Cutting fear down to size

Kathy Krugerchange, fear, find your flow18 Comments

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The dictionary may have a word for a lack of fear – unafraid – but I’m challenging the idea that you can be totally fearless without being reckless, or at least very naïve.

A certain amount of fear is as necessary as it is unavoidable, so it’s best to think in terms of ‘working through fear’, ‘sitting with fear’ and even ‘learning to live with fear’ rather than trying to conquer it or eliminate it completely.

And I reckon we start by cutting fear down to size – usually it’s our own imagination that conjures larger than life problems far bigger than they actually are. When we get realistic about what we actually have to be scared of, we can waste far less worry (because worry is always wasted, even when fear serves its purpose).

There’s nothing like art to powerfully demonstrate that point (as I rediscovered on a recent visit to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art).

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Little Yang may think I’m a scary Mum sometimes, but who is looking at you kid!

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His Dad had fun pretending to throw him in the big red hole, but is it really a hole or just an illusion?

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Yes this might be a giant snake sculpture, but it isn’t venomous.

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It looks hairy and scary, but…

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Thousands of kids have gone down this slide. Little Yang made the height requirement but couldn’t quite muster the courage. Next time.

There’s fear in excitement and anticipation and challenge and daring and in the unknown.

All good fear. Thrilling. We just have to channel it to motivate and empower us.

Of course there’s bad fear in shame, judgment, procrastination, anxiety and negative habits. It is somewhat ironic that more fear can be found in our inability to move forward from negative patterns than in the anticipation of new and uncertain possibilities.

Get unstuck. Cut fear down to size. Stare it in the face if you need to. Smile at it. Laugh with it.

Ultimately the only way we conquer fear is to make friends with it. Happy New Year – hope you are getting comfortable with fear so far in 2017. Linking up with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.

Kathy X

Namaste sign off_edited-1

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Kathy KrugerCutting fear down to size

18 Comments on “Cutting fear down to size”

  1. Renee Wilson

    That’s great advice, Kathy. On the way to work yesterday, I could feel the anxiety rising. I took the time to think about what I was worried about and it really wasn’t anything unmanageable at all. Our mind can definitely make things out to be worse than they really are. I’m glad you guys had fun at GOMA. Miss Six couldn’t muster the courage to go down the slide either :)

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Often all it takes is a few moments to reframe – I’m often doing that when I wake in the morning after churning things over in my mind in the middle of the night and I realise I’ve blown things out of proportion. I think that slide must have looked too big and scary to our six year olds – they are still so little really.

  2. Robyna May

    How crazy fun is the slide? My littlest didn’t quite make the height retribution but the eldest did and fought through his fear to have a great time. I guess that’s the thing about fear too – there is often a lot of fun on the other side.

  3. Tracy

    We are working through this, in our house, at the moment, with my 20yo daughter. We are gently pushing her and supporting her to face dirt roads again after flipping her car last week on the way to work. Corners and dirt roads are currently her nemesis, and they usually come with little meltdowns and lots of tears. But resilience and strength are borne out of facing fears like these – she’ll get there, one step at a time.

  4. nicolethebuilderswife

    We started the year by challenging our feelings of fear. We did a high ropes course, which we loved so much, we then took the kids to do. Every single one of us grew personally through this challenge. I have an intense fear of heights but did it anyway, and when on the final challenge I got stuck, I then had to further surrender to my fears and allow someone to help me. I am so happy to begin this new year sitting with fear and doing it anyway.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      That’s fantastic Nicole – I saw your images on FB – what a great mindset to begin the New Year on – congrats again on featuring in Qld Homes too – exciting times.

  5. writeofthemiddle

    Such a great way to demonstrate how we can blow fear out of proportion Kathy and how cutting it down to size can make such a difference. I have a few fears I need to cut down to size this year. Good reminder here! Thank you! :-) xo

  6. Denyse Whelan

    Excellent post and reminder that whilst fear is necessary for our survival as humans we do not always need to let it rule our minds and behaviours. I am learning much about this for myself this year and last and for me, becoming more educated about how our brains work is helping enormously. Thank you for your insight and wisdom. Denyse #teamIBOT

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Denyse – it is so fascinating – I love reading about neuroscience and particularly love how the mind/body/heart/soul connection is being understand with scientific evidence to support how we have always felt things to be.

  7. Deborah

    I love the idea of cutting fear down to size Kathy! I saw that giant lady in bed in a display at GOMA years ago and it’s kinda freaky isn’t it?! I’m intrigued about the donut hole thingy!

    And yes… so much of what we see / hear / fear is an illusion, it’s important sometimes to confront it or work out the real from the fake!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Deb – all the giant things at GOMA are a bit strange but interesting. I think the question we need to keep asking is ‘what would an objective person think?’ We are usually more afraid of the story we construct around things when an objective person might not see it that way.

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