Fear has prevented me from living true to myself and from taking prudent risks. But fear is a broad catchall for other negative emotions. Fear is based on future outcomes that, in most cases, do not occur. We tend to separate emotions of anger, hate, jealousy, betrayal, resentment, sadness, hurt, and discontent from fear. Yet, all are tentacles of the same root cause: fear.
This pattern has pulled me away from honest self-expression, meaningful exchanges of love and compassion while also limiting my leadership ability and catalyzing a life governed more by the incessant false ego than the universal gift of love in all its magnificent possibilities. The outcome is living well below my full capacity as a friend, partner, professional, father, husband, lover, and contributing member of my community.
I recall my shyness as a young boy, feeling insecure that I would be left behind. It was not until well into my adulthood that I understood that this fear was attached to my being given up for adoption. The fear manifested in my creating a life of falsehood. Creating a safe haven where the real Michael was hidden became a primary objective, for to open that door would show me as unlovable and someone to be cast aside. After failed marriages, less than desirable professional outcomes and lethal addiction, I realized the fallacy of my life’s journey. The change came as a result of slowly tearing away the fearful foundation upon which I had constructed my reality.
In the continuum of life, on one side exists fear. On the other side are love, compassion and understanding. Fear and love do not exist in the same room, yet fear can be a powerful ignition switch leading to love if one becomes conscious to his/her psychic themes. As with all of life, it involves making a choice.
Waking up to the power of fear can be liberating if one chooses to see fear for what it is and what it is not. Either way, the choice involves recognizing the difference between light and dark, fear and love, authentic and false.
Five myths about fear:
No, the false you is unlovable because what you show others is dishonest. Stepping into your REAL self is empowering and life-filling. You are never better than when you are yourself. Be courageous and step into your amazing unique self. The REAL YOU is worthy of love, both giving and receiving.
No, fear shields you from realizing true safety and security. When you step out of fear and into love and compassion, you become strong. What you put out comes back to you tenfold. Be authentic and courageous by dropping the false guard and being whole.
No, showing that you are fearful demonstrates vulnerability, which amounts to showing others that you are in fact HUMAN. When we open ourselves up to vulnerability, we indelibly connect with others from a visceral humanness. Leaders who are unafraid to say, “I don’t know,” or “I am sorry for my actions,” or “what do you think is the right solution?” are those who show great strength.
No, if anyone is fearful of you, they will not be honest about their thoughts, ideas or aspirations. Fear erodes leadership, for it eliminates an open forum, curtails enthusiasm and diminishes the overall health of relationships. When honest feelings and thoughts are shared, you have stepped into conscious leadership.
No, in no other human enterprise is fear more destructive than in our intimate relationships. Fear prevents us from asking for what we desire. It dilutes intimacy and relegates us to live unfulfilled lives. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for us is to let love, not fear, guide us to authentic union with another. Be bold!