Fear as a Companion

Fear, a potential bully, joins you on life’s road trip. Nestled in the backseat, it bolts upright to clang alarm bells when jolted. As your internal early warning system, fear has lifelong legitimate value. Ever-vigilant, fear takes its job very seriously. Sometimes too much so.

Fear’s built-in megaphone blasts you with forceful warnings. Capturing your attention is its job. Assessing the risk and determining a course of action is your job. Staying grounded helps you focus on the big picture, while dodging life’s bumps and potholes.

You have three travelling companions on your journey: courage, determination and fear. These passengers influence your decisions, but you are the driver. Fear is the wildcard in your vehicle. Filling your head with life’s what if’s, fear intimidates your other allies—courage and determination.

If courage and determination become compromised, your vulnerability soars. Fear won’t hesitate to bump you from the driver’s seat, taking you off course…and fast. Mitigating this risk is essential.

Fear is an intimidating adversary that shouldn’t be dismissed. Lock eyes with what scares you, identify what’s at stake and stay nimble. Pull out the roadmap, wrestle with fear, assess risks and explore options.

Ignoring fear’s presence invites bigger problems. Unchallenged, this back seat driver becomes louder, more unpredictable and threatening. It devours energy, with the potential to immobilize you. Maintaining control can feel like a losing battle. But never give up.

It helps to tackle fear in bitesize pieces. Here are some questions to consider. 1) Is the outcome you fear more a probability or possibility? 2) What action can you take to reduce risks? 3) What creative approaches might hold promise? 4) Who do you need for support and how can you go about getting it?

Rally your courage and determination, especially if they have retreated. And consider confiding in other veteran travellers. Their wisdom and experience are invaluable… and they share freely. Just ask.

Vigilance, clarity and bravery are key to assigning you the driver’s seat and fear the rear. Stay grounded, focus on your destination and buckle up. Dark clouds will pass and give way to light.

Susan Dunnigan

November 2022