What if you could spend a whole day without being afraid? Try it and notice how you change. Notice what becomes possible.
Many of us have this underlying assumption–consciously or unconsciously–that fear is necessary. That fear protects us. That fear is what keeps us from behaving recklessly. That fear keeps us motivated to do things like show up at work. That fear is how we keep our children safe. That fear maintains order and stability. That a world without fear would, in fact, be terrifying.
But what if you spent a day practicing no fear? Rather than falling apart, I think that you would find your world of no fear is actually full of freedom, possibility, and deeper, richer experiences.
Because you know what? I promise you–you’re not going to suddenly find yourself running out in front of cars or neglecting your children or not showing up to work. You won’t suddenly forget to be a responsible adult. And you’ll realize that it was never fear that kept you on track, but rather your positive emotions.
If you’ve ever tried meditation, you know how hard it can be to focus your attention on one simple thing like your breath. Your mind jumps all over the place, constantly and restlessly. Paradoxically, it takes considerable effort to do nothing. It takes a whole lot of trying to not try! But with mindful meditation, the point is not to get it perfect, but to practice noticing each time the mind wanders and then to return, no matter how many times it takes and with no self-judgment or frustration. You don’t even need to make the attempt to control because in the practicing noticing, you begin to pull automatic behaviors into the realm of awareness, into consciousness, where change becomes possible, even with the subtlest of efforts.
If you spend a day practicing no fear, you begin to notice the countless times in a day when fear (which is not only a useless emotion, but an exclusively limiting one) takes over your life. It obliterates freedom. It takes away your choices, your creativity, and your ability to perform at your best. It darkens your day like an overcast sky. For many people, it never really goes away. It rules us–negatively and tyrannically–in everything we do. We don’t need fear to guide our lives because it doesn’t know positivity. Why would we trust it as our guide?
Giving up fear allows you to be guided by your positive emotions and the desire for joyful experiences, which are incredibly powerful at motivating us beyond what we may think possible.
A day without fear may look like the following: not feeling a sinking sense when the phone rings, not being stuck in spirals of overthinking, not finding yourself depressed watching the news, not dreading going into work.
You’ll find yourself not only freed from these negative experiences, but freed up to pursue positive options that previously seemed off the table: you’ll be free to apply to that dream job you’ve avoided, free to reach out to a friend you’ve neglected for too long, free to ask that “stupid question” that will actually let you emerge as a leader in that meeting, free to follow positive instincts for no good reason that will lead to wonderful places.
The effects of no fear can be positively magical. And if you practice it, it will get easier and easier. Even by simply noticing the role that fear has played in your life thus far, you will begin to question its relevance and its value. You don’t need it. And the more fearless days you have, the more positive transformations you’ll see in your life.
And don’t worry, you won’t find yourself suddenly acting recklessly or putting yourself in danger. It was never your fear that kept you out of trouble. It was your reason, your intuition, your senses. You won’t suddenly lose those as fear loosens its grip on you. Good–there’s one less thing to be afraid of.
Don’t be afraid to let go of being afraid.