This is something I've been talking about a lot recently. Whether it's the fear of falling off a bike, starting school, being rejected if you ask someone to play, delivering a presentation, or starting a new business venture - fear can be crippling. It can feel as if it is taking over, rendering us helpless. And yet we know, in our rational mind, that if we can overcome that fear, there is something wonderful awaiting us on the other side.
Fear is important. It keeps us safe. We look when we cross the road; we don't accept lifts from strangers; we shield our PIN when we use a cash machine; we make our kids wear their bike helmets; we take out insurance. But when fear grows too big, too fast, it can be dangerous.
Fear causes us to react physically; we get headaches, sweat, shake and can feel rooted to the spot, or feel the need to run. Our "fight, flight, freeze" reaction kicks in. But knowing WHY we react that way can be truly empowering, and help us on the first steps to conquering our fears. Understanding that we CAN regain control, through using our breath, self-talk, visualisations, can be the most powerful feeling in the world. And that's one of the things we do in our classes; show people that they CAN be in control and can work through their fear. And it's beautiful to see them blossom, shrugging off their fear and embracing their courage.
I have just watched "The Good Dinosaur" with my two children and my daughter was able to relate how Arlo was feeling to how she sometimes feels, but that getting through that fear can leave you feeling amazing, powerful and in control (if you've not seen this film, I can definitely recommend it!) The fear of falling of a bike, could mean you never have the feeling of whizzing down a hill! The fear of failure may mean you never get that awesome feeling of success.
"There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask, "What if I fall?" Oh, but my darling, What if you fly?" - Erin Hanson