I spent all of last week working on a follow-up to my most recent post about what gets in the way of the happiness, love and success that we all desire. The post was supposed to follow on by suggesting tips and techniques for overcoming those very things. Working on the post, however, felt particularly arduous and as it turned into the longest post I’ve ever written, I started to realise that it wasn’t what I wanted or needed to say on this subject at all.

It’s not that I felt that the post was a bad one, it’s actually full of useful tips and techniques to increase happiness and success in life. Techniques, that I am using to great effect, such as daily rituals, meditation and goal-setting, but for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it at all, I felt like it was missing the point somehow and so I decided not to post it.

On Monday morning I sat down to free write 1000 words as part of my daily morning routine and as I did, a thousand words about fear, courage and love fell onto the page. Despite feeling very happy at the moment, fear is huge for me right now. Fear of rejection (in romance) and fear of failure (in my work) are particularly up there as hot topics for me.

This week, however, rather than give into these fears, as I had been doing, something else happened. I started to see fear in a totally new light. I realised that it is this very fear of rejection or failure that means I behave in ways that are most likely to result in rejection and failure. So for example, in matters of the heart when I’m scared of rejection, I’m more likely to play it cool, pretend I don’t care or act like I’m not interested and in matters of my work, when I’m scared of failing I’m more likely to procrastinate, hold myself back or put off that launch. It’s pretty obvious to me where these sorts of behaviours are going to lead.

“Go to your fears, sit with them, stare at them. Your fears are your friend, their only job is to show you undeveloped parts of yourself that you need to cultivate to live a happy life. The more you do the things you’re most afraid of doing the more life opens up. Embrace your fears and your fears will embrace you.” ~ Jackson Kiddard

But let’s just imagine for a moment that I had nothing to lose. If operating from a place of fear usually ends badly for me (and believe me it does) then what would operating from a place of love bring to the table? When I asked myself this question I realised that whatever the outcome, it couldn’t be worse than operating from a place of fear and it could even result in something entirely different and entirely wonderful. On the off chance that it didn’t, in the end what would I have lost? Absolutely nothing at all.

What I’ve realised this week is that fear is and always has been my greatest teacher, because within every moment that I feel fear lies an opportunity for growth. An opportunity to be courageous or an opportunity to act with love. I’ve always said that fear shouldn’t be shunned, beaten into submission or eradicated but this week I’ve not just thought it on an intellectual level, I’ve truly felt what this really means.

An image that came to mind for me as I was writing about fear was that of giving my fear a loving and warm embrace and with my chin rested on the shoulder of my fear, seeing love standing there, in all of her shining glory. That’s when it hit me that whilst fear may obscure my view of love, so too can it lead directly to it and what is the key to happiness? Love. Always.

So, in terms of moving beyond the things that get in the way of love, happiness and success, the best advice I can give you right now is to embrace your fear with love and then witness the courage and happiness that follows. That’s what I’ll be aiming to do from now on and I’ll be sure to let you know how that works out for me.