Do you find fear useful? Have you ever thought about it?
Let’s talk about three types of fears.
Fear #1 definitely has its purpose. In caveman days it warned us of approaching danger so we could save ourselves, and even now helps us avoid speeding cars and other dangers. This is a survival type of fear.
But Fear #2 may seem to hold us back from our good. Fear of getting hurt in a relationship can leave us alone, without significant other or children. Fear of losing a home due to poor finances can leave us living in an apartment we don’t want with bad landlords. And fear of asking for a raise or a promotion can leave us stuck in a job we hate feeling unappreciated. That is the kind of fear that is not useful!
And then Fear #3 is a type of fear you may not have thought of. We have this as a type of hidden danger warning. We may be empathic or sensitive to energies and can tell when a toxic person or situation comes into view. The ‘fear” we may feel, may not really be fear at all, but simply a type of anxiety or unease we’re feeling to “stay back” and “don’t get involved”. This is the type of fear or uncomfortable feeling that’s useful and we need to honor it instead of stuffing it.
Fear #1 is fairly obvious. So how do you tell the difference between Fear #2 and #3 – the not useful and the useful type of fear? For me the useful type of fear just feels differently now that I’m aware of them. I have a feeling of aversion to that person or situation just feels wrong, sometimes to the extent where I walk toward someone and find myself veering off in another direction without realizing it.
The not so useful fear that holds me back is more a scary feeling and my brain seems to be involved a lot with trying to talk me out of things and saying I’m not good enough, smart enough or whatever enough to have, do or be what I want. This is usually when asking for that raise or stepping out on that limb with someone in a relationship.
The #1 thing to do is to really get connected to your fears. Be aware of when they come up and how they’re holding you back. What does the fear feel like? Where is it in your body? Is it full out fear, an anxiety, an aversion…what? Each person is different.
Honor your fears, see if they are useful and then be aware of the outcome. By doing that, you’ll know which type of “fear” you’re having and if it is the useful type or something you can release, ignore or push through. Having this awareness and acting accordingly can bring you a much better and more fulfilling life.