How can fear be a great teacher?
Growing up, I was a shy, quite girl with a rich inner world and a vivid imagination. I was afraid to speak up and believed I was not good enough. I was scared to raise my hand at school, not because I wouldn’t know the right answer to a question, but because I was afraid. Fear was running my life for many years. Living this way was keeping me stuck in the dark, making me feel unworthy and powerless. I hated feeling this way. I often kept wondering, why can’t I be like others? Confident, outspoken and able to put myself out to the world without worry and fear? Deep within I knew I had a lot to offer. I had a good personality, and so many amazing interests, that have shaped my world.
Music has always been a great passion of mine. Writing songs, singing and playing piano still bring so much happiness to my soul. But being talented in this area is not enough when you are scared of performing in front of other people. This was happening while studying at the music school. Before every performance, I would struggle with overwhelming feelings of fear. This was preventing me to enjoy the experience. When I actually got on the stage, I always did a good job, because I learnt how to hide my nerves. But it wasn’t how I wanted to feel. I wanted to enjoy it, be present and inspire others by the passion I felt for music. I knew I had to take a different approach, but didn’t know how at the time.
A big shift happened in my twenties, when I got curious about flying. The thought of flying an aeroplane really intrigued me. After constantly thinking about it, I finally gathered enough courage and decided to take my first flying lesson. I was amazed by the beauty, freedom and a pleasure of flight. I instantly got inspired. In that moment I knew I wanted to pursue a dream of becoming a pilot. Quite adventurous for me, I thought, but that didn’t stop me. There was something about flying, which just felt so familiar, freeing and incredibly beautiful. So I began my training, but with it, also came some challenges. The fear of being not good enough, the fear of failure, even the fear of falling off the sky were creeping into my reality on a daily basis. But my dream was so important to me and I wanted to make it a reality. I knew I had to change my perspective on fear in general.
I chose to carry on with my course despite my fear. During this process I began learning so much about myself. I made a decision to stop judging myself for my fear. This was extremely liberating. I realised, I was finally growing up, and began accepting myself for who I really am. Step by step I was getting closer to my dream, feeling less tense and more at ease whilst flying. I began experiencing a powerful transformation within myself, and learning so much from my fears on a daily basis. I’m excited to share with you couple of points I learned from fear, which I believe can inspire you.
Accepting fear and co-operating with it
I remember so clearly, when my flying instructor sent me flying solo for the first time. It was such an amazing experience, but of course I was feeling apprehensive. I knew for quite some time, the day of my first solo was coming up, because my flying skills were getting better. Even though I was still scared, I said to myself: I know, I am more than capable of flying on my own, and I am going to do it. I am going to accept my fear and co-operate with it throughout the entire flight. Accepting my fear and co-operating with it rather than pushing it away was a very liberating decision. I realised, that every time I was fighting my fear, I was actually fighting part of myself. The more I fought, the more unpleasant I felt. The more I accepted it, the more at ease I felt. I broke the process of my flight down to a smaller parts and focused on one step at the time. This way, the whole flying solo experience didn’t look so overwhelming anymore. Co-operating with my fear instead of resisting it, helped me to gain confidence and in the end earn my private pilot’s licence. I use this process to this day whether I have to speak up in front of a group, do any creative work or deal with some general things in life which scare me.
Fear can be a great teacher
I am constantly learning from fear. Every time I am afraid of something, I ask my fear: ‘What are you trying to teach me?’ There is always an answer. It either comes straight away or it is revealed to me later. I used to be ashamed of my fears, but not anymore. I admit I’m still scared of many things in life, but through them I find my strength. I no longer judge my fears. I accept them and all the feelings that come with them. I discovered, that my power lies in my vulnerability. We are all scared of something once in a while, but trusting and knowing that your fears are teaching you some good lessons can be a powerful realisation.
Life is a beautiful and exciting journey which should be enjoyed. Don’t let your life be run by your fears, instead learn to co-operate with them, and let your fears become your teachers. This way, you will learn from them some great lessons, which can definitely help you on your personal and also spiritual growth.