We’re all facing it right now—the unknown. With this new territory comes fear. Is this a bad thing? No, in fact, it’s a gateway.

Fear is a healthy emotion.

“Fear is a universal experience. Even the smallest insect feels it. We wade in the tidal pools and put our finger near the soft open bodies of sea anemones and they close up. It’s part of being alive. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”

Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult times

As I’ve blazed my own trail through life and business in the jungle, I’ve become acquainted with confronting fear in a variety of forms: wilderness, cultural, personal, and professional. Most recently, in the last 6 months of my life, I’ve faced several terrifyingly major events: I gave birth to my son, launched a book, did my first public speaking and am now living through a pandemic. Each very scary, BUT, in different ways.

Perhaps there are two different flavors of fear:

  1. Fear + excitement
  2. Fear + anxiety

Like me, you may be getting regular tastes of both kinds right now. Fear of leaving the house and being exposed to the virus? Anxiety. Fear of change and new possibilities? Excitement. Though this is a brutally challenging time for so many, there are also silver linings and new beginnings that may ultimately make us stronger…

With this in mind, can we use fear as an inner compass? I propose:

Fear + anxiety = warning, slow down, proceed with caution.

Fear + excitement = we’re pointed towards our next challenge; our growth.

With this in mind, I’ve made a decision. I hope you will join me.

When we encounter fear, let’s meet it head on. Let’s deconstruct the fear—tap into its wisdom, channel it, use fear to our advantage. Let’s let go of the mentality of fear. Though fear may slow “progress,” it also prompts a clear evaluation of a situation, a valuable opportunity to analyze and choose our path.

May fear + excitement be a gateway and an inspiration to fill our heads with positive self-talk and surround ourselves with encouragement and support—people who believe in us—friends, family, or coach (there are lots of virtual options available for this too.) Let’s find the people who pick us up, dust us off, give us courage to confront fear and keep us on track (we may also learn from those who haven’t confronted their fears and have regrets…).

What fears are you facing right now? What direction is your inner compass pointing you in?

Stay healthy, keep tuning into your fear barometer, and take a step closer to your truth.