“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” You might have heard this expression – or similar – that encourages you to get past your inhibitions. Easier said than done! Fears can seem real, especially if we’ve have any kind of dysfunction or trauma in our past, and “getting over it” is not an automatic response. At Restart Retreats, we encourage you to start with your fear. As Stephen Pressfield writes:
Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.”
Your soul or inner knowing may tell you that it’s time to make some changes in your life – changes you know will benefit you. Maybe it’s a change in health, like quitting smoking; or a change in behavior, like not raising your voice to your child; or a subtler change, like shifting negative self-talk into a gentler approach – whatever it is, you want to embody it. As soon as you start on the course to tweak something towards your new vision, you encounter a rebellion. You may simply freeze – feeling overwhelmed, you stop all activity, procrastinate with distractions. Or you might find yourself aggressively doing more of what you don’t want to do. What is stopping us?
This is fear at work. A primal part of you is telling you “I’m scared, everything will change. I won’t know Me anymore. I’m not Me without this thing. Who will I be? What will others think?” While they seem like a giant warning sign, these thoughts are like a giant, bright highlighter showing exactly what will help you. Most of the time, these kinds of disparaging thoughts and self-blocking behaviors arise from a wounded place within us – a place that usually needs more attention and love, and not less. Our automatic reaction is to protect or downplay this call from within, allowing the fear to dominate.
However, wondrous and magical healing sprouts from the moment you decide to listen to the smaller voice within. The Big Bad Fear thoughts will still be there – but you can see them for what they are: a charade. Smoke and mirrors effects emanating from a troubled place that feels too overwhelming to enter. The good news is, you do not have to make changes all alone.
Joining others who have listened to their soul’s vision will make all the difference. Healing in a group – scary as it might seem at first – has incredible potential for rehabilitating your broken inner parts. Once you’ve seen Fear for what it is – a fantastic signpost – you are ready to share your story and get real with others. Fears will not disappear when you start practicing this concept, but your ability to work with yourself and whatever comes up improves. Who knows, one day you might find yourself saying to a dear friend or child, “Hey, feel the fear and do it anyway!”