You will ALWAYS be afraid
"Someday I won't be afraid anymore"
Most of us are hoping for the day when we won’t be afraid any more. Most of us imagine that there are some people who have attained fearlessness. Living without fear has even become a Holy Grail,
immortalized by Nike’s “No Fear” slogan.
Everyone is frightened sometime of something
Having had the privilege of working (as a life coach) with thousands of people on a very intimate level (since 1987), I can tell you unequivocally that everyone is frightened. And almost everyone resists their fear, arguing against it, pushing it down, denying it, camouflaging it, contracting against it, hiding it from others,
if not from themselves.
Trying to look fearless
The number one thing we don’t want others to know about us is how frightened we are (and even for us to not know this about ourselves), especially of how frightened we are of how we will appear to others.
Note: our #1 dufear (resisted fear) is the fundamental fear of not looking good or not looking good enough to others (not meeting others' expectations as we know or imagine them to be).
As a result, many of us become pretty good at appearing fearless, at least to others, and even to ourselves.
Fear can diminish or disappear in some areas step by step
Certainly, as you consistently choose courage for a given type of action in your life, that fear will, step by step, disappear for that type of action.
Fearless in one area, but terrified in another
In the Chinese movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which is fiction anyway, I found it interesting that the main male and female characters appeared to be fearless in the domain of physical danger (perhaps foolishly so), but timidly resisted their fear when it came to expressing their love for each other.
To be freer and more powerful (1, 2, 3)
To the extent that you accept and embrace the three following ideas, the freer and more powerful you will be in the face of life and fear.
First, there will always be a new level of fear that will confront you or you may choose to confront. Life is a buffet of never-ending opportunities for courage.
Second, there is no “should” involved in choosing courage in the face of fear. In fact, if you "should" it, that is another resisted fear. Choosing courage is simply a choice with different results, different benefits and possibilities, costs and risks.
More consistently choosing courage takes you along one life path, a path you will love. More consistently choosing to feel safe in the moment by not choosing courage takes you along another life path, a path of suffering.
There is no right or wrong about choosing courage. There is no right or wrong about choosing to feel safer in the moment even given the costs you might be incurring for your future. Choose consciously or by default: each path has its costs and benefits, risks and possibilities, short-term and long-term, for you and for others.
And third, the good news is that fundamentally fear is only energy, energy that you can use once you breathe into it and embrace it (see Undoing fear). As you begin to treat fear as your friend, it will be your friend.
The only reason you have experienced fear (or more often, resisted fear) as your foe, is that you have been treating it as your foe (by resisting it).
Will you let go of your resistance to the fear that fear will always be with you (or just around the corner)?
Will you honor yourself when you choose courage and will you have compassion for yourself when you choose to feel safer and more comfortable in the moment instead of choosing courage?
Will you start playing with your resisted fear, breathing into it and experimenting with treating it as your friend instead of your foe?
"It all changed when I realized I’m not the only one on the planet who’s scared. Everyone else is, too. I started asking people, 'Are you scared, too?' 'You bet your sweet life I am.' 'Aha, so that’s the way it is for you, too.' We were all in the same boat. That’s probably what is so effective at our workshops. When I ask, 'Who else feels like this?' the whole room of hands goes up. People realize they are not the only one who feels that way."
"The only thing we have to fear is the lack of fear itself."
–Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers