How Can I Be Fearless?

facing your fears

In pretty much every action movie ever made, the hero is somebody fearless. Sometimes the world can seem like a pretty scary place, so of course we want to be fearless. It sounds great. To never be scared of anything ever again? Sign me up!

But this is real life, not an action movie. The fearlessness of, say, Wolverine isn’t really achievable. The guy is practically immortal, so there’s nothing for him to be afraid of. Do you remember the scene where Indiana Jones had to walk across the invisible bridge? That’s the kind of fearlessness we’re after. Indy was visibly frightened, but he did it anyway. He showed bravery and courage. He took a leap of faith.

Sometimes we have to be fearless about taking leaps of faith in our own life, especially when it comes to our recovery and our spiritual growth. There are going to be a lot of leaps of faith, more than you think. But each one is going to help us get to a place in our lives that we can’t even fathom yet — a new level of peace, wholeness, healing, and love that we can’t see from where we are now. We’re going to have to leap there, and that will take some bravery and courage.

So, how do we do it? Let’s dig in.

Isn’t Fear Normal?

Hopefully we can get rid of some unhealthy misconceptions right away. First, fear is indeed a biological function, but that doesn’t make it good for us. Some people say things like: “We need fear. It’s what keeps us from getting eaten by bears.” Because fear is biological, we can never truly get rid of it completely — but we also don’t necessarily need it. When you see a bear, you shouldn’t become seized by terror. You should calmly follow whatever protocols are necessary to save your life.

Some people say that we should fear relapse and loss of our recovery. That’s scarier than a bear by a longshot. But what’s really happening here is that we love our life in recovery so much that we’re afraid of relapse. It might serve us better to focus less on fear and focus more on the love part of that equation. We don’t need to walk around fearing relapse when we would be more uplifted and protected by walking around totally loving our lives! We’re scared of bears because we want to live. So let’s focus on acting out of love for our lives, rather than responding to our fears.

Do you see some of the misunderstandings about fear becoming clearer? The book Alcoholics Anonymous says that as alcoholics and addicts who are now in recovery, we are driven by a hundred forms of fear. We’re under constant fear and tension. We fear for our lives and our loved ones fear for our sanity. It goes on and on. Fear dominates us a great deal. But the Big Book also tells us what is plain to see — we have been unable to get rid of fear on our own. We can’t become fearless by ourselves. We can’t muster the bravery to cross the invisible bridge without help.

What About Fear In Recovery?

We just mentioned how much the literature of recovery talks about fear. Is that all it says? Not by a long shot. The Big Book also says that fear causes more trouble than stealing, we can commence to outgrow fear, our fears can fall from us, we must lose our fear, keep watch for fear, ask for our fears to be removed, and that our fears of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

Clearly, the book has even more to say about the pursuit of living without fear than it does about how bad fear is for us. That should tell us something. Fear is natural, but it is also incredibly destructive and corrosive. The 12-Step program of recovery takes us through practices that are specifically designed to help us get rid of fear and live free from it. In short, the recovery literature and 12-Step program not only encourages us to be fearless, but it can help us get that way.

How Do We Become Fearless?        

The same way we become anything else — we practice. We will need to work an active 12-Step program and thoroughly engage in the recovery lifestyle. Doing these two things ensures that we begin to practice fearlessness as a matter of course. Doing the 12-Steps can help us become fearless and brave. But, wait, don’t the 12-Steps ask us to be fearless a few times when we’re taking them? How can we be fearless in working the 12-Steps if working the 12-Steps is how we become fearless?

Well, we’ve got to take that leap of faith. Just like Indiana Jones, we’ve got to be brave. The 12-Steps do indeed ask us to be fearless, but they also never ask us to do anything alone. Our recovery community is around us for moments just like these. We can see their experiences with leaps of faith and they can encourage us to make our own. When we can’t be fearless by ourselves, all we have to do is ask for help.

Alcoholism and addiction are a devastating disease that is often accompanied by mental and emotional health issues. These conditions create a negative feedback loop that can trap even the most capable person and leave them in ruins. When someone is an alcoholic or addict, it often dominates their identity. However, they continue to be human beings with all the other issues and troubles of regular life, just with the added complication of a deadly and pervasive disease. Unless the person finds recovery, they will likely end up stuck in an impossible and dark situation. Thankfully, there is a solution that works. The 12-Step program is a spiritual course of action that can help alcoholics and addicts of any type or severity face their fears and find lasting freedom and recovery. From there, if they remain actively engaged with the program, they can find healing, success, and joy in all areas of human life. If you’re ready to leave the darkness behind and begin your journey in recovery, call Jaywalker Lodge now at (866) 529-9255.

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