Fear: Real or Scaredy Pants?

Real Fear versus Scaredy Pants Fear

One of my friends approached me to discuss a dream she had the previous night. In the dream, she said she was lost in a maze and experiencing fear.

“It was weird. The fear was all up here”, pointing to her head.

At some point in the dream, she remembered saying, “I want to find a way out!” All of the sudden a tunnel appeared and she was drawn up to this beautifully delightful cavern.

I’m not a dream expert, but aspects of this were too obvious.

Real fear is when you have a close call while driving or when you do a “trust fall”.
The adrenaline spikes, you tremble.

Scaredy pants fear is the kind where it’s all tied up in your head.
It’s the anticipatory kind of fear. You are fearing something may happen in the future.

The anticipatory fear can have a couple of functions. It can alert us to possible danger. Like the Robot in the 1960’s Lost in Space TV series said, “Danger, Will Robinson!” We can become vigilant, prepare or consider changing course.

The crummy aspect of anticipatory fear is that it stops us from doing the things we know we should be doing. That’s scaredy pants kind of fear. For example, scaredy pants fear will stop us from actions that will take our lives to the next level. It will stop us from doing things that might empower us. It will stop us from taking actions that call back the energy we give away. Actions like being more assertive in relationships – with spouse, boss, workmate. Or in the case of my friend, making that sales pitch or posting that blog or sending that email.

My friend was afraid of taking the first step in her dream of developing her massage practice. She had gone to massage school, got licensed and provided numerous sessions with friends. She was good. She was passionate but she hadn’t taken it further. She felt stuck with no options. She felt dissatisfied.

We explored a few of the aspects of her dream – the feeling of being stuck, scaredy pants fear and the feeling of liberation that came with making a decision.

I suggested her dream was offering a simple intervention to help her get around her scaredy pants fear. I invited her to remind herself that just like her dream, life responds when we make an intentional affirmative statement. “I want this!” When fear arises, as it always will – I encouraged her to focus on that expansive feeling she experienced in the dream. The feeling she experienced after emerging in the beautiful cavern.

She liked the idea and agreed to try it.

I really believe life is constantly offering us solutions, wisdom and inspiration. It is constantly offering to empower us. We need only recognize and embrace it’s gift.

I really love to help people recognize how life is calling them to their greatness!