How to be Fearless when Terrified

If the ‘what ifs’ are holding you back, it’s time to confront them.

Some people get a buzz from stuff that scares the bejezzus out of them. Rollercoaster rides, leaping out of planes, bungee-jumping, motor-racing, skiing down vertical drops, climbing sheer heights. You name it, if it can kill you, there are those who will pitch themselves up close and personal with it.

I’m not one of those people, and if you’re reading this article you’re probably not either. I don’t like the feeling of fear and yet I am full of it. You name it and I’ve probably got a fear of it.

As humans we’re hard-wired for fear. In ancient times it kept us from being eaten. Nowadays the world has become so chaotic and stressful we often find it impossible to switch off our safety valve and so we experience a rumbling of low level fear or anxiety much of the time. Sometimes something will cause it to spike and suddenly we are aware of our vulnerable mental state. We are damned by the ‘what ifs’. What if I fail, what if I succeed, what if they hate me, what if I die. We freeze in the headlights of a challenge, or run away from it because it’s too big and scary for us to cope with.

In fact you need to find your inner cave woman, take the object of your fear, club it over the head, slice it into bite-size pieces and munch through it morsel by morsel. The more you confront your fears - ie feel it and do it anyway - the less it holds its power over you. Accept that fear is there but turn its powerful energy into a force that works for you not against you. 

Which is all very easy to say isn’t it? But what if, in a hawk-like way, it has buried it talons deep into your psyche and you really are having a tough time shaking it off? Are you really going to give up in the face of fear? If we humans had done that in the early days, we would still be pond-weed. No, we are made of sterner stuff. We have evolved in spite of and often because of our fears. They have made us what we are…

Read the rest of this article in the fabulous new Audrey e-zine

Lou Hamilton