Fearlessness comes from being yourself completely. Anxiety is the gap between who you think you are, and who you actually are — the greater the gap, the more intense the discomfort. When you come into agreement with your truth, anxiety will reduce, and your capacity to choose your full potential in every moment will increase proportionately.
There is ultimately only one person you must reconcile your authenticity with, and that is your own self. From there, you will likely become increasingly authentic with every other living being, but if ‘being yourself’ with others comes before being yourself for you, then it will not work so easily. It has to be for you — love is your gift to yourself.
So what’s the key to becoming fearless? Unsparing self-honesty.
Confidence comes through positive experiences, not through rumination. You must put yourself in the places where you can have these positive experiences. You must discern where you are interfering with your natural processes, and allow yourself to move toward and prioritise what it is that you really want. Honestly, what brings you alive inside more than anything else? Close your eyes and be honest with yourself — what is it that brings you alive inside more than anything else? Now be honest — is that your number one priority? And do your actions reflect this?
It can be tricky at first, if you have grown distant and unfamiliar with how it feels to embrace something you really want. It can be tricky because through others, you will not be taught how to be yourself — you will be taught how to be what pleases the other, and to become fearless you must see this is less important than being yourself. Does it mean you won’t do anything for others? No — it means you will do what pleases you, which will likely include doing things with and for others, but because it comes from an internal desire, your entire energy system will support it, rather than the tired, dutiful resentment that comes from external or ingenuine imposition.
As children, and as we are still maturing into full independence, we adopt behaviours, beliefs, and patterns of thinking and feeling that have nothing to do with who we are, but allowed us to survive before we became independent. These patterns include guilt, self-sacrifice, shame, fears, shyness, arrogance, manipulativeness, self-pity, people-pleasing, depression, anxiety, feeling small, impotence, self-hate, and many more. These are all conditioned responses to perceived danger, and contribute to the idea I have about who I am. This ‘self-image’ is always restrictive, limiting, and inauthentic. If I am a shy person, I cannot be confident; if I am feminine, I cannot be masculine; if I am fun-loving, I cannot be focused and grounded. For each way in which we mentally define ourselves, we confine ourselves away from the opposite, away from our natural freedom and panoramic potential. This is also how we divide ourselves from others and feel separate and isolated. If, however, we should choose to see these labels and let them go, to essentially become nothing, become nobody, then we can act in any way we choose. If I am nothing, I am free to be loud or quiet at any time. I am free to be feminine and masculine. I am free to express both this and that as I see fit, and to flow with life instead of resisting it. This is the freedom of really being yourself. Being nothing, everything is available, but being something — only that something is available, and everything else will feel like it’s ‘not me’, that ‘a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots’. Wake up and see: you are not a leopard, and if you see this, then you’re no longer subject to these mentally-imposed limitations.
The question is: are you ready to experience the fullness of who you are? Are you ready to let go of who you think you are and start experiencing those other sides of human existence? What are your strongest-held beliefs? Are they really yours, or are they the result of what you’ve been told by external sources, or devised in response to danger? That which is not you will always be slightly insecure, it will always require effort to maintain and make you tired. When you are yourself, you will have limitless energy — all life will turn toward you and embrace your desires.
It begins with you.
Ben Freeman is a devoted father, youth coach, and musician. His work focuses on giving a voice and inspiration to adults with learning difficulties, children, and teenagers across the UK. As an experienced world traveller and writer, Ben is wildly driven by his passion for love and creativity.