Fear is a very real emotion that can render us powerless. Much of our power is to be found in the choices we make and the actions we take, with every choice either leading us down the same familiar path or propelling us toward a new future. Without warning, fear can take over. There is so much
turmoil in our hearts and in our heads that it is easy to lose sight of what’s truly important to us. We are influenced by the myriad events in our lives—both the joyous and grace-filled events and those that blindside us and leave us hurt, angry, sad, or grief ridden.

Every day we make choices and are confronted with different possibilities that shape our future. We  often treat these choices as if they mean nothing, as if there will be no consequences, or if there are, we  will deal with them later—tomorrow, next week, or whenever. But these day-to-day choices either  whittle away at our self-esteem and confidence or add to our character, making us feel stronger and  more alive. Our ability to cut through fear and to act with courage is determined by whether our choices  are made from thoughtfulness and planning or while we are on automatic pilot (a non-thinking or non feeling state that drives us to repeat old patterns).

If you grew up without a strong sense of self, you second-guessed yourself constantly. Confused by the  internal, doubt-filled chatter, you most likely shrank in the face of adversity, hid when you needed to be  seen, and kept your mouth shut when your voice needed to be heard. Fear will have you choose what  you believe will keep you safe even when the opposite is true. It will have you believe that you can’t do  it, you are wrong, the cost is too high, the path ahead too difficult. Fear will tell you, “Don’t even think  about it. Stay where you are. It’s just not the right time to deal with this.” But these are the kinds of lies  that keep fear in power and you at a standstill. 

These are the lies that breed mediocrity and guarantee you an unfulfilled life. These are the lies that you  must confront if you are going to bypass a predictable future and leap into an unpredictable yet  infinitely beautiful future. With great persuasiveness, fear disguises itself with the Voice of Uncertainty,  filling you with worry, doubt, and even dread. With its continuous ranting, it undermines you with a loop  of self-criticism. Its dubious power comes from convincing you to turn away from your highest truth and  succumb to the pain of the past. Every time fear wins, you lose.  

Every time you choose fear, you lose sight of your highest aspirations. You fall prey to being controlled  by your history rather than rising to the future that you desire and deserve. Fear screams out, “Don’t let  go! Don’t give up your grudges, your anger, your grief, or your excuses!” Fear taunts you, telling you that  you will surely fail. It happily reminds you of all the times you tried and didn’t make it to where you  wanted to go.  

Fear is the monotonous monologue that was instilled in you from a very young age, always spouting its  warnings: “Be careful. This can’t last. You don’t deserve it. No one can have it all. Who do you think you  are?” Instead of standing up for yourself and shouting back, “I am a powerful, confident, and worthy  person,” you succumb to fear, bow your head in shame, and continue on the path you are on, even if  you don’t like it—and even if it’s taking you down. The more depressing news is that if you don’t take up  the battle with fear and win, the voice gets louder and louder with each passing year. It gains strength  like a tropical storm. Before you know it, fear has the force and power of a hurricane sweeping through  your life, destroying all you’ve worked for and all you’ve dreamed about.

When faced with our fears (which happens several times a day for most of us), we have learned to  avoid, deny, or muscle through them. To access our courage, we must uncover, accept, and embrace our  fears. And the only way to embrace our fears is to recognize them for what they are. That is, we need to  accept them as misperceptions that have been birthed out of experiences from the past or as part of the  challenge of growing. 

Fear is built into our human operating system. It is a useful emotion that can, however, go seriously  awry. You might have noticed that trying to ignore your fears doesn’t usually work. Try as you may, in  times of stress or heartache they will appear again unless they are embraced. You can eat over your  fears, drink, shop, stay busy, do more, complain, gossip, and on and on—all in the pursuit of numbing  out and ignoring the barrier that stands between you and your courage.  

After accepting that you have your particular brand of fears and acknowledging the cost of letting them  direct your life, you begin to get some breathing room in which you can observe them more clearly and  with greater understanding. You begin to embrace your fears rather than being ruled by them. You  might have heard the adage “What you resist persists.” Understanding this statement is the key to  embracing your fears. Resisting, judging, and hating your fears only allows them to have a tighter grip.  When you ignore, judge, or hide them, you are actually handing over your power to them.  

The way to reclaim this power is not to vanquish your fears but to open your heart to the wounded part  of yourself—your little Scaredy Cat. I love and nurture this Scaredy Cat part of myself. I don’t try to make  it go away or be anything other than what it is—a part of me that carries my fear. When I fail to  acknowledge and have compassion for my fearful self, I wind up in a downward spiral of negativity.  When I acknowledge my fear and stay open to the gifts that it holds, I have access to the confidence and  courage that I need to be authentically who I am. Although suppressed fear is the culprit behind terrible  suffering, when fear is embraced it acts as the fuel that propels you into a world of courage and  confidence.  

Befriended fear is a worthy ally urging you to move forward in the areas of your life where you are  unfulfilled or emotionally challenged. Let’s look to our sacred wounds, the ones that are clothed in fear.  There we will find the key to clearing our minds and reviving our warrior hearts. And we will find  ourselves further along the road to meeting the confidence and courage that will transform our lives. 

Sam’s Inspiration Class January 19th, 2021