So as you’ve probably noticed, being in your 20’s and 30’s is requiring a lot of courage. Now, all of a sudden, there are less people holding you accountable. Less structure in your life and more of it is completely UP TO YOU. You get to decide who you want to be, how you want to carry yourself in this world, and who you desire to surround yourself with. These are fundamental years that shape your life but without a teacher, parent, or mentor guiding you with each step, it takes courage to find your own way.
The real of it is that any fear you have, any fear at all, stems from something in your past. Fears are learned. We don’t come out of the womb all wrapped in fear. Maybe we’d instinctually fear a wild animal or falling off a tall building but the other stuff isn’t instinctually in us, it is developed overtime. If you take note of your fears, they may match many of your parents’. They are often the source of passing fears on to you. And in many circumstances, those fears they taught you were necessary. Like don’t talk to strangers or else, wear a seat belt or else, etc etc. But once you are old enough to see through fear and reveal what it really is, you get to decide which fears or cautiousness you’re going to keep and which ones you’ll let go of. Here are a few steps you can take to become more courageous!
A simple first step would be to say your fears out loud or write them down. As soon as you get them out from inside of your head, you strip them of their power. Fears kept inside tend to swell. They get bigger and more out of proportion with time. If you’re nervous, anxious, or scared of something just say it. Not only does it lessen the power of those fears but it also forces you to deal with them and then notice them when they come up again. Being unaware of your fear is dangerous because they can become habitual and habits are far more difficult to break.
I know I’m always mentioning meditation as a strategy for change and those of you who are resistant to meditation probably want to punch me by now. But LISTEN! This has no joke helped me and can no joke help you too. Your meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in silence for an hour everyday. Make it something that works for you. It could be going for a walk and meditating on words that conjure courage within you. It could be laying on your kitchen floor, saying your fears out loud and actively letting them go. It could be 5 minutes of seated silence while you repeat a mantra in your mind about letting go, being aware of your fears, and creating courage. The point of meditating on this is so that you can build awareness around your fears. It eliminates the risk of being on autopilot while you let your fears take control without notice.
Make your courage a real thing that you can call on. For me, I find it helpful to give a feeling an actual image in my mind. My courage is the face of a gorgeous lion (original, I know). I can call on her when I know I’m about to do something that I’m fearful of. If an image is less appealing to you, give your courage a mantra. A mantra is a statement or word repeated. You can write something simple that you can repeat when you need it most. It could be something cliche like ‘mind over matter’ or something poetic that you create from scratch. The purpose of giving your courage a face and name is so that it becomes a state that you can tangibly recruit in your mind. It can fill you up and allow you to take on a new form. There’s a comfort in that clarity and definition.
Lastly is love! The opposite of fear and negativity is love and courage. When you operate from a place of trust, gratitude, and love, you are far less likely to fall victim to fear. Practice this goodness in any way that works for you. Maybe it’s intentionally doing 3 kind things a day and writing them down before bed. Maybe it’s listing what you’re grateful for when you get up each day. Or perhaps it’s telling those whom you love that you love them and speaking from a positive point of view as much as possible.
Here’s the deal, fear isn’t going anywhere. As humans we will fear things instinctually and will learn fears as we move through life. But especially at this quarter life stage, it is vital to become aware of your fears and intentionally practice courage. You are setting your brain up (like literally molding it) to be what it will be for the rest of your life. Do you want it to be one steered by fear or one that FEELS FEAR AND DOES IT ANYWAYS?
Thanks for reading!