Conquering Fear

August 31, 2017

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For an incredibly long time, I’ve been a fearful person. I would often fear things that would happen or fear it if they wouldn’t. I would for so long let the mere idea of something have a greater hold over me than the reality itself. Because that is what fear is: unless we are in actual danger, fear is a story we tell ourselves is real.

Fear is an incredibly commanding emotion that plays a role in all of our lives. It holds us back from experiencing an even more powerful emotion which is happiness. Not until recently did I stand back and realize that I have not truly been happy for some time now. So much of this was because of my physical thinking and not feeling comfortable in the present moment due to various fears. What about you? Have you felt like you only half live in the moment?

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

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The crazy thing about fear is that at its core it makes us feel like we aren’t enough. Just think for so many of us the root of all of our issues and hardships is the sole idea that we are not enough as we are. When our sense of self is so fragile, everything around us can be perceived as a potential threat. But in all reality, this perception is our own doing. Few of us understand that we are largely responsible for the “threats” that seem to surround us because ultimately it is us, and us alone that have control over what we chose to give energy to.

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When we succumb over and over again to fear-based narratives we actually contribute to creating a climate of fear. Many times we are still blaming the people and circumstances that led to our suffering and are reliving the trauma in some way. We are continuing to get caught up in our own victimhood and as a result will remain in a place of unhappiness. To break the cycle something has to change and that is to choose to let go of fear.

After months of reading, talking with healers and dear friends, as well as doing some deep soul searching I’ve finally found some healthy ways to part with fear. By no means am I an expert, but after my recent accident I, feel like I’ve been given a new perspective on life; one that has revolutionized the way I choose to continue forward.

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Outfit Ingredients: romper- Tobi | hat- Free People | flats- Old Navy | necklace- Free People


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Be aware of where the source of your fear stems from and release it

When it comes down to it, fear arises out of our perceived need to self-protect. We think that if we don’t let this person in, then they won’t be able to hurt us like our last boyfriend did, etc. However, by allowing shadow figures of our past to have a hold over our present circumstance we end up repeating the same story as before.That is why it is necessary to identify when you are projecting such fears onto a person or situation and remind yourself that it is unfair of you to do this. Consciously stop yourself and remember that this thinking does not serve you well. Instead, move into your fear. Know that it is a necessary part of growth and use its energy to propel you forward rather than hold you back.

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Focus on the here and now

Often we don’t pursue our dreams because we fear failure, we fear success, we fear the unknown, or we fear looking foolish. At the end of the day you are going to grow and learn from every experience, so it is worth it to at least be open to the possibilities that come from embracing the unknown. For one, you may experience something far greater than you ever even imagined possible because the Universe is capable of stringing together miraculous things.

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Seek support

Fear and self-doubt flourish in isolation, so get out of your own head. Reach out to those who will support and encourage you. Not only will you gain a new perspective, but by being raw with someone you give them the opportunity to care for you more deeply. Also, depending on your particular circumstance you may consider meeting with a counselor or support group.

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I have to laugh because while shooting these very photos I experienced a lot of fear… For starters, Chelsea and I experimented with smoke bombs and we didn’t realize they were more than just the smoke but also included a loud fireworks whistle at the end. We really didn’t get many shots because every photo Chelsea took of me I looked completely terrified. How funny is it that our brain can react so strongly to an event or situation. In the case of the color bombs, I quickly realized that I wasn’t in any real danger beyond experiencing an uncomfortable loud noise. However, I still struggled to let the fear go and could not stand close to them with ease. Which reminds me of how hard it is in our everyday lives to fight our fearful thinking, even when we know deep down we are not in any real danger. Truly, unless we are in imminent danger, fear serves no purpose. Once you grasp hold of this idea and choose to consciously surrender your fears, that is when you allow yourself the ability to feel happiness freely.

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Another aspect to combating fear that I didn’t talk about earlier, but I think can also be a very powerful tool is using clothing to feel empowered and confident. This is an extension to what I talked about in my last blog post, but I think it’s important to repeat again. As an image consultant, I see every day how wearing something you feel good in can erase your fears. Honestly, it’s a balance between feeling equally good inside and out. For me, I choose clothing items that I feel not only fits my body type but also conveys my personality. As of late, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at Tobi, an online fashion retailer that specializes in designing clothing that makes you feel beautiful and confident. The best part is their clothing is so affordable (also, it’s 50% off your first purchase!!) Although these photos were taken in Lewiston, Maine of all places, I felt so wild and free in this snakeskin romper.

Lately, that’s been so important to me- I chose to live life to the fullest and embrace the wild and unknown parts of it. Instead of running from my fear I embrace it.

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Photography by Centered Images

Special thanks to Tobi for collaborating on this post!  

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

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