Inside: It’s never too late – whatever your experience or season of life, you can build a new pattern and learn how to overcome fear in life.
Fear is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a common human emotion designed to keep us safe. Our nervous system constantly scans our internal and external environment looking for cues of safety or unsafety.
A healthy nervous system is a flexible one but not hypervigilant. It’s designed to mobilize us into action when we feel under threat, a boundary has been violated, or when we need to do something that’s out of our comfort zone. It’s also designed to shift us into a calmer state so we can sleep, rest, and in some cases hide out until threat has passed. But fairly quickly our nervous system is meant to return to ‘home base’, or to what’s called our safe and social state.
Sometimes, though, we live in chronic fight, flight, or freeze or shut down due to trauma, prolonged stress or illness, grief, or mental health struggles. We may need professional support to find our way back to a more regulated state. Many of my clients benefit from a combo of medical support, therapy, and education/coaching as they develop healthier ways of being in relationship with themself and the world.
And all of us can build skill in areas that move us into a healthier relationship with fear, and so that we feel more empowered in our lives. For many of us (probably most of us), these skills were not modeled to us, so we have to choose to learn and practice them.
This might include, for example, learning how to build and maintain healthy boundaries, giving ourselves permission to name what we want and need, developing a practice of self-compassion, building emotional intelligence, practicing healthy ways of navigating stress, building resilience, or befriending our inner critic.
Fear is nothing to be ashamed of and also, we don’t have to surrender to a life of chronic fear. Fear was a huge player for much of my life and I know how debilitating and exhausting this can be.
So if you struggle with fear, you’re definitely not alone (be kind to yourself!) but also remember that there’s hope. It’s never too late – whatever your experience or season of life, you can build a new pattern and learn how to overcome fear in life.
Overcoming fear is not about never feeling fear (again, fear is a healthy human emotion), we simply don’t want it in the driver’s seat of our life.