The Fearless Life - The Two Forces Of FearApr 01, 2021
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I use the word fearless in my coaching and it sometimes confuses new clients.
‘I thought being fearless was impossible?’ They ask.
This is certainly true when it comes to the physical response to fear but taking action in the presence of fear is to pursue a fearless life.
It shouldn’t be underestimated how this can transform lives into one of immense meaning.
Fear is fascinating. It’s a power of two forces, one pulling you backwards and one forcing you forwards.
The pull backwards is the conditioned response. It is the known and the familiar, built by the restricted walls of the ego. The way things must be according to ones conditioning.
The move backwards is to place your back on the wall of familiarity, the embrace of your own ego that appears to have your back.
Yet over time, most will recognise it was in fact, the most dangerous place to be.
Most of us will experience a point in life where we feel we have our back against the wall. For many, this is a lifestyle choice, not a temporary struggle.
Having our back against the wall keeps us caged and a victim of the root of fear, which is our thoughts, stories and beliefs we tell ourselves in order to back down when things get too scary.
Do this enough and that cage gets smaller and smaller, yet most people will fight to maintain their cage even when they can hardly move within it.
If it’s that safe and secure, why the anger, the frustration, the resentment towards themselves and others?
Because despite the rational arguments and the defensive descriptions of why people act the way they do, it’s because they know they are frightened.
Better to lie about fear and indulge a seemingly endless array of excuses than to simply say ‘I’m frightened.’
Recent events have seen many people demand that everyone behaves a certain way. Yet this is mostly to make them feel more secure and safe.
This fear didn’t arise from the situation, it’s always been there, untapped, unprocessed and controlling the entire life of the individual.
This is the problem with fear. Without marinating in its power and really understand its message, it will always feel like an enemy rather than the incredible asset it can be.
Without gaining some comfort with being afraid, we will always retreat into conditioned psychological responses to fear.
When this happens we will not be even interested in the truth, just whatever makes us feel less afraid.
Fear can literally create ignorance and this is used against people by any authority that understands the manipulation of fear.
They all do.
And the majority of the population fall for it again and again.
If fear always pulls people backwards, it is highly unlikely they will be able to do the right thing when needed.
Often, right action needs the absence or dismissal of conditioned thought so one can act uninhibited by past restrictions.
Ultimately a fearless life is not the absence of fear but the ability to act in spite of fear and not use it to reinforce old patterns of conditioned responses.
Paradoxically, we avoid fear in order to achieve a sense of peace, clarity and security, yet the opposite is true, because the avoidance of what we are really scared of means we will embrace everything we know to be false.
There is no morality, courage or meaning from a life that avoids fear.
The avoidance of fear is something we should be very aware of.
Fear can make people do terrible things but it can also make people change the world for the better.
Facing fear is to see ourselves in all our vulnerable, fragile reality. It is here that truth is found and our own potential.
The realisation that our own self importance and accompanying fears are just not that important, is not just freeing but also the ultimate empowerment.
This is because fear keeps us focused on things that do not matter and obscure the elements of life that really do.
We can literally move out of our own way and access a better and more purposeful life.
Ultimately fear becomes the friend of truth and moving into fear hastens its pull forward, beckoning us on to a life worth living.
When the mind becomes clear in this manner and knows what needs to be done, fear diminishes, only returning as and when it’s needed.
This is the fearless life and it is here we clearly understand the words of the legendary boxing trainer, Cus D’ Amato when he said:
‘Fear is the friend of exceptional people.’
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