Facing Micro-Fear

I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Photo: Matthew Henry

Photo: Matthew Henry

I have been thinking a lot about fear this week, not really the big ones, but more like the micro fears that tend to show up throughout the day to day. In a lot of ways, it is these little fears that hold us back the most and keep us from making the progress we seek. When it comes to the big stuff I have made some pretty radical leaps in my day that seemed more one off (like quitting a job), riding a roller coaster (ugh), and going to the top of the St. Louis Arch (despite a deep dislike of heights). These fears took a burst of adrenaline, sometimes the holding onto a loved one I felt stable with, to overcome. In these moments of facing the heights, the speed, or the change of a new work routine there was a period of bravado where my body and mind worked in sync with a flood of emotions to help ride the wave. And of course afterward I was always proud that I had the experience.

But what about the little fears. hesitations, and conditionings we experience in our daily habits where the adrenaline isn’t there to support the overcoming? We are often times not even aware that we are next in line for the roller coaster (the fear) and choose to not go on (overcoming that fear).

One of my micro fears is speaking and sharing honestly about myself. Not that I lie to people, but I often just don’t say anything. I am an expert listener, I have managed whole coffee dates where I successfully shone the spot light on the person across from me and ‘got away’ with not sharing anything on my own end. I believe it is a bit of vulnerability, and a fear of not being in control of my own story. I don’t know for sure when this developed and it is possible that I was born with this tendency preprogrammed for this lifetime. But I have to wonder how many treasures, gifts, and words I have missed out on for having not shared my own experience, story, or wisdom. I know this micro-fear shows up regularly and often times I miss the opportunity to be courageous.

So perhaps this has your wheels turning, wondering what micro fears you allow to dictate your actions. They can be found in our daily habits and behaviors and, as with most fears, have a deeper root and many branches. I would challenge you to review some of your behaviors that don’t seem to quite jive with who you are. You know the ones.

And as always and right on time, Spirit likes to give me these inklings to contemplate, and then the opportunity will swiftly arrive to put that contemplation into action.

My micro fear of opening up often keeps me from asking for help when I need it. This week I asked for it.

Because I received the help I needed I was given clarity on what to do about a situation, which was to wait. And so I waited.

As I waited I had the opportunity to meet with a friend and in that conversation I had the chance to share a personal dilemma I was having. So I opened up and I shared.

Because I shared, that friend had the perfect solution that saved me a lot of needless effort and I am so glad that I waited.

Because I opened up I have a new opportunity on my horizon that is nothing short of a miracle. I am accumulating successful experience that will assist me in dissolving this daily micro fear.

This also has bolstered my belief in myself again when it comes to moving through my own mud. Sometimes we ‘cannot see the forest through the trees’ and when I am in one of those periods I quickly lose belief and confidence in myself. I can feel something clicking into place this time though, I feel the guidance and support all around me as I work to show up differently. There is a higher perspective being birthed through me and this is what happens we look those micro fears in the face.

Accept them- its natural to be fearful.

But then name them. Don’t let those fears keep you where you aren’t meant to be.

I accept that sharing and opening up makes me feel vulnerable and out of control. I breathe into it, feeling the contracting of my heart space and I breathe and breathe, repeating that I accept this fear. And then the heart space starts to soften again, despite the fear. I continue breathing, and accepting. The contractions of the heart sometimes come back, but I keep going until it relaxes again, and stays relaxed. I breathe into the intention that despite the fear, I will remain open. Soft. I will still be alive on the other side of that fear. It is not my annihilation.

Try it, name the fear, breathe into it, and create the intention of being larger than the fear. Because that is your true nature.

I will be continuing working through the fear of opening up, of taking risks, of being more spontaneous and a few others that I have been able to identify and name so far. Always a work in progress, but it feels good to know that with every feat I dissolve I also dissolve from the collective. This is our good work, friends!

What fears are you dissolving?