How to Let Fear Make You Fierce

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Recently, I had an offer for a new job that left me wondering which path to take. I’m not a fan of making those kinds of changes. I’d prefer to have a ready-made plan to follow, perhaps voice navigation for those big decisions. Make a u-turn whenever possible, and head east to your employment destination. Now wouldn’t that simplify the process!

Yes, I’d prefer to be lead down some roads, but sometimes there’s no one ahead of me with an outstretched hand. Sometimes it’s just me, feeling my way in the darkness, with little more than my own instincts to guide me. In those times, it’s tough to know how to proceed, and if I’m allowing fear or intuition to be my guide.

The Rocky films are among my favorites. I’ll admit, I like the action. Call me a rogue yogi for enjoying a good face-smashing scene. But in addition to lots of brawling, the films feature some solid lessons about overcoming adversity, leveraging fear, and using passion to propel you when your strength has left you. That’s my take on it, anyway.

I watched Rocky V last weekend. His talk about fear reminded me that it’s not all bad. Here’s what he said…

“Fear is like fire. If it controls you, it will burn you up and destroy everything around you. But if you control it, it’ll make you red hot.”

How to Let Fear Make You Fierce

Upon tussling with my decision, and wondering whether I was letting fear become a factor, I watched some motivational videos, read some empowering content, and learned to distinguish fear from intuition. Here’s what I discovered:

Fear threatens the ego, it questions our sense of self, and leaves us either paralyzed or insulted. It’s emotionally charged and feels incredibly powerful (like a punch in the gut).

Intuition is a knowing, a wisdom-based sensation that comes from experience. Because the human brain recognizes patterns, intuition can result from your subconscious mind finding hints and clues that allow you to quickly calculate a situation.

After thinking about all this, I realized I could use fear to my advantage. I could respond to it with the same intensity it presented. I could use it to help me identify my goals and show me what I’m willing to fight for.

My fear was urging me to stay in my current situation, because familiarity is safer than change.

Let Fear Make You Fight

Fear can make me fierce (in the same way yoga makes me fierce), and that’s inspiring – even empowering. Going back to those Rocky movies, the athlete who wins is the one who reaches within and finds his passion. Because passion can propel us towards success. Passion can move us through pain and rejection, and into the place where our dreams unfold.

The next time fear picks a fight, reach within and find your passion.

Mantra: There are no regrets. There is only growth.

  • Jane M
    November 23, 2015

    Yes, I love this. I have never thought about fear as a powerful force that you can use to your benefit, but of course it is! It’s evolutionary purpose was to save our lives, after all, by making us either run like hell or fight to the death. And even now, people can show extraordinary strength when pumped full of the adrenalin of fear.

    Such a smart take on a much discussed topic!

    • Rica Lewis
      November 23, 2015

      Great input, Jane. And I enjoyed your “run like hell” statement. A good curse word always does the trick! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Jade
    December 20, 2015

    My 5 year old has been obsessed with playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ lately, and I’ll admit it — I’m kind of enjoying it. Love this post, it’s exactly the mantra I try to follow, although it was timely to receive this reminder.

  • Gary Mathews
    May 17, 2016

    Rocky V! No self-respecting Rocky fan can count that as one of the Rocky movies! It didn’t happen I erased if from my memory banks! Great post though on using fear to motivate.

    • Rica Lewis
      May 17, 2016

      Ha ha! I love all the Rocky movies, Gary. Although V was definitely not my favorite!

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