Facing Your Fears
It can be easy, especially in a world as chaotic as this one, to seek out and create safe places that provide a sense of stability and control. This isn’t particularly surprising. After all, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs puts one’s safety needs, such as a physically and emotionally safe place, close to the bottom of the pyramid, just above things like food, water, and air. It’s almost impossible to navigate the world in a healthy way if you don’t have a stable base to return to.
However, staying there all the time and constantly choosing the known over the unknown can sometimes lead to negative effects. Just as people need a safe space to return to, they also need to navigate and explore new horizons every once in a while. This can include taking on social, emotional, and even physical challenges. It’s important to maintain balance and push back against the desire to stay in your comfort zone.
Saturday, September 17
“’Run towards the roar,’ the old people used to tell the young ones. When faced with great danger and when people panic and seek a false sense of safety, run towards the roaring and go where you fear to go. For only in facing your fears can you find some safety and a way through. When the world rattles and the end seems near, go towards the roar.”
– Michael Meade
Today, and for this whole week, challenge yourself to run into the roar. When confronted with fear, take the harder path. Push yourself and see what comes of it. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself.
Sunday, September 18
“We help others with their challenges, we are faced with our own. Keep helping anyway.”
– Richie Norton
Don’t let a sense of fear or an overwhelming situation stop you from being kind. If you’ve been using your own stress levels as an excuse to disengage from the world and from the people around you, challenge your own perspective and try to step up to help others.
Monday, September 19
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
– Helen Keller
It can feel good to stay in your personal safe zone. Doing so can offer a sense of control, but the truth of the matter is that there will always be a lot of things in life that are simply uncontrollable. Things can still go wrong even if you’ve planned every detail. After all, as the rapper Andre 3000 said, “You can pack a pretty picture, but you can’t predict the weather.” Sometimes the best thing that you can do is take a chance and see what happens.
Tuesday, September 20
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance…Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
– John Lennon
Love makes people brave, and that fact doesn’t just apply to romantic love. You can choose to greet the day with a sense of passion and wonder for whatever it has to offer. Take some time today and find something to love, then let that embolden you.
Wednesday, September 21
“Make a promise to yourself that you will choose growth over safe and dreams over fear.”
– Brittany Burgunder
Even if you don’t do it every time, promise yourself that you will push beyond what you’re doing now. Vow to try, to challenge yourself. Do one thing that scares you every day — even if it’s small — just to get a taste of it and see how it goes.
Thursday, September 22
“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
– Dale Carnegie
If you find that you’ve broken out of your comfort zone and don’t like what you’ve found, use this as a learning experience. Try to remember that things are constantly in flux. They’re always changing and evolving. You have the power to approach things differently, to change the way you interface with the world around you in order to get a different result.
Friday, September 23
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
– Nelson Mandela
The goal is not to conquer your fears and crush them into the ground. Rather, the goal should be to get to know your fears — to shine a light on them and see them for what they really are so that they don’t seem so terrifying. This is about integrating your fears and giving them a bit of space so that you can hopefully move forward.
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