Think with me for a sec.
What scares you the most?
Falling in love?
Never falling in love?
Raising your kid the right way?
Or the wrong way?
Taking that radical step to get your voice out there in the world?
Asking for that promotion?
Telling your deepest truth when it might hurt someone?
This week’s question comes from a woman who was stumped by a Daily Fluff last week. I chose her Q because I know something about fear that I want you to know.
Today this was your Daily Fluff: “Your fear is your gift. Like anger, it acts like the internal marker to your own magnificence.” Would you please go into some depth about how fear is our internal marker to our own magnificence? Thank you.
I am so glad that Daily Fluff tugged at your sleeve. It is a powerful one, for sure.
And over the past 15 years of teaching classes for women, I have seen that one of the greatest things that women have in common with one another is our fear.
It is one of the natural consequences of living in a patriarchal culture. When the feminine is not celebrated and honored, but rather, diminished and disparaged, we learn to fear our very nature, rather than bask in its glory.
As we internalize the external prejudices of the culture, we learn to fear everything about ourselves—we are scared of our desires, scared of our sensual, feminine bodies, scared of our anger, scared of our opinions, scared of our lust, scared of our power. And the list goes on.
In fact, the things we most fear are actually the least scary.
We fear not fitting in. But, what has fitting in gotten us?
We fear disapproval of others. But what has approval of others really done for our hearts and our souls?
We fear taking up too much space. But what has diminishing ourselves brought to the world?
Nothing worth having.
It is way, way, way more scary to not live our desires, but rather, to live someone else’s.
Or to not own our bodies, but, rather to let someone else (the medical profession, our partner, our job) own us.
Or to stuff our anger rather than express it.
Or to buy the party line rather than voice our opinions.
And why would I ever want someone beside myself to own my sensual power?
Women have not been taught to seize the reigns of our own lives, and drive the magnificent adventure that we each are, towards our own destinies. We feel way more comfortable in the back seat. As if there is a back seat…
Think about it: When we are not driving, who is?
It doesn’t feel nearly as frightening to play small and stay home, as it does to cut a wide swath on the world’s stage.
Is this making sense to you, Deborah?
Can you see how “Your fear is your gift. Like anger, it acts like the internal marker to your own magnificence”?
Just like Marianne Williamson said,
“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?’”
Fear is that internal marker. If we are scared, we must be looking headlong into the eyes of our own brilliance.
And when you retrain yourself to run towards the fear, instead of away from it, your life changes utterly and completely.
Do Something Every Day That Scares You:
Notice your fears. Are you scared of commitment? Scared of changing careers? Scared of telling your husband or best friend the truth? Scared of auditioning? Having a baby? This exercise is not about biting off the whole enchilada. It’s about taking small steps in the direction of your fears. You are afraid of buying your first house or apartment? Just go house hunting. Scared of dating? Tag along with some girlfriends as they go to parties or out with friends. Scared of having a baby? Just go get a checkup at your gynecologist’s. Baby steps toward your dreams get you there just as efficiently as great leaps.
There are lots of amazing quotes about fear.
Let me inspire you further.
Two of my favorites are from the Roosevelt family: “There is nothing to fear, but fear, itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And “Do something every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
You will love this one:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
? Ambrose Redmoon
And from the mother of the women’s movement herself:
“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
? Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
? J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin
My wish for you: may you meet your fear, in all its magnificence!
How about it, sisters? What are your greatest fears? Share them in the comments below. And inspire us with a tale of how you have overcome one!
If you know a woman who needs the encouragement to grab fear by the hand and jump, please share this post.
With so much love and pleasure,
P.S. If you’re considering The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program, enrollment is open right now. There is not one woman who ever enrolled in Mastery who was not flat out terrified. Why? Because she caught a glimpse of her brilliance, talent, and fabulousness—and was overwhelmed. Fear. What a great place to be.