1. Live your life trying to avoid dangerous or fear-inducing activities. Achieve, buy, and try to please people. Only act on sure things and take very few risks. Hang out at the bar where the biggest fear you’ll experience is it closing too early, what people think of you or whether your shoes match your dress.
2. When that feels bad enough, and you are empty enough, sit in your living room clutching a wine-glass full of juice with your shaky hand, and notice what you’ve been reduced to by attempting to avoid/drown out your fear.
3. Understand that being terrified of facing life without the magical substance which used to fill the glass may in fact be a terrible waste of your life.
4. Face life as it is, as you are. Look at it, notice it, question it. Yes, it’s a mess. Realise that your biggest fear is in fact not life, but of living one which doesn’t truly belong to you.
5. Ask yourself, what life would you have if fear wasn’t an issue? What would you do? Where would you go? Who with?
6. Now walk towards that life, with fear as your companion. Remember, the old life that sucked you dry and reduced you to the hand-shaking juice drinker didn’t scare you while you were creating it. It was comforting; it felt safe while it was destroying you. Realise that fear isn’t a bad thing, it is your guide towards transformation.
7. Understand that thoughts and feelings aren’t facts. Your ego likes to mess with you, that’s it’s job. Tell your ego thanks for it’s input but you’re done listening to it. You’d rather fail than give in to a small, safe, suffocating life. It won’t like it, and will start throwing worst case scenarios at you like artillery fire. Dodge and duck, and keep walking. It will soon get tired.
8. Do the things that scare you MOST in order to live the life which excites you most. You know what they are. Selling your house and leaving your job happen to be two big ones. Writing about yourself, traveling sober, driving across India, jumping from a plane and helping someone in need are a few more. Committing to one person who knows the worst and best of you is another. Do those things, knowing they will be hard.
9. Cry, a lot. Despair, a lot. Feel like you can’t make it, a lot. Pray and meditate. How and to whom is none of your concern. Just do it because it gives you relief from your racing, pacing, fear-mongering mind, and, you are surprised to learn, it actually works.
10. Enjoy the moments of pure elation where life opens up and becomes brighter and bigger than you ever imagined. Have your mind blown regularly, blasting out old ideas and ways of thinking that held you back for so long. Allow your heart to explode with compassion and love, making room for more.
11. Stop, pause and look around. Notice your life. It’s not perfect but it feels like yours and you love it. It is unrecognizable from the one you left behind. You like yourself so much more now and it is such a freaking relief to feel like you are finally living the life you were made for.
12. Realise that your life is no longer controlled by fear even though you still have some. Know that while your old fears have disappeared, there’s more waiting around the next bend to take you through your next phase of growth. Embrace your fear as an old friend, one who has seen you through the amazing journey of your life.
13. Be glad and grateful for it all, especially the tough stuff. It was all meant for you to become exactly who you are.
14. Walk toward your future with fear as your guide. It will take you where you need to go.
*Disclaimer: And if you are not me, you’ll find your own way of dealing with fear.