The Practice of Creativity

Loving Your Fear Smell

Posted on: September 2, 2013

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?


8 Responses to "Loving Your Fear Smell"

Hi Michele, I appreciate your take on fear, which you’ll probably agree is a low vibration energetically as opposed to love and altruism. Creative work likes risk, so I add: risk it- the universe rewards action.

I don’t believe I have a fear smell….yet, but I do understand what you mean in attaining that level of fear when others might not approve of you because you are bringing the truth to surface. That level of fear when you have no choice but to ignore what others might think about you. My fiancé was literally just asking me if I was afraid that certain members of my family would be angry with my blog because I have no choice but to speak the truth. Sure, they might be mad. If not mad, at least somewhat unsupportive. I simply told him that I will no longer mask the truth and if any of my experiences help others to be blessed by saving them from making bad decisions, then my fear will ultimately become someone’s angel. Thank you for sharing.

Gina, you sound brave and courageous. Thanks for your comment and good luck with telling your truths through your blog.

Interesting post, Michele! I didn’t know fear had a smell.

Actually, now that I think about it I was afraid a couple of nights ago (long story) and I did notice a different smell. How odd. lol

Lately, fear has been manifesting because I am taking a big, new leap with publishing my eBook, so every time I get an email from my editor, I experience this fear you are talking about. I merely cope by calming my breathing and moving forward.

Chris, congrats on getting your e-book underway–that’s so exciting. Yes, deep breathing and pausing can be a big help in slowing things down.

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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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