Friday, May 31

Choosing Fear or Choosing to Know?

Fearful, scary, afraid, frightening, terrifying... none of these words or their meanings make me feel good.

Happiness feels good, Fearful feels uncomfortable.
We like feeling good, we don’t like feeling uncomfortable.
We aim to be happy, we don’t seek to be afraid.
Happiness has the power to heal, Fear has the power to make sick. (Ask anyone with anxiety issues)

If ^ this is the case, and it seems to make sense, why do so many of us choose to feel fear?
We never let happiness stop us from doing something, and yet we let fear stop us all the time. Both are feelings. Both are feelings we can choose.
(I’m tempted to exclude people with anxiety issues, but I’m not going to hand out the ‘Get out of jail free’ card, and say I’m not talking to you as well… if you have anxiety issues keep reading, you might find some perspective that resonates somewhere inside you.)

Many of us don’t continually feel fear, we choose to run when it appears, and never deal with anything fearful.

Why would we want to deal with scary/fearful things? We might end up… … um… with… um…. … … What might we end up with if we deal with those scary things?

We might end up learning they aren’t scary?

No, I got it… we might end up feeling uncomfortable…. The thing we felt anyway by feeling afraid in the first place…. So, we might end up right where we started… but this time with the knowledge of: “See, it was a good thing I was afraid and uncomfortable, cause now I can continue to be afraid and uncomfortable… this time with PROOF I should have been feeling it all along!”

So, either…
1. You learn you don’t need to be afraid,
2. You learn you don’t feel any different… but you get to say “I was right”.

The thing is, you are far more likely to experience #1 than you are to experience #2.
Why is that?
Because of the nature of FEAR! Fear is wrong all the damn time! Fear tells you stupid shit, and it’s so convincing!! Fear and the Negative Committee in your head are such great friends, they gang up and stop you from believing anything outside of what they are telling you. They sound legit, they have a loud argument, and frankly, they are much easier to believe than they are to make quiet. So, often we just choose the easy option of believing them so they all high five one another and sit down smiling.

This means NOT being afraid has to be a conscious choice… ACTING on the choice, so you can experience the ‘thing’ not being scary.  The ‘acting on’ has to be a conscious step forward of ignoring the Negative Committee, and choosing to learn for yourself.
Why not learn for yourself what warrants fear and what doesn’t?
Seriously, why not?
I have to throw in:
I totally believe in Me, Myself, and I…. ‘Natalie’ is how I refer to myself all the time, with my friends all finding my use of third-person silly.
I don’t TRY to do it, I just feel like there are many aspects to me. Parts I know well, parts I don’t, smart parts, ignorant parts, funny parts, confused parts, mature parts, immature parts; to just say “Me” or “I” feels so partial.
I tell you this because “the negative committee” is a very real thing to me, a part of me I regularly have to slap in the face and say “shut-up!”

As I offer up this perspective am not saying I don’t feel fear. On the contrary, there is plenty of crap in my life appearing and looking fearful, what I am doing is learning #1 above. I keep choosing to educate myself on whether or not the fearful thing is worthy of fear, and I just keep learning it’s not.

I’m also working on NOT making assumptions, this goes hand in hand with fear because we assume things are fearful. Fear is not based in education, it’s based on assuming scariness, and believing what we assume.
Hence the saying: Don’t believe everything you think.

Life is all about choices, we choose our feelings. (I could write a whole post on that alone.) Why choose fear? Why decide “Oooooh, that’s scary….” and then swim in it?
I can’t think of a good reason........... not one!

Blah, Bleck, Ick, Yuk, Natalie doesn’t want to be feeling uncomfortable. She wants to feel happy.
Removing the uncomfortable feelings by facing fears, so they don’t exist, so I only feel happy… THAT is what I want to swim in.

It doesn’t matter what words you put with: Fearful, scary, afraid, frightening, terrifying.
“I’m frightened of rejection”, “I’m afraid to love again”, “I’m scared to grow up”, “I’m terrified I will fail” ________________and a million more.
If you catch yourself using these words, use that as the mark you need to educate yourself on that particular thing. Don’t assume you know what will happen, don’t choose to swim in discomfort, acknowledge you have a choice, slap or gag the Negative Committee, and learn for yourself what warrants fear and what doesn’t.

Because you know what happens then?
You get all those benefits of Happy.


  1. Fear often whispers to me, "It's not good enough". It plants just enough self doubt to be heard. It's something that I have taken on board all my life. If you try and overcome the 'not good enough' part then to other people you may look like you are 'cocky'. I don't want to appear to be too confident so I settle for the 'fear' side of things. Probably because with fear your hopes aren't raised. Being 'happy sometimes mean you are let down. Maybe we don't want to have to put ourselves through the 'feeling let down' stage and that is why we leave ourselves on the 'fear' and 'not good enough' plateau. The old saying is true, if you tell a child over and over they are bold they will believe it to be true. Rather than having one isolated incident it has become a lifetime of negative feelings. We need to stop the cycle and push through the fear.

  2. Ali, "Push Through" is right!!!
    I want to add to your great thoughts.
    We let fear convince us that overcoming "not good enough" means other people will think we are cocky... so, we believe fear yet again, rather than finding out cocky doesn't exist on the opposite side of not good enough.

    The not wanting to feel "let down" is assumed to be worse than always feeling fear and not good enough.
    I want to suggest we explore What ACTUALLY feels worse... because "let down" is a far shorter unpleasant emotion than "fear" and "not good enough", because both of those are feelings that have no shelf life. "Let Down" actually does have shelf life, and DOES go away.
    The Whispering we all listen to is that Negative Committee... It doesn't want us to be fully happy, fearless, confident... Why? I have no fricken idea!!!!
    But I have seen the negative committee for what it is, no hiding from me now...
    I'm gunna fight it with confidence and lack of fear as often as I am able!
    (Key word is ABLE)

  3. LOL, Nat! I love your gumption!!!! For me the feeling of being 'let down' by somebody will last longer than the feeling of fear I have withing myself if there was a choice of the two. If I am 'let down', it means that somebody I trust and love has not deemed me important in **their** life and therefore let me down. By that action I am hurt. The hurt would last a lot longer in my heart and mind that my fear of most things because fear is a reaction to how I handle something. If somebody lets me down, I am not in control of their feelings and it's not something that I can put to the top of my priority list, so I am at the mercy of somebody that I hope would treat me as I would treat them. I've found this out whilst parenting, sometimes you think that people 'parent' their kids with the same boundaries as you do. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Sometimes you love your friends with a fierce loyalty and have their back. Then in a split second you realise that it was not all that important to them. That feeling of being let down lasts a lifetime :-(

    1. I totally see your point Ali! Them letting you down changes how you see them in future... changes the future... therefore lasting a pretty long time!

      I was talking to a friend the other day about how she holds others to her standards... because she is so nice, she hopes they too are nice, and when they aren't it feels confusing. Because SHE finds it very easy. We had a good chat about trying to set down your expectations which can be based on the top quality person YOU are. As opposed to who they might be... top quality or not.

      I realize this slightly changes the subject, but I just thought I'd throw it in.
      Thanks for your awesome input Ali... SO VERY appreciated!!!