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Making the Quantum Leap

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fear is an evolutionary gift meant to sharpen our senses and energise us naturally with adrenaline during times of great stress, but it can become a thwarting barrier that prevents us from fulfilling our potential and causing us to miss out on rewarding, life-changing experiences. Fear is caused by lack of light.

Although the intensity of the situations, activities, and individuals that frighten us remains the same, the dread of them increases. It is when you are afraid and imagining all that might go wrong, that the energy underlying your fear grows. A tiny flicker of anxiety can easily develop into a terror that manifests itself physically and eventually paralyses you into inaction. 

Yet often, when we take on that fear, we discover that our fright was out of all proportion to the reality; and we learn that by finding the strength to do what frightens us, can lead to great Blessings. Facing your trepidation head-on – “taking your courage in both hands” - will help you realise that very few frightening scenarios will ever live up to the negative disasters that we sometimes play out in our minds. 

Confronting your fear often means taking risks and can require both practice and patience. It is very challenging to act when you are gripped with fear, so start small. Each step you take into fear will strengthen you and help you confront future fears with poise, courage, and confidence. You will still need some form of aid or support. When you see the heights of accomplishment and personal evolution you can attain when you walk through your fears, your faith in yourself will grow, allowing each subsequent step to be easier.

The Latin word for Courage is animus – which is translated as bravery; will; spirit; soul - and courage is what we need to overcome our fears. The fighting spirit emerges when we display courage.Courage is a gift gained through facing challenges and adversity; developing the capacity to be fearless is, firstly, good for you, but then it influences other people in an inspirational, positive and life-affirming way. 

When I really need courage, and I genuinely have a knot of fear in my stomach about performing an imminent task, I visualise physically taking a big step and a leap, striding upwards and then finally reaching the top of the mountain. Obviously then the initial overwhelming emotion is relief, but I also feel a great deal of joy and pleasure from my achievement and the knowledge that, at any time in the future, I can do at least the same, if not an inch more.

In addition, I see the gift of courage rather like unravelling the petals of a most beautiful rose. As you peel off the layers and wonder at the divine beauty, you acquire more grit and determination. 

In a way, courage is like fear but upside down: if you look at it from a different perspective, before you know it, you can be exhibiting courage instead of fear! They are opposite sides of the same coin.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

Nelson Mandela









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