Fire Your Fear

Fear can be immobilizing. Fear can short-circuit your logic center. Fear can make you act irrationally.

The longer you focus on the fear the bigger, scarier, and more uncomfortable it gets.

Fear has a purpose. It’s telling you to act. There are three fear responses: fight, flight, freeze. Each of those responses is an action, and they can each have good or bad outcomes.

Taking action is a great way to transform your fear into rational and logical steps. And when you do that, you gain untold levels of freedom. What a way to live your life!

If you stay present, you can be clearly focused on the problem — not the fear — so you can take sound action, be that fight, flight, or freeze. If you don’t stay present, your thinking won’t be as clear so your decisions likely won’t be sound — and you may not take a helpful step toward resolution.

Recently, I found myself with a growing fear that involved both a physical and emotional situation: an increasing likelihood of a forest fire on the mesa where we live. The western part of the U.S. is in a drought. Where I live in SW Colorado, it’s in a severe drought, this year being the worst I’ve experienced in 17 years. The people who’ve lived here for decades can’t remember a year this dry.

Using my yurt as my full-time office, I’m keenly aware of my vulnerability to a forest fire. There are a dozen or so trees that are within 30′ of the yurt. The Forest Service and fire department suggest a minimum of a 30′ gap between woody vegetation and structures. The yurt is covered with a vinyl skin so is not the least bit fire-resistant.

While I’d been getting edgy, waiting for that shoe to drop, our fire chief commented that now is a good time to start getting prepared. When messages on the same subject stack up in a short amount of time, I pay attention; I decided I needed to act quickly. My solution was to take over the guestroom in the house as my office, and move my primary office furniture and supplies there. I planned to move my office cats in too. My plan was going to be an ordeal, but a valuable precaution — in my humble opinion.

My husband had another plan of action: widen our fire mitigation efforts to include the yurt, not just the house. Oh, that’s a good idea. Both plans required a huge amount of effort, but the mitigation seemed like the best first step. Randy had some tight deadlines and couldn’t help, so he suggested I hire someone to do it. But I’m not the only one preparing: the companies that do this sort of work were already booked for several weeks, so we bought a chainsaw and brush cutter, and I spent the weekend getting a good start.

Taking action brought a huge wave of relief — and freedom — to me. I was still feeling somewhat vulnerable, but not like I was before.

I loved experiencing that relief. You will too when you take action to transform your fear. What freedom!

What fear are you focusing on and not responding to with action? Is the fear consuming you, eating you up inside? Are you thinking clearly and rationally? It’s time to get present and focus on solutions so you can take action that will benefit you. The sense of relief and freedom will lift your spirit and improve your life. Transform your fear into action —starting now.

If you need help doing that, get it! That’s part of what I do as a Fear Transformation Coach — my newly refined title.

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