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Become a Student of What You Fear

Become a Student of What You Fear

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While fear is a necessary emotion (e.g., it helps alert us to potential danger) previous experiences of pain (or even just hearing of someone else’s pain) can result in our “fear gauge” needing to be calibrated. Ideally, our fear warns us of true danger, and the rest of the time is quiet. So what can we do if our fear is warning us too often? If we just give in to the fear (i.e., avoid anything that triggers us) our life will become increasingly small and scary. Instead we must become a “student” of what we fear—we must gradually engage with what we are afraid of, in manageable (but still challenging) bites, so that we can re-train the scared part(s) of us to experience that we actually will be okay in the present context. And if we are persistent in this we are rewarded with a richer (though still not painless) life. In this video I reflect on how these principles have played out with my fear of horses (stemming in part from being bucked off a horse as a young child), and how I have purposefully moved toward my fears (and the object of my fears) for the sake of healing my past and expanding my present and future.

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