Written by: Kathryn Cluff, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Confronting fear is not as scary as living with it. It brings a sense of relief and helps us to see our true strength, knowing we can face whatever life brings.
Aristotle said, “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” This sounds wonderful, but overcoming one of the most powerful human emotions can feel daunting. Fortunately, fear is also one of the most motivating emotions. This motivation is the fuel for courage.
Fear is borne in the mind and most fears are based on what we imagine could happen – future thinking based on past experience. While this is an essential survival response in our evolution, it can also stifle creativity and inhibit us from taking even a calculated risk. We humans have a tendency to remember and dwell on the negative. This is called the negativity bias. According to research, we all have it. The goal then is to overcome fear beginning with our thoughts. Fear is conquered bit by bit, through lived experience, we start small, and eventually build our confidence to clear the path that reveals our true power.
The process of overcoming a fear begins by acknowledging the duality of being afraid. On one hand, it can save us from danger and on the other, it can leave us vulnerable to danger. Physically, fear triggers the sympathetic nervous system for a quick response to danger which we hope results in our preservation.
After the stress response, we ideally return to a state of homeostasis. If balance is not achieved, we may find ourselves in a prolonged or potentially chronic state of stress which is harmful to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Living in a regular state of fear also leaves us anxious, vulnerable, and easily manipulated.
With that said, I want to share five inspiring truths about fear from the late Susan Jeffers.
1. With a focus on personal growth, we can face the next thing. Fear is a fact of life so waiting for fear to pass before taking action is a waste. Some fear of the unknown is always present.
2. The more you confront a particular fear, the more confidence you have toward it. Conquering fear requires action! With each success, our confidence grows. We learn to face, and even welcome challenges when they come.
3. The road to self-acceptance is paved with experience. Go out and do it. You will feel stronger each time.
4. You are not alone in this. Everyone is afraid of the unknown. People who succeed take action despite their fear and you can too.
5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness. No matter how safe we feel in the lives we have built for ourselves, we all live, consciously or unconsciously, with fear that the day of reckoning will eventually come.
Now the question is, what would you do if you were not afraid? Take time to sit with this inquiry and write down 3-5 things that have been out of your reach due to fear. Consider small steps you can take to begin the journey and write them down. You may need support, so make this part of your plan.
To create fertile mental ground on which to build and bolster courage, use this affirmation as part of a daily practice: I have the courage to see, accept and love myself as I am. I stand boldly in my power. You can amplify these words by reciting them in yoga’s Mountain pose or various Warrior postures.
Remember, you already have the power within to face and overcome life’s challenges, no matter how intimidating they may seem. It is your time to draw on your innate strength and stand boldly in your power!
Kathryn Cluff, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kathryn Cluff is a gifted holistic healer and empowering life-transformation guide for women. She is the solopreneur of Soul Roots, LLC, based in the sacred Black Hills, and serves clients virtually throughout the world.
At the age of 30, she became a widow and single mother of four children under the age of 8. Kathryn struggled for years with anxiety, and at one point considered suicide. It was nearly 20 years later when she reached that pivotal, rock-bottom point and made the decision to begin her journey of healing, self-love, and empowered living.
Kathryn’s signature Habits that Heal Hearts & Empower Women Program combines holistic arts and research-based practices, moving progressively through a process that equips women with powerful rituals proven to bring physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance. It is based on her own life-changing journey, personal practices, training in multiple styles of healing yoga and meditation, and as a Reiki practitioner. She is passionate about teaching as many women as possible how to heal themselves by calming the nervous system and reprogramming their inner dialogue from self-judgment to self-compassion and self-love.
Kathryn is committed to helping women live in harmony with the joys and the challenges of life—healing trauma, building confidence, establishing clarity, and creating the life and relationships desired. She offers a complimentary discovery session to stoke the fires of inspiration and opens the heart and mind to the incredible possibilities awaiting.