love feeling safe and more visible on the road so I choose to ride in a peloton rather than being on my own on my bike.
I study hard because I am fearful of failing. I love learning so I will study hard.
I have a regular mammogram because I am fearful of getting breast cancer. I love myself so I will continue having regular health checks to stay healthy and pick up any issues as early as possible.
Some things I have heard other people say are:
I won’t take away my children’s social media because I fear that is an invasion of their privacy. I love my child and I am aware that children need to be protected from child predators so I will monitor what social media they are using and if they have got our of their depth I will help them understand the dangers of their behaviour.
I won’t put my son in charge because I feel he will bully his brothers and sisters. I love my son and I respect his judgement and how he has matured and I give him the responsibility of treating his brothers and sisters fairly.
I won’t stand up to my husband because I fear that he will hurt me if I do. I love myself and my children and I will access help so my children and I are safe.
There are definitely instances where fear is healthy. For example avoiding a snake or choosing not to swim in a river filed with alligators. Most fear is to do with what might happen or experiences of what have happened in the past. My belief is that fear should not be used as the gauge of your actions if it is not going to contribute to your life in a positive way. I think the key to choosing love and not fear is being able to change the balance. If the fear is overwhelming enlist help. This help might take an external or internal form. If it is internal it might mean changing your thoughts to change your behaviors. For example I am frightened of flying so I have to turn down the thoughts I have about my fears and turn up my excitement about the places I am going to visit. If it is an external form it may mean enlisting the help of others. For example if you are frightened about trying a new sport it may mean finding a group that supports you or a trainer that can help you develop the skills necessary to tackle the particular sport.
As Jim Carey says ” Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.”
It can be hard to tell whether we are operating from fear or love. I believe fear is driven by self doubt – the words in your head that say ” I can’t be enough”and fear cannot exist without comparing yourself to the past (memories) or the future (worries). Love says “I am already enough” so lets take the chance and live in the moment.
I encourage you to examine your thoughts regularly and consciously choose to live with love rather than fear.