Everywhere we turn, self-help experts encourage us to overcome our fears. And if we can’t overcome them, we are told we should just let them go. Sure, fear can inhibit us from taking healthy risks and pursuing our greatest desires in life, so preventing fear from overriding our dreams and goals is in our best interest. However, kabbalists teach that we can learn a great deal from our fears. In fact, it behooves us to take a closer look at the exact thing that frightens us the most.
We have been taught to believe that fear is bad. However, it’s natural to feel some element of fear when presented with an opportunity. Fear may lead us to ask questions like, What if I fail? What will people think of me? or Do I have what it takes? All valid questions. Though, if we dig into these questions, we may find the strength we need in the answers.
Instead of letting fear make decisions for you, consider how it can point you in the direction of your dreams. When we examine fear, we are better able to see its origins and separate the rational from the irrational.
Some rational fears might be:
- Falling off a high ladder that is not properly supported
- Driving a car with tires that have lost their tread
These fears are healthy and important. They let us know when we are in danger. Listening to rational fears pushes us to take safety measures to prevent accidents from happening. In addition, healthy fear is not active fear. We don’t spend hours of the day dwelling on these fears. They only arise when we need them.
Most of our fears are rational. But occasionally our fears are driven by our emotions. For example:
- Speaking in front of an audience
- Interviewing for a new job
- Introducing yourself to a stranger
Opportunities like these can make us feel uncomfortable; they invite us to step out of our comfort zones and try something new. Yet, none of these fears are self-preservation; rather, they are self-sabotaging. Each of the irrational examples above has the potential to reveal a tremendous amount of Light in your life and the world. By letting fear decide against these opportunities, we prevent ourselves from realizing our fullest potential and strengthening our connection to the Creator.
“The challenge is to recognize how and where our fears and their accompanying emotions are blocking us from leaping towards our goals,” says Karen Berg. “Are we afraid people won’t like us? That we won’t be accepted? Are we afraid that we won’t be able to do what we want to do? …It can be more comfortable to live in the past than to face the uncertainty that accompanies the future. The past is 100% known. The problem is that if we are stuck in the past, we cannot move forward to accomplish our life’s purpose.”
When fear pops up in your life, stop and consider the root. We have been conditioned to avoid the things we fear. This creates a pattern that is hard to break out of. It’s our job to use our fears to find the uncomfortable things we are meant to do. If we do not learn to embrace our fears and learn from them, we risk losing opportunities for spiritual growth and the realization of our dreams.
It’s natural to seek the comfort of the familiar. But remember, “When the Light of the Creator is concealed, it awakens fear,” says Michael Berg. “Nothing negative can come from the Light of the Creator.” Don’t let fear go. Hold it in your hands long enough to learn from it. Fears are only as big as we allow them to be. Let fear be a tool for achieving your full potential. When we look it in the eyes, we stand to grow stronger and closer to the Creator.