Fear can be debilitating. It can stop us in our tracks as we pursue our dreams, aspirations, or even the simplest of daily tasks. So how and why does fear manifest itself in our lives and what can we do to live a fearless life? In Guy Finley’s book, The Courage to Be Free: Discover Your Original Fearless Self, he discusses some simple steps and keys to freeing oneself and living fearless.
The book starts with a cute parable demonstrating how we become attached and crippled by false beliefs. The story is about a group of bald eagles duped by some crows into believing they need certain equipment to be more effective. Equipment like rain coats, goggles, and flight suits. The eagles are visited by a wise owl named Solomon who eventually convinces them to see past these beliefs and realize they were born with the only equipment they need. This leads to the first key lesson in this wonderful little book:
No negative state, no compromising or otherwise self-defeating thought or feeling, is your “original equipment.” – Click to Tweet
The first part of the book helps us see that negative thinking, fear, regret, resentment, and anxiety are not part of our true authentic self. What’s more useful is that following each key lesson are specific areas of proof, insight, and explanation. I like books that lay things out to me in an easy and logical way.
This is actually pretty powerful as we begin to see that “our mind is scaring itself!”
At the end of each key lesson is a “Your new action” section listing actions to take towards practicing these new lessons in your life.
In chapter 6, “Act on What You Know Is True” Guy reminds us of the power of being present to what we know is true. And my favorite part, that knowing is only have the battle and where most people stall at making great changes in their life.
“Wisdom is the seed to freedom, but only in action do we see it flower.” – Click to Tweet
In a past article, how to eliminate fear, I talked about two things that contribute to fear: lack of faith and control—and ways to overcome them. In The Courage to Be Free, Guy helps us understand the things we do have control over.
Guy uses the analogy of a child whose parents take away their favorite toy making room for something better they know is on its way. Once we can look at life in this way—having faith that whatever we’re going through at any given moment is preparing us for something better—we can begin to live a fearless life.
So if you want a great little book that’s easy to read (only 114 pages) check out The Courage to Be Free: Discover Your Original Fearless Self.
Oh, and if you follow the links on this page you’ll get over 80 free bonus gifts for a limited time. Check it out!
Full Disclosure and Some Thoughts on Living Fearless
A few months ago I got a signed copy of the aforementioned book and read it one Saturday afternoon. Yes, I got it free and yes the links on this page are affiliate links (which means if you purchase anything from Guy I’ll get a commission).
In all the reading and exposure I get in the self and personal development arena, one term seems to come up a lot; authentic self. It seems to be quite the buzz phrase these days surrounding personal development. So what does that mean and how does it relate to living fearless?
According to Dr. Phil (yes, I’m quoting Dr. Phil):
“The authentic self is the you that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.”
Do you know who you are at your core? Or are you afraid of what it will reveal to you?
Growing up on a farm I was pretty fearless. I would jump out of hay lofts, wrestle cows in the mud, ride pigs, all sorts of things. Most dealt with physical aspects of life, and most of the time I was fearless alone. At some point it became uncomfortable to be around people.
Recently as my niece ventured into her first day of kindergarten, my mother reminded me of how scared I was the first time I went to school. She had to walk me past the “big kids” for the first week.
I’m not sure I believe the theory that we are born fearless and perfect then jaded by society. I was full of fear emotionally as long as I can remember. I think the moment I was born I was hiding behind my mothers leg.
It makes me wonder what it means to really be fearless and how it relates to being in touch with my authentic self. As a child, my mother always told me how special I was, but that didn’t do squat for getting rid of the fear to walk past the bullies. It wasn’t until I experienced success for myself emotionally that I knew I was able to face things I never imagined possible.
As I got older I did my best at living my life as I “thought” it was supposed to be lived. I had no idea who I was and what made me happy. Granted I sure thought I knew at the time; it mostly revolved around having fun. I realize now I was living a life consumed by fear.
My biggest fear was rejection and of being unlovable and accepted totally for who I was—my authentic self—which I had no concept of. The biggest obstacle was the fear that my authentic self wouldn’t be good enough—which is reasonable since I didn’t know it intimately. I portrayed a different self externally feed by ego then what I felt internally. It wasn’t until I dealt with internal conflicts and begin unraveling and ridding myself of regrets, fears, and resentments was I able to dissolve the layers that separated my external self with my true authentic self.
To my amazement I realized my authentic self was lovable and good enough. As I already have everything I need—original equipment—what is there to fear?
P.S. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on last weeks post on Self-Pity and congratulations to Jim and Mary who won a free copy of Guy Finley’s book!