I own a very yellowed well-worn copy of the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers and it’s been an on-going theme in my life for many years. In it she writes about the 3 different levels of fear.
Level 1 is fear of things that ‘happen or require action’, like fear of aging or fear of changing a career. Level 2 are fears like rejection, disapproval etc and are to do with inner states of mind rather than exterior situations. Level 3 is the bottom line fear underlying everything – a fear that we can’t handle whatever life may bring us. I certainly can relate to that as I think for many years my personal default setting was a state of fear simply because I believed I couldn’t handle things.
Susan writes “If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear? – this means you can handle all your fears without having to control anything in the outside world”. What a relief!
So in order to diminish our fear we need to develop more Trust in our ability to handle whatever comes our way.
It doesn’t pay to get caught up in where the self-doubt comes from, (even if we did know it doesn’t necessarily change the fear), taking action to trust yourself, trust your ability, allows you to move forward and to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. So that’s what I’m doing, I am trusting. Instead of focusing on what will happen if I ‘can’t’ handle things, I am focusing on how great I’ll feel when I do! It sets me up for ‘well if I can do this, what else can I do?’ Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves out of our comfort zone in order to connect with life on new levels.
What challenges do you give yourself to connect with life?