If you aren’t fearful, you aren’t growing!

mk_treesHave you considered that expansion and growth feel scary?

So many times I get asked how to “get rid” of fear or how to not feel a negative feeling. And I give the same old answer. If we aren’t afraid most of the time, we aren’t growing.

There’s this idea that a lot of folks believe; I’m not sure where it came from, but I’m pretty mystified by it. The idea is that somehow being on a “spiritual” path will banish all fear and negative emotions from a personโ€™s life. Guess what, it’s BS.

If you are living a “spiritual” life, you are probably going to come up against more fears than someone who is just coasting. If you are living a life on The Path – you are going to become MORE sensitive to the emotions you feel, not less. Somewhere out there it’s as if there’s this promise being made that if you go on The Path, you are doing it right if you are only feeling happy ALL the time, never feel scared and can turn off negative emotions like a light bulb.

This is not what having a human experience is all about. On the contrary! If we are on The Path, we are inviting fear to come – because we are stepping outside our comfort zone! We are inviting our emotions to rise, because we are clearing away all the things that prevent us from feeling them. This is the path of the spiritual warrior – to be courageous enough to FEEL fear and keep going! To not cut themselves off from feeling however they feel – and know that there is nothing wrong with them for feeling a down emotion! This is what it means to be a human being!

It’s a RIDE, man! If all you were was some annoying positive robot – life would suck. Like my mom has said, “When you numb your pain, you numb your joy” – being human, being open, being ALIVE means being ready to experience it all.

And as we do, instead of trying to always “be positive” and beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve that impossible goal, we accept that life is a series of ups and downs – and while it’s true that we can’t always control life, we CAN give what happens an EMPOWERING meaning. And by doing that, we start to take our power back.

And we also begin to see that it is by FACING our fears that we grow. Growth, by definition, means we are constantly expanding beyond our comfort zone. And when we expand beyond our comfort zone – the natural experience is FEAR! This doesn’t make you wrong or un-spiritual, it makes you HUMAN and it’s totally normal!

Can you allow yourself to feel the way you feel without judging it as wrong or un-spiritual? Self-acceptance is the first major step in transformation. Without self-acceptance, no amount of reading TDL or doing therapy or life coaching, or yoga or any other modality will really work. Without self-acceptance, all those things – including TDL – are just spiritual entertainment.

So! How can you accept yourself even more today?

As always, the action happens in the comments below, leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!




Mastin Kipp is the founder and CEO of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.

Take what resonates with you in this blog and leave the rest.

  • Eveline Almeida

    Thank you so much! Since I started to become more “spiritual” I have faced a lot more fears than before and I even questioned if I was on the right path and if I was doing something wrong. After reading this I feel a lot better.

  • Hadeel Al Musallam

    So True! It’s a journey we decide to face each and everyday. Thank you Mastin for your inspirational daily wisdom ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Gerri

    funny how I learned this and forgot – ego wants me to wallow. So its great to be reminded. I need regular doses…

  • Susie

    Thanks for a great message Mastin! I face that fear every time I take on a new client or post a new article to my blog. Opening myself up in service and exposing my vulnerability never gets any easier, but I remind myself daily that my passion is to help people live better healthier lives, and I can’t do that if I hide. The second I step out into love the fear dissolves, and even if my approach isn’t well received, I know I can learn from it and grow and use it to help more people along my path.

  • Michele

    Thanks for this one today Mastin, this was especially good.

  • Todd St George

    Thank you Mastin for this powerful message! As a recovering perfectionist, I have to at times remind myself that I am perfect as I am, that my feeling’s are fine as they are right now. Your mom’s saying about fear also resonated with me.

  • Kathleen Chelquist

    Today is round two of the Hay House Writer’s Workshop in SF, and I was going through my fear (and hot flashes) like a champion. There was sweat, tears (in the bathroom stall), and my heart was beating like a racehorse. The day before at the oncologist., I was in FULL surrender: total and utter trust to the “what is” of my eye cancer diagnosis. In 20 years of eye appts., I now know the difference. It is possible to create peace in the eye of the storm.

    But…the writer’s conference was altogether new. My heart’s guidance (just prior to the workshop) was to not only introduce myself to Marianne Williamson, but to give her a packet that was composed of letters to Oprah about a a great spiritual master of which the world has not been privy: Cinnamon Lofton. My mentor. And I dare to say it is true.

    “OH NO!” Said my mind. Marianne is not Oprah and the letters
    were not addressed to her. My ego/mind kept fighting my heart, and “taking the bull by the horns” was only going to kill this Love mission of mine. I continued to breathe and trust my inner nudge that NEVER fails me.

    And I did it. I don’t mind if she threw it in the trash. I care, but don’t mind. What I do mind is when I am NOT surrendered to my heart. I will not fight FEAR anymore…I simply step through it, and I am free.

    The Daily Commenter,

  • Thanks Mastin, I’ve come to accept fear as the sure sign that I am on the right path. It can be the gauge to measure if I am stretching myself enough and if I am going into an action that will truly up my game and my outcomes. I can be scared but also be connected to my souls guidance. When I check inside myself and confirm that I am acting from my souls guidance peace comes in and I move forward confident in the humanness of my fear and knowing all is well.

    A good example is putting myself out here on this forum. It’s scary but I’m called to share this way, so I let it be scary and do it anyway. The reward of participating and connecting with like minded people always trumps the fear.

  • Fear is that friend that we are always trying to ditch but ends up driving us to the best places. I’ve learned to let the fear teach me, everything has a purpose.

    • Neno

      I love this

  • Teresa

    Thanks you Mastin ! Feeling my feelings WITHOUT JUDGEMENT… Love this… This is what resonated with me this morning ๐Ÿ˜‰ A reminder I needed right at the perfect time I needed it too!!! Having a HUMAN experience includes the courage to face our fears and it’s nice to know we aren’t back sliding on our spiritual path when we aren’t always happy, positive and la li la la joyful… I have a decision to make and it isn’t goin to be easy at all and I was string here sipping my coffee and without realizing it, I was viewing my emotions with a right/wrong attitude and then I opened up my email and read this… Thanks again!!! Have a winter up day:-)

  • Greg

    My experience confirms this article. This article confirms my experience.

  • Christine

    Mastin- Thank you for this! It’s coming at the perfect time for me. I’m about to start a new job and I’m potentially facing the end of my marriage, which will cause me to be away from my 3 year old daughter maybe half of the time. I know it’s normal to feel fear in this situation, but it’s what I do with it that matters! Thank you for the advice on how to be strong through it. At the end you mentioned self-acceptance, and you’ve mentioned living a self-approved life. Can you expand on these topics soon? Thank you!!

  • Beth M

    That’s a good question…..how can I accept myself more today? I hear the words & understand….but a lot of times it’s as if there is a “block” in my brain….more like fear paralysis. Try and try as I might, still having trouble opening up and moving forward……your words today hit home with me…. But what do I do when I just can’t seem to apply them to my daily life? Any tips fellow TDL followers?

  • Tara

    I’m totally digging this concept – and you put it into words so eloquently. Light bulbs are going off all over my brain right now as I realize that, without consciously contemplating it, I have held these mistaken perceptions; that if I am uncomfortable, afraid, angry, or just a little down, it must mean that I am not really walking the spiritual path the way that I should. This subconscious belief often creates even MORE anxiety surrounding whatever situation, as I think I am not handling “life” perfectly. What an exhausting mountain to keep going around! I think I am definitely going to give myself more of a break…

    I’m having some sort of existential career crisis and, as a result of most likely way over-thinking everything, have been a bit down, confused, and emotional. My crazy brain wants to analyze whether I am fearful/uncomfortable with my current decision because it is new, unknown, and a path that I NEED to go down – or if I am fearful/uncomfortable because it is the wrong path for me. It seems to me that sometimes we get a feeling in our gut that something isn’t right because it’s our intuition (or our soul) telling us it’s not right. And sometimes we get feeling in our gut because it’s scary and it’s our destiny to go through it. Does anyone have any thoughts on distinguishing between the two?

    • Kelsey Campion

      Ha! Check out my post to Katrina… seems like a lot of us are going through the existential career crisis you talk of! I often over-analyze my intuition as well (Type A personalities unite!) but have found it often keeps me stuck exactly where I am, not allowing myself to move forward. When I keep analyzing every decision, that prevents me from taking action and therefore keeping me in my secure (albeit miserable) career/life. The only advice I can offer you is to take small steps. Talk to someone in your desired career, pick up a book on your career (or feel free to email me for a few career books I”m finding really helpful), and just keep noticing where your mind goes. I want to go into fashion, but I have a nasty habit of talking myself out of it (I have no experience, I’m not _______ enough, I’m too old…. etc.) so I convince myself it’s not for me. But in my free time I find myself on Pinterest, reading fashion blogs, picking up fashion magazines, looking up fashion. That is a clue that I am drawn to that field. I”m becoming a believer that our gut and intuition know what is right, and will unconsciously draw our minds down the path we are meant to go. The only thing I can suggest is to stop over-analyzing and take action. Over-analyzing kept me stuck for almost a year until I decided to make small, daily changes towards the direction that felt right. Best of luck, find my email at the bottom and feel free to reach out to a fellow existential-crisis-er.

      [email protected]

  • Mantra

    Thanks Mastin! Your messages are always perfectly timed and totally authentic.

  • Marteshia

    Thank you for The Daily Love articles. I read them everyday and for some reason you always tend to speak on what I’m dealing with. All I wanted to say is THANK YOU!

  • Katrina

    This post is something that really spoke to me because this is what I aim to achieve but I am not there yet. I am terrified of feeling afraid and when I do all I think is that there is something wrong with me or my choice and I should run away!
    I am a new teacher and for the first time in my life I am unemployed, have no money, am living with my parents and have a wedding to pay for in 8n months. I feel lost and so scared! Does this mean I keep going or is this a sign that I should not be teaching?
    I am trying to embrace uncertainty but am failing miserably. Any tips or advice would be welcome

    • Kelsey Campion


      Your post spoke to me as I, too, have difficulty with uncertainty. I’m leaving a Ph.D. program to pursue something more creative (what that is and how it will work out, I don’t know). I’m moving from Texas to Minnesota to move in with my mom and save money before heading to LA or NYC. I question my decision every day (should I move directly to LA/NYC, moving to MN feels like a step back, am I going to be successful). The only advice I can give you it to check your gut. Listen to your intuition for I’ve found it often has the answer. On days I think I’m making a big mistake leaving my program, my gut always reminds me that I’m unhappy and moving in the right direction, even if I don’t know what the direction is quite yet. Take some time and space to listen to yourself. Does your gut tell you to keep pursuing teaching? or is it telling you to search down another path. Don’t overthink all your options, that will keep you stuck. Go with your gut and the rest will somehow follow!

      Best of luck.

      • Katrina

        Hi Kelsey
        Thank you for your reply ๐Ÿ™‚ You were so right about intuition. Today I did some subbing and really tried hard to feel the fear and I did…I was terrified and crying and sick in my stomach but I owned it and once it passed all the chatter calmed down and I just knew that teaching is for me…when I listen to my heart I know I am in the right place.
        I have always struggles with making decision and wondering if I have made the right one but when you are following your instinct it is the right choice…even if it all goes wrong you will learn something and grow in some way! Good luck with moving and your new adventure

        • Kelsey Campion

          That’s so great! If you are anything like me, you want to be absolutely certain that the choice you make is right and will lead to success. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that certainty doesn’t exist and that learning to accept uncertainty can be quite powerful (especially if you have Type A tendencies… guilty). Glad to hear you are listening to your gut, I find it usually knows what is best.

          Best of luck to you in your teaching endeavors! How exciting.


  • Kristine Gerber

    I know, I feel insulted when someone asks me or tells me I don’t seem happy. Usually quickly responding that I AM happy. I am expanding right now and it is bringing on ego and fear reactions to people and a need to feel like I should be able to do all of this with ease and no mess. Thank you for this message today.


  • Sue Thornton

    There is a huge difference between living in fear – living a fearful life and acknowledging, accepting, and releasing that fear out into the universe. We don’t want to live a fearful life but acknowledge that when fear comes up we need to stop and pay attention to what is going on inside us and around us.