Getting Familiar With Fear

“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary,. how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”

-Yann Martel

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Want to know how to get rid of your fear?
Get familiar with it. 

Familiar like…

fa·mil·iar

fəˈmilyər/ adjective

    1. well known from long or close association.
often encountered or experienced; common;  having a good knowledge of;  acquainted with, conversant with, versed in, knowledgeable of, well informed in/of; Moreskilled in, proficient in;
at home with, no stranger to

    2. in close friendship; intimate.
 synonyms: informal, casual, relaxed, easy, comfortable


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Get acquainted with it.
Become knowledgeable of it.
Be no stranger to it.
Be in close friendship, intimate even, with your fear(s).
Let your fear be well known due to frequent encounters.

“Familiar” comes from the Latin root, “famulus” which means servant. 

If we know our fears, truly become proficient in our fears, at home with our fears— they can be our servants. 

Of course, the natural tendency is to avoid them entirely. Shut them away in the closet, sweep them under the bed, certainly never feeding them, much less getting to know them. They are the unwelcome enemy in our homes, and in this way, with this treatment, they are of no use to us other than sources anxiety and worry.

So why not get familiar with them?
Invite them in, even, ask them to stay a while.
Learn about where they come from.
Unpack their history.
Find out when they come around, and what they really mean.

In this way, our fears become our servants. They serve as motivators, pushers, neon signs pointing us in the direction of our greatest achievements— all of which are born out of an ability to be familiar with fear. 

If it’s great, of course there is fear involved, but when we name our fear, when we know our fear, when we are familiar with our fear, we defeat it. 

And it serves us.

Get rid of your fear by getting familiar with it.