Fear Itself (And There’s Really Nothing to Fear)

We are taught from a very young age that fear is the enemy. The idea of “fear vs love” and the growing presence of New Age spirituality in our world has ultimately vilified the concept of fear, enabling us to fear this concept in return. It is seen as a weakness, a road block, and the ultimate demise of a vibrant, fulfilling life. But can fear be useful? I’d like to argue that it can be.

I will admit, I love to play the part of Devil’s Advocate from time to time, but please hear me out. I am not being argumentative by attesting to the usefulness of this daunting, yet highly misunderstood emotion. I would merely like to promote the idea that fear is not only useful, but also an insight into the true nature of your strength and character.
Allow me to explain.

When I was working as an actor in Halifax, I did quite a bit of work in front of the camera. Film sets can be incredibly nerve racking on the best of days. There is a lot going on around you while you are trying to focus on your lines, and there can be a lot of pressure to “nail it” from the get go. Before the director yelled out, “ACTION!” I would ride the wave of fear, and ebb and flow of paralyzing anxiety that would begin with the need to remember to breathe and climax with a minor case of the shakes. There’s nothing like those few moments before a take and the idea that your upcoming performance can either make or break you as an actor.

In time, I learned to love and embrace that fear. Why? Because it told me two very valuable things; 1) I loved what I was doing, and 2) I really cared about my work. I not only loved being in front of the camera, but I also loved being a part of a wonderful team that was working their utmost to create the best project humanly imaginable. I was dedicated to being my best, and my fear before each take inspired me to give a performance that would ultimately be part of a project that we could all be proud of.

I really like the phrase, “Do something that scares you.” It reminds me that I have the power to make my life what I desire it to be, to overcome any obstacle, and to become a better, more tenacious person. As cheesy as it sounds, it even reminds me that I have the power to make my dreams come true. Transforming the crippling aspect of fear into your true potential is one of the most incredible gifts that we can give to ourselves, and there can be nothing negative in that.This transformation can be brought into any aspect of your life, whether it be performing on stage, asking someone you really care about out on a first date, or yes, even in your yoga practice!

Creating action from fear allows you to observe the challenges in your life and meet them with the unstoppable vigor that we all possess. We are all secret warriors, and whether you are practicing yoga or coping with a loss, the presence of fear will always be there to help drive you into greatness, if only you believe that it can!

Be afraid. Be very afraid, and then marvel at the incredible journey that your fear takes you on. I promise that you will never be disappointed in its miracles.

Businessman on the rope

Contributing author:Lauren Messervey.
Lauren is the social media coordinator for Yoga Tree. An avid Yogi with a love for Tree Pose, she is originally from Atlantic Canada and joined the bustling city of Toronto in June of last year. You may find her in the Midtown region, practicing Yoga or blogging for Yoga Tree. She is currently completing her first novel, set to be released Spring 2014.