Fear is a signal to take action. It’s not an excuse to do nothing at all.
Imagine that you are in a dense forest, alone, in early evening, the sun is rapidly setting, and you do not know the way out. You’re afraid, you’re out of food, low on water, and have no guide or compass. What would you do? Would you stay still, waiting in the cold and fast approaching darkness for more fear to set it? Or would you use whatever day is left to find your way out? Most people would choose the second option, easily. So why have so many of us gotten comfortable with the idea that, when a situation scares us, we should do nothing?
The fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses are survival mechanisms, meant to help us access danger. They aren’t meant to be permanent states of being. But for those of raised around abuse, neglect, dysfunction, and instability, they can be. And although these responses may have helped us survive in childhood, being stuck in survival mode is actively harming so many of us and holding us back from true peace. Change can be scary. Do new things, meeting new people, and forming new habits can be scary. Do it anyway.