Walking Through Fear

By: admin | January 1, 2021

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown

We are all aware that fear can be paralyzing. It can stop us in our tracks and hinder us from moving forward and from pursuing our dreams. Fear of failure, fear of not being “enough,” and fear of disappointing others are among the top.  

During my active addiction, fear was my ruler- an evil and corroding thread searing through the fabric of my life. I would try anything to avoid the fear I felt. What happened last night? Do they know I am lying? I am failing again. How can I fix this? Why does this keep happening to me? These were some of the self-magnifying fears that ran through my head daily, thoughts that were filling me with anxiety. I tried easing the pressure with alcohol and drugs. The more I hurt, the deeper I went into the bottle until it became the most essential thing in my life. Before long, drugs and alcohol failed to alleviate the pain; that was when I reached my point of surrender. My solution was no longer working. In recovery, I had to be retaught how to experience emotions healthily. For me, one of the most challenging in early recovery was learning to deal with fear or, as they say, learning how to walk through fear.  

The following are tools I’ve found helpful when faced with fear and empower you to walk through it. 

1. GET COMFORTABLE WITH FEAR…IT’S NOT GOING TO KILL YOU

Fear is not going to kill you, although I know it can feel that way. Allow yourself to move toward fear. Do some things that scare you. The experience will help strengthen your courage. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass.”

2. TALK IT OUT

Learning to share with someone what was going on in my head in and of itself was fear facing. I lived a life of isolation while surrounded by people. I never let anyone in. But I’ve found that fear, or any negative emotion, shared is a fear lessened. You can communicate with a therapist, a friend, or at a recovery meeting. Fears thrive in isolation!

3. PRAY AND/OR MEDITATE

This, too, goes back to connection. Prayer and meditation are ways to connect with a power greater than ourselves, whatever that may look like for you. For many, it is during these focused moments answers are received. Prayer and meditation are states of focused attention. This concentrated attention helps by quieting our overactive minds. Meditation helps us to live in the present and allows us to process irrational fears and everyday life.  

4. WHAT’S THE WORST CASE SCENARIO

The truth is, you cannot fail. Even if things do not work out the way we hope, we can always choose to view it as an opportunity to readjust and try again with a little more wisdom and experience. Today I can choose to learn from my experiences and the experience of others as well.

5. HELPING OTHERS

Above all, helping someone else helps me get out of me! Too often, I can get wrapped up in my own world and thoughts. Making an effort to be useful to someone else allows time for my focus to shift away from my fears and provides an opportunity for me to be of service to another.  

Walking through fear is tough, but today we do not have to do it alone. Each time we face a fear, the experience is gained, and our confidence grows. I think Franklin Roosevelt said it best, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” So my friends, don’t let fear be the thing that stops you from moving forward, creating and living the life you desire and deserve. 

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