If you’ve ever hated your fear or wished it would disappear, if you’ve ever shamed it or rejected it…wait, and try this: “Thank you, Fear.”
Go ahead and try it now. How does it sound in your voice?
“Thank you, Fear, for your unconditional attention.”
How does it feel in your body?
“Thank you, Fear, for remembering where I’ve been.”
What does it do to your heart?
“Thank you, Fear, for holding my pain when even I couldn’t see it.”
Your fear wants so much for you. It wants for you to be happy, healthy, and most of all, secure. But it’s afraid. Not because it’s bad or wrong or because you’re incapable, but because it’s doing the job it was given long, long ago. And it’s done that job so well that you not only survived, but you grew! As you grew, you began to question and dream, and fear sometimes has a hard time keeping up.
Fear wants you to feel secure, but it doesn’t always know what that would look like. So, it sticks to what it knows, which is a place much smaller than your expansion.
“Thank you, Fear, for your dedication to keeping me safe as I expand.”
Fear is just another part of you to love. Even when you’re so frustrated with it and you wish it would leave you in peace, love is the answer. You can be just as brave as you are afraid when you lean on that love.
You can be brave enough to take down walls, even when fear tells you to lock the door.
“Thank you, Fear, for teaching me about boundaries.”
You can be brave enough to see goodness, even when fear tells you of nothing but threat.
“Thank you, Fear, for showing me what I hold sacred.”
You can be brave enough to believe in yourself, even when fear tells you what could go wrong.
“Thank you, Fear, for giving me the chance to strengthen my resolve.”
You can be brave enough to feel good about what you desire, even when fear tells you that it would be safer to worry.
“Thank you, Fear, for protecting my dreams.”
And you can be brave enough to say, “Thank you, Fear. I’ll take it from here.” Even when fear insists that you listen.
What would you like to learn to tell your fear?
When I started my work as a psychologist, I was an anxiety specialist. I could talk for days about thought distortions, avoidance, and panic. I liked working through thought records and creating perfect exposure plans. “This is how we’ll make the problem (fear) go away,” I’d announce to my clients.
That work is still a part of my understanding of fear now, but I’ve discovered something along the way that I never anticipated: Fear isn’t the problem here. It’s how we respond to it.
Over the years, I’ve begun to ask more questions about courage and compassion, and what I’ve found has blown me away. All of us are capable of being clear and brave, but we forget that. Somewhere between childhood and the “real world,” we train ourselves to avoid the vulnerability and uncertainty that are such a necessary part of transformation and being true to yourself. We don’t feel fulfilled, and we’re convinced we don’t know how to be. So, we compensate with things or praise or control, or we’ll spin our wheels trying to make the perfect plans. Even when we long to be reborn as our truest self, we resist the process of getting there.
I think I wanted the secrets to feeling clear and courageous for my clients just as much as I did for myself. The truth was, I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life. And if/when I did, I didn’t trust that it was safe to a) want it and b) support that desire.
I’ve grown a lot since then, and I have so much I want to tell you!
My wish is for all of us to listen to ourselves again, with respect and love. To dance with life as only we can. And to support our truest desires rather than sabotaging them.
This is one of my favorite topics to teach, and I’m ecstatic to announce that Clarity and A Class for Courage are open for enrollment! They’re two classes that fit perfectly together. I’ve filled them both with the lessons I’ve learned through my lived experience and the decade+ I’ve worked as a therapist. (You would not believe how many thousands of conversations I’ve had about feeling stuck and confused.)
Clarity is all about acknowledging what you really want without overthinking it and living *your* extraordinary life. In Clarity, you’ll explore your strengths, desires, and values, your intentions and natural confidence, and what it would mean to act in alignment with them.
A Class for Courage is all about healing your fears, transforming your patterns, and taking action in a new way. In ACFC, you’ll explore the guiding principles of courageous living and practices for changing the stories you’ve learned to live by and the patterns that keep you lost, stuck, and afraid.
Here’s a sneak peek into what’s inside Clarity:
- The one trick that will always point you in the right direction when you’re confused or overthinking a decision.
- The top reasons we get stuck and how to move through them with grace.
- The secret to practicing true self-care (and the common self-care mistake that’s hurting you).
- The everyday desire that complicates even simple decisions.
- If you want to feel more clear, forget about discipline. Focus on this instead.
- How to spot fear-based thoughts (and what to do when you do).
- How to make sense of the things you fear. Imagine understanding even your most confusing fears.
- Exercises for releasing your need for control, perfection, and certainty and changing the mindset that keeps you stuck in defense mode.
- How to create new, courageous beliefs about yourself.
- Strategies for making the changes you’ve been waiting for, even if you’ve been putting them off for the “perfect time.”
Both programs are self-paced and fully online. Both are available individually or as a bundle. And both are overflowing with love and encouragement.
Get back on a clear, courageous path in Clarity + A Class for Courage. Enrollment closes 11:59 pm EST November 8.
I’ll show you how to find the clarity and courage in you with specific exercises that you can start today.
Let today be a day of bravery,
P.S. We could spend our whole lives looking for worth or fulfillment in all the wrong places (and never finding them). Please don’t do that to yourself. I’ve got lots of lessons to share about building that fulfilling life from the inside out. They’re all in Clarity and A Class for Courage. Visit leslieralph.com/acfc to get started now.