Fear and the Edge of the Comfort Zone
This is a moment in time of deep deep stretch, out of Every. Single. Comfort. Zone. I. Know.
A long moment in time.
It looks and tastes like the fear end of the excitement/fear spectrum more of the time. For now.
When you start to stretch yourself even a tiny bit beyond the comfort zone you’ve grown accustomed to, fear shows up. It is a part of the stretch. At least at first.
All the reading, all the mental prep sometimes just doesn’t help. Other people’s “fear management skills” are also not particularly helpful in navigating this relationship, my relationship with fear.
Years ago I just pushed fear away, acted as if it didn’t exist. It was easy back then. Because it wasn’t supposed to exist. Strong people didn’t let it stop themselves be stopped by fear. The only way I knew to feel strong was to suppress the feeling of fear. Suppressed fear has to go somewhere. It has a cumulative effect.
And in the past 8 years all of that pushed down fear has reared back up in one form or another. Full force at times. No warning! And so much more intense than whatever the situation I find myself in warrants.
This week was an example. It was the week of transferring a current client site over to their new host with intention of finishing the site in the place it will be living. There are reasons that I wanted to do it that way. I thought it would be easier in the long run. It has not been. It has stretched every stretchable part of me. It has felt like one roadblock after another.
The first thing that I saw in my inbox once the transfer was complete was that the first backup was done. I clicked on the link and it took me to their current site. No!! I was flooded with fear chemicals that essentially froze my brain (cortisol does that) for a brief moment. I felt panicked and in big trouble because, now, they could miss important emails.
It took a few moments to remember that of course the link clicked to their current site. It’s not time to point the nameservers to the new host yet so that really the link took me exactly where it should have taken me. Big relief!
That was the beginning of a series of those kind of moments. All throughout the day I encountered roadblocks that required the asking of questions I wasn’t sure how to frame. More stretching.Letting it be ok to look ignorant. (It isn’t for me. I hate looking stupid.)
So lots of deep breathing into the sensation of fear, allowing it to disperse, and quieting the story of incompetence was trying to tell itself one more time. Letting the fear be what it is and move through the body. Embracing the humanity of life in a body and coming back to center. Again and again. As often as it takes. One breath at a time.
I used to see fear as a message to move in a different direction. Now it is a cue to go deeper into surrender to the Inner Divine, to Love. Now it is a reminder to hold that panicked inner kid, to reassure her while removing her from the driver’s seat and continuing gently forward.
Now, fear is something to dance through and let go. No fight. No judgment. No need to spank myself for having it. It is just information. Meet fear where it is and surround it with Love.
That of course does not make the initial (or subsequent) sensations any less unpleasant.