Loving Your Fear Smell
Posted September 2, 2013on:
Fear triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters in our bodies. With so much going on, it’s hard for the body to focus on growth (or love) at the same time as defense. Fear is an aggressive predator of joy. –Chip Conley (Emotional Equations, p. 186)
Have you ever smelled fear emanating from every pore in your body? I know this isn’t the kind of thing one goes around sharing, but I’m asking. I’m asking because I have been aware for some time that when I’m really afraid, I smell different. And, I’m not talking about the fear of my life being in danger.
I’m talking about the kind of heart pounding fear I feel when taking a big leap in consciousness.
I’m talking about the kind of fear that happens when you take several steps outside your comfort zone and your inner critics declare that your actions will drop your approval rating with everyone into the single digits.
I’m talking about the kind of fear that emerges when the stars align and you are getting closer to fulfilling a deep desire.
I’m talking about the kind of fear that happens when you decide that you are more committed to the expression of your truth than anyone’s opinion of you.
Yeah, that fear…the kind of fear that carries a unique smell.
Many people think that I’m pretty fearless. I’m confident in public and extroverted by nature. That’s all true. But, I’ve been in a recent growth spurt in multiple areas of my life and have been conscious of how fear and my fear smell shows up.
I used to think having a fear smell was bad, shameful even—it was definitely something I wanted to mask through deodorants and perfumes. But, I’ve come to see that there is always something else that needs to be addressed under the fear. And for me, it is always a sense of self-approval.
The more self-approving, self-caring and self-loving I am the less fear gets a chance to show up in my body’s biochemistry. But even, if it does, it’s not something I have to get freaked out about. Instead, I can get curious about it. I bet sustained curiosity interrupts many of the biochemical responses that cascade during an attack of fear.
How is fear manifesting in your life? How are you coping with it? Do you have a fear smell?