Courage to Be Scared

By JP Sears, Holistic Coach

I get scared everyday. My daily fears can be construed into stories such as, “What if I’m not good enough, what if people leave me, what if I never live up to expectations, what if people see through my façade, what if people knew that I don’t really know who I am, what if I run out of money, what if fail at something…?” I’ve come to believe that being scared is the scariest thing we can ever do! As my acknowledged fears reverberate within, I curiously notice that since I’ve learned to be scared, my life is expanding, more authentic satisfaction flows in, and I feel much more connected to myself. How can this be? Isn’t being scared supposed to be a bad thing, a paralyzer of growth, the enemy?

Perhaps fear is as human as breathing is.  If so, at the risk of being too simplified, maybe the fork in the road of this moment offers us a path we can walk down where we have the courage to be scared and therefore feel the fear yet also realize the rewards encountered from the territory that our feet walk across if we’re willing to journey into scary places.

The other path that the fork offers may be one where we are too scared to be scared, we’re afraid of our fear. This path keeps us numb to our fear, dishing out the convenient illusion that we’re not scared. While walking with a belief that we’re not scared due to the fact that we’re too scared to feel scared may seem blissful via the conduit of ignorance, what are the implications if we look down to find out our that our feet simply can’t move on this path? Is this the route that leads us to feeling stuck and suffocated? If so, how can we mature from being afraid of our fear to having the courage to be afraid?

Please consider this paradox… Are those who feel their fear the one’s who actually live with less fear? Are those who are afraid to be afraid snowed in with two layers of fear? If so, then does their illusion of never being scared ensure they carry more fear than the “scared” people?

The Curse of No Fear

If we live in the magical place of having no fear, what expense have we paid to get there? Disconnection from our feelings, disconnection from our inner parts that emanate the feelings, and being ungrounded are just the first course. The expenses may just become the song that never ends if we are sensitive enough to see them.

We can go on to realize that most, if not all, of our interactions with our self, other people, careers, and activities are manufactured from the agenda of needing to never be conscious of fear.  The expense continues to tally as we live in a frozen block, unconsciously avoiding anything that will knock us out of the comfort zone of our “no fear” trance. Our trance is maintained by the shock of how scared we are of our fear. The moment courage snaps it’s fingers and we feel a thread of our fear, and the accompanying helplessness that we have about it, we’ve broke free of the binding trance. In turn, the debt we’ve accumulated from all the expense begins to progressively resolve.

The Gifts of Fear

If we know how to support ourselves through the intimidating experience of being scared, then have we granted ourselves permission to live proactively rather than reactively? Though it can certainly feel hurtful, overwhelming, and many other shadow sensations when we’re afraid, we also get to enjoy the gifts that fear delivers. We can get into a relationship because we’re not afraid to be afraid of being abandoned, we might leave an old relationship, go cliff diving, or graduate from the person that other people expect us to be.

We may find that the ultimate gift that being willing to bow into our fear gives us is a deeper intimacy with our self. From an instinctual perspective, fear triggers us into a reaction of survival and self-preservation. Yet, what if the same emotion of fear, when approached from a conscious intuitive perspective, gives us a large dose of self-realization? It may just be that embracing fear is a means to the end of embracing the part of self that has the fear. The hand of serendipity shows us that the words “scared” and “sacred” have the exact same ingredients.

Finding the Courage to be Scared

Feel free to help yourself germinate into a place of courage about your fears beginning with these simple tips:

1.    When attempting to speak about a fear avoid saying, “I’m scared.” Instead use language that says, “Part of me is scared.” It can be very helpful for allowing the conflict about fear to take a rest.

2.    How would you help support a child if they felt terrified? Try providing these same supportive strategies and states of mind to yourself.

3.    Consider what you learned through your experiences of your parents about fear. Did they deal with it or deny it? Did you feel you had permission to be scared when you were a child? Consider handing values back to your parents if they don’t support a courageous embracing of fear.

About the Author

JP Sears is a Holistic Health Coach in San Diego, CA.  His one-on-one client practice specializes in holistic emotional healing and resolving self-sabotage issues.  JP regularly facilitates classes and workshops nationally and internationally on a variety of inner healing topics while being widely acclaimed for his heartfelt and dynamic style.  For more information on upcoming classes, tele-classes, or becoming a client, please visit