By S. Renee Smith, Vivian Harte

Fear is as real as courage. Although the value of fear isn’t as obvious as the value of courage, it does have its advantages. Fear is your instinct telling you that you’re uncomfortable — even if the situation will not cause you harm.

Everyone has had that feeling when you would rather pull the covers over your head than face that one event of the day. It’s the feeling you get when you have to walk into the unknown. It’s the question you ask yourself: “Can I do it?” It’s your body’s natural reaction to the thought, “This is scary.”

Imagine for a moment what could happen if your body didn’t send a signal to you when you’re afraid. You could walk into a situation thinking you’re prepared, when you may be grossly unprepared. Fear’s message isn’t to scare you; it’s a warning to alert you to what you need to do to prepare yourself for a situation.

Here are few tips to make fear your friend:

  • Thank it for showing up. If someone gave you a warning that something could happen, you’d thank them, right? Thank fear for the warning it’s sending you about how you’re feeling.

  • Be mindful of its message. Everyone doesn’t fear the same thing. Whatever you fear is fearsome to you. This is a wonderful awareness of what you need to work on and overcome. It’s an indicator of what’s going on inside you.

  • Look for deeper understanding. What you fear is often connected to some other event in your life that you’ve never worked through. Ask yourself, “What am I fearful of?” “What do I expect to happen?” “Why do I expect this to happen?”

  • Create a new reality. Decide what you want your day to look like. Visualize yourself executing it as you know you can. Embrace the challenge fully knowing that “you’ve got this” because fear is your friend.