How To Deal With Fear: The Roots

I've discovered a brilliant book. Rather, it's been on HOLD for me at the library for months and finally became available yesterday.  I quickly got through the first few chapters last night and am HOOKED:  Susan Jeffers' Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

I love it so much I'm going to do an awesome little series of posts about all of the goodness I'm learning.  Let's go.

When it comes down to it , the main reason we don't just head out and tackle new things is because of fear.  

  • Fear of certain things happening - natural disasters, being alone, change illness;
  • fear of situations requiring our action - making decisions, ending a relationship asserting oneself, making a mistake;  
  • and more emotion-based fears involving our ego - rejection, failure, helplessness, being vulnerable.

But here's the thing - none of those circumstances or feelings are the most deeply rooted problem.  The real problem, the ULTIMATE, big-daddy belief which drives our fear is this:

I can't handle it.

Seriously.  Aside from that Fight Or Flight, evolutionary, protect-my-life based fear, what is the rest of it  but lack of confidence and certainty in our ability to HANDLE change, upheaval, and perceived strife and struggle?

Jeffers asks, 

If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possible have to fear?  

The answer: NOTHING!

So simple. SO TRUE.  If you can develop more trust in YOUR ABILITY TO HANDLE WHATEVER COMES YOUR WAY, you can diminish fear.

This is wonderful news.  

As with everything, when you start to believe that you can feel better regardless of the circumstances in your life and without the struggle in trying to manipulate everything external to you, a lightness sets in.  A power.  A new sense of control.

The beauty of following a path involving travel or relocation is that it forces you to handle lots of different things.  For every new, challenging, insane circumstance you find yourself in and  MAKE IT THROUGH, you  build up your Handled It account.

Plus you get to see a lot of amazing stuff along the way.

Next time I'll share how I strengthened my own Handled It account.  For now, I want you to start thinking about the things YOU'VE made it through.  Do you agree that the deepest roots of your fears are your uncertainties in your ability to Handle It?  And if not, what else could be behind it all?  What's at the root of YOUR fears?