THE BLOG
11/15/2014 05:54 pm ET Updated Jan 15, 2015

The FEAR Factor

As a life coach, I focus on the zillions of ways fear keeps people stuck. I am not talking about fear of the dark, fear of nuclear war or fear of falling. These are indeed a few of the life-preserving fears that we do well to heed. Here is another one: When I was 3 or 4 years old I was afraid of what was under my bed when the lights went out at bedtime. I consider that fear absolutely rational and reasonable. There is nothing you can say to change my mind.

I am, however, talking about the emotional fears of not being perfect, loved, or strong enough. I am talking about the fear that clouds our visions, and deflates our enthusiasm thereby keeping us immobilized. The fear of public speaking could easily be on this list.

We cannot move towards our authentic expression of life, self-love and self-acceptance when we are tethered to fear.

These are the very things that will empower our happiness, our relationships, our health and yes, our personal, professional and financial peace. Busting the fear that binds us is a big deal and one that I am devoted to. I believe that when we get clear about what we fear we can move forward what we love. Remember, I am not talking about perfection as in flawlessness. I am talking about authenticity as in being human.

I am talking about the gentleness of self-acceptance and unraveling the mystery of self-love, which I believe will nudge the inertia of self-importance. When that is done we are free to open our hearts to sacred action for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and all of the beauty of God's creation. Yes, I know. That is a lot to say. It is my life's work.

The following letter could have been written by any of the many men and women I have worked with all over the world during my 10 years as a life coach and before that, my 35 years as a nurse and family nurse practitioner.

Dear Fear,

Hi, it's me. You and I have been playing emotional tug-of-war for way too long. Every time I get stronger and gain some ground and some confidence, you get tricky and pull me off my feet. This is a no-win situation, and I am getting tired of playing. Truthfully, I am getting bored with this game.

As you well know, I have tried to quit playing with you yet you have a knack of showing up at the most inconvenient times. I can never relax. I look over my shoulder all day long. You even show up in my dreams at night! You even show up on good hair days! Fear, I censor my day time dreams, goals and desires because of you. I hold myself back from joy because of you.

I make things up, and worse yet, believe that they are true because of you. I believe things like I am too old, not worthy, not smart enough, unlovable and a loser. When you are around I can't figure out how to trust myself or anyone else for that matter. I try too hard, eat too much, and tense up until I get a headache or don't sleep well. I even wanted to start smoking cigarettes again because I was so tense. I resisted but it was too close for comfort. You can be a very bad influence on my self-confidence.

And forget forgiveness. When you are around there is no way I can forgive others or myself because I don't want to be hurt again. Can you blame me? When you are around I cannot be satisfied with what I have accomplished because it may not be enough. I cannot be content or appreciate all that I do because it may not be good enough. You have a way to make me feel so alone when I want to feel connected to the people, places and things I care about.

Give me one good reason you insist on always pulling me back towards my so-called comfort zone. Be honest. What is your intention in doing that? I am all about intention but you, fear, confuse me.

Well, fear, I want out. I want to be free from you. I want to be free to live from love not fear, free to make mistakes, to get it almost perfect... not perfect. Listen to this; I also want to risk getting it right!

Wait just one minute here. You say you just want me to be safe? I don't get it. When you pull me over the center line onto your side I may be tucked away in my comfort zone but deep down I do not feel safe. Hard to believe, I know.

I have an idea. When I count to three let's put the tug-of-war rope down, sit down and listen to each other. I'll tell you my truth and you tell me yours. Maybe we can come up with a better way to play together that will be win-win-win: I win. You win and love wins. Maybe we could even be friends, you and I. Okay? Okay, but just so you know, I'm kind of scared right now.

Ready? 1-2-3 put the rope down. Sit comfortably. You go first. I am deeply listening.

Love,
Me

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