Fear can be your friend when you learn how to interpret its subtle urgings. Consider what your fears are trying to tell you. By changing your relationship with it, you can help alleviate some of the negative side affects of it such as anxiety and stress, while illuminating aspects of your life that could use some attention and improvement.

Falling in love scares the crap out of most people. Fear of failure is what stops many people from pursuing their dreams. The thought of losing someone dear scares everyone. Not all fears are created equal. By taking the time to learn what is underlying our fears, we can understand what actions we can take to allow them to be heard without letting them run our life. Better yet, we can use them to make our life better.

Without going into too much detail, it’s helpful to point out that there are global fears, community fears, and personal fears. There are fears about things that are out of our control and fears about things that are a part of our real, everyday life. As someone who was once run by fear of anything and everything, I’ve found it helpful to surrender fears about circumstances beyond my control to God or whatever your higher power is. I’ve trained my brain to know that there is no point in worrying about tsunamis, nuclear attacks, or a reality here in California, earthquakes. If it’s going to happen there is little I can do about it, so why worry? I’ve also wasted countless hours worrying about my friends and family, which is normal, but not necessary on a constant basis. Finally, there are personal fears: fear of not doing enough, being enough or having enough. I finally had enough of that and decided to just take immediate action on any of these fears, which you can read about here.

This brings me to fears that are your friend. When faced with an amazing opportunity and it scares the dickens out of you, that’s a great sign that you should pursue it. Anything worthwhile in life involves a certain amount of risk and always a fear of failure. When you realize you are falling in love and it scares the heck out of you, that’s a great sign you really care about that person. When you have an idea and realize that if you don’t go after it you will regret it on your deathbed, you guessed it; it’s a great sign that you have to go for it.

Fear isn’t always fun, but if you can learn to work with it and push past it, you will be happy you did when you come out on the other side of it.