On The Subject of Fear

T ell me, darling.  What are you afraid of?

For many people the obvious answers would be spiders, snakes and dark alleys.  Let’s face it:  these are things that we can avoid in most cases. In fact, we often make jokes about these types of fears because we see them as common amongst the human race.

Want to know another reason we can talk about these kinds of fears?  They are forces from outside of us.

But there are other fears:  the fear of failure or success; the fear of being judged, embarrassed or rejected; the fear of intimacy or commitment.

These are the deeper fears.  The ones that come from within us.  The ones that we feel are ours alone and that no one else would get, because they are so deep and personal. The ones we rarely, if ever, talk about.

My dear, I want to tell you something that might surprise you:   you are not alone in your fears.

Did you know that we are born with only two fears?  A fear of falling.  And a fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned by association and identification.  For some of us, both outer and inner fears are born at an early age due to some childhood trauma or experience.  As we age, we often can’t pinpoint when we first became afraid of spiders or failure.

I know that this one single blog post is not going to assuage all your fears or make them disappear in an instant the way a light bulb can chase away the monsters in our closets.  I do know that discussing fears in the open is more beneficial than keeping secrets.  That acknowledging your fears can  help you stop flagellating yourself.

I wanted to share with you the four reasons I wrote this today.

One – to assure you that you are not alone. 

Every person travels a different journey in life.  Even siblings, though brought up similarly, will still experience differences.  We are unique.  However, there are similarities in life experiences.  When I began to understand that my experiences and traumas and fears had a thread of similarity with others, it made me feel and understand that I was not alone in the world.  The understanding that, even in pain, we are all connected, is comforting.  The example that others have risen above fears and shame gives hope.

Two – to encourage you to get some help.

When I began working with a coach, I finally began to fall in love with myself. Seeking help led me to acknowledging not just my fears, but the shame around them.  When a fear is named, it’s a little less scary. Seeking help led me to healing some areas of my life.  It also taught me that I couldn’t fix everything, which led me to the lesson that I can integrate my past into my present.

Coaches also have this ability to allow you to feel, often for the first time, that no matter what you say or what you’ve done, you won’t be judged.  And better yet?  A good coach will not only support you, but push you a little so that you begin living your life instead of watching it pass you by. By the way, a good coach will be honest with you if your needs are beyond her skill matters and refer you to a therapist – or happily work in conjunction with one.

So, invest in yourself and hire a coach.

Three  – to suggest that you invest is a support structure

In past generations, we grew up surrounded by our extended families and childhood playmates. In many cases, today’s society is different and our support system is often more anemic than we desire.  Yet research in the power of change, the power of habits, and health show that people – especially women – need a support society.   Investing in – and building camaraderie with others that you can trust will keep you motivated when your well is dry.  A support society will also give you a shoulder to cry on with the loving kick in the pants to move forward.

Four  – to help you build your courage muscles

No, you cannot make your fears vanish with the wave of a magic wand. But, darling, you can build your courage muscles.  How?  By taking small steps. By tackling your fear in increments. By creating successes for yourself.  By making a commitment to yourself that you will step up in your life.  In fact, I created a Courage Agreement to help you along the way.

In a Courage Agreement, you decide upon 10 acts of courage you will take in the next month – and proudly take action.  I promise you that when you do this, it makes tackling the bigger fears feel more doable. (Get the download for a Courage Agreement here. There’s even a list of 100 ideas for practicing courage as a part of the download!)

My dear, I cannot promise that you can zap every fear, but acknowledging your fears – especially the inner fears, will set you on the path to falling head over heels in love with your life.  Invest in your present as well as your future.  Revel in the fact that you are not alone in the world.  Invest in support.  Ask for help.

And build your courage muscles so they can support even your darkest fears.

I’m here, holding space and intention for you.  I’m here, cheering for you.  And darling?  I’m sending you so much love.

So, tell me, darling:  what do you fear?

Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar will help you learn to navigate your fears. It is a collection of the tools I used to learn how to create a life that is loving and nourishing. There are six modules of lessons, a companion workbook containing all the worksheets and writing prompts, and more.


And, no, you don’t need fixing or to be rescued, but working with a coach can help the journey. You can bundle Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar with 6 coaching sessions.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Debra Smouse: Writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle, Debra helps people fall in love with their life. An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar. A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams.

20 Responses to “On The Subject of Fear” Subscribe

  1. Mindy Crary August 9, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I never knew that we are born with only two fears! That was interesting . . .I’ve had a ten-year time frame that pretty much anything that I used to fear happened to me, so after I dissolved the numbness and realized I was still standing, there’s not a lot that scares me anymore. As Danielle LaPorte says, “Everything is figure-out-able.” That helps me when I experience fear in the moment over something!

    • Debra August 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      What an awesome thing to know about yourself: “there’s not a lot that scares me anymore.”

  2. Joy August 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Great post, Debra.

    My understanding is that FEAR is from our EGO (Easing God Out) and it’s False Evidence Appearing Real.

    Whenever I have fear now, I can usually flip a switch inside to faith. There’s nothing to fear! (but those fearful thoughts in our minds)


  3. Joanna Z. Weston August 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    What a beautiful post! I agree 100%. The most dangerous fear is the one left unacknowledged and unshared, the one we believe to be ours alone. Once we can accept the fear, look it in the face under the light of day, then we can begin to transcend it.


  1. Darling. It Will Be Ok. | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | De-Tangler - August 28, 2012

    […] you are feeling are those shadow emotions that people rarely speak of, but the truth is that thousands of souls have been where you are now.  Heartbreak and pain are […]

  2. Questions & Answers. Love & Fear. | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | De-Tangler - September 11, 2012

    […] shattered into a thousand pieces, just as it always does, when someone – anyone – lives with that kind of fear…that kind of self-loathing…that kind of numbness.  My heart shattered because I’ve been […]

  3. Create White Space & Love Your Life More | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | De-Tangler - September 25, 2012

    […] me be frank, darling.  If I only show you the strength without ever revealing any of the fears, then I’m not showing you the full picture.    It’s the balance of truth with hope.  It’s […]

  4. The Masks & Disguises of Everyday Life | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | De-Tangler - October 30, 2012

    […] of topics for this week. I could have written to you about choosing love over fear, grabbing courage by the horns, or dealing with things that go bump in the night.  Those are all important topics, especially […]

  5. The Season of Gratitude - November 20, 2012

    […] began to embody the knowledge that I could step into courage at any moment. That I didn’t have to be perfect.  That I could choose love instead of giving into […]

  6. Give Yourself a Gift: Lose Some Baggage | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | De-Tangler - December 13, 2012

    […] your past, a decision you wish you could change, an inability to trust in your instincts, or a deep-seated fear that paralyzes a part of your […]

  7. 9 Ways to Preserve Your New Year’s Focus | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | Expert Detangler | Tarnished Southern Belle - January 11, 2013

    […] all, darling, if you are flagellating yourself, put the whip down.  It’s impossible for love and courage to occupy the same space as fear and […]

  8. Write Yourself a Valentine | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | Expert Detangler | Tarnished Southern Belle - February 12, 2013

    […] was uninhibited and wasn’t yet battle-scarred by life.  She embraced the now, didn’t focus on the “should” and instead, investigated and explored […]

  9. Meditation to Fall in Love with Your Life | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - February 26, 2013

    […] Like you, my lizard brain and inner critic regularly attempt to persuade me that any kind of change is scary.  I got “too busy” to do things like exercise, regularly eat lunch or […]

  10. Allowing Yourself to Feel | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - March 13, 2013

    […] know it’s scary.  You may be afraid  of getting lost down the rabbit hole of crappy feelings. You may be afraid […]

  11. Gypsy Writing, Congruency, and You | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - March 21, 2013

    […] was I giving into gypsy working? To be flat out honest: my wants were scaring me and baby, there was all kinds of resistance.  Every person on “Team Debra” was telling me that […]

  12. Your Heart’s Desires: How You Want to Feel | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - March 29, 2013

    […] tell you that nothing is wrong with simply being, but I am guessing that if you were to push aside the fears and the sometimes-mean voice of your inner critic, what you really want is to create or achieve […]

  13. Your Heart’s Desires: Making It Happen | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - April 3, 2013

    […] sometimes, the mere thought of taking action can feel paralyzing.   It’s scary. can seem like the scariest thing in the world.  Why?  Because, baby, when dreams are big they […]

  14. Burn Like a Phoenix | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - April 17, 2013

    […] Yet, here we were at Mount Vernon,  and I can still recall standing under the hot sun as sweat dripped down my spine yet I was shivering at his touch on my arm and his breath on my neck as he whispered in my ear. And the following evening, at the Point of View lounge, overlooking the White House and the Washington Monument, we finally had a conversation, not about the logistics of our dating but about love and faith and fear. […]

  15. Break Your Optional Rules | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - April 23, 2013

    […] realized that I had had enough rules and enough pretending and enough threats, and I agreed. I was frightened as hell, but it was the first real leap of faith that I took, and my life began to […]

  16. 14 Tricks for Getting Back in the Saddle | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - September 24, 2013

    […] past few months in your life. Where exactly did you get off path? What was the trigger? What was the fear around it? When did a delight become a should?  This isn’t about beating yourself up for stopping […]