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How to Face Down Fear

After ten years running Samovar Tea Lounge I’ve experienced many highs and my fair share of low points. The worst times were the periods of fear, uncertainty, and doubt–the three demons that eclipse goodness and hope, consuming everything in their path as things that once seemed so sure and solid crumble to pieces.

Over the years I’ve had plenty of opportunity to look Fear in the eyes, and while it’s never been easy, with the guidance of mentors, friends, family, and a whole lot of reflection I’ve learned to stand my ground. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Name it.
Face it down. Look it in the eyes. Call out what you feel: Fear? Say it. Anxiety? Say it. Anger? Say it and identify it. Running or squirming away from the feeling will only make it bigger.

Be present.
This moment is the only moment. Do whatever it takes to become present. I like to pay attention to my breath. Inhale for an eight-count. Exhale for an eight-count. Repeat three or four times, increasing the length of both the in- and out-breath.

Seek the root.
What is causing this feeling? Is it a person? Is it money? Is it a predicament? By looking at the root of the fear, it naturally becomes more manageable, less nightmarish, and less emotional. It’s just a “thing,” not an all consuming emotion.
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