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Jan. 19, 2022

Dear Fear ...

Dear Fear ...

In "Finding Courage in the Face of Fear (S1, EP3 | The Soul's Work Podcast)," I share a letter that I wrote to Fear in my quest to develop a different, more compassionate relationship with Fear. Here is that letter:

Dear Fear,

I want to apologize. I haven’t treated you so well for most of my life. Whenever you’ve tried to talk to me, I’ve reacted by resenting you, sometimes hating you, and wishing you would go away entirely. I’m sorry. You must have felt really rejected, maybe even abused sometimes.

Because the thing I realize clearly now is that you've only been trying to help me. Your intention hasn't been to ruin my life. You just want to protect me, to keep me safe, because you care about my wellbeing.

And I guess I acted like that rebellious teenager who butts heads and fights with their overbearing parent. But I understand that, like any parent, you’re just doing your job. You didn’t even ask for this job. You just got sent over to my brain for fear duty. And quite frankly, I didn’t ask for you either. But here we are, together. And we always will be.

So, now I want to have an adult, heart-to-heart conversation with you. Here’s the thing. There are definitely going to be times in my life when I need you. Like if I’m backcountry camping and a big ass bear jumps out at me in the woods, Fear, I need you step the fuck up. I need you to help me whip out that bear spray and go all Revenant on that bear's ass.

But Fear, there are a whole lot of other situations where you can stand down. At ease, soldier.  Because we've got our sister friends – Honesty and Courage – over here too. And they’re also here to help out when I need them.

So during those times, I might say: “Hey Fear, this is one of those situations where my life isn’t being threatened. It’s really not as serious as you think it is. Here, have a seat in this comfy chair. Enjoy this warm cup of tea."

And I just respectfully ask that you let Honesty, Courage, and I have a conversation. And you know what? I bet if you take some time to just quietly listen to what they have to say, you might actually feel comforted by their words and realize that they’ve got this. We've got this. We’re all gonna be okay.

Thank you so much, Fear, for being there for me, but also for giving me the space I need now to grow.

With love and gratitude,


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P.P.S. This post has been slightly edited from its original version, which was published on January 25, 2018 on