Let Fear Advise, Not Dictate

How do you handle fear?
I felt fear creep in as I headed out on an early morning run a few days after a woman was kidnapped and murdered while running early in the morning in Memphis.
Was it safe for me to go running this early or was I being scared for no reason?
The victim blaming going on in the media was predictably disgusting. Accusing the woman of being irresponsible for running so early in the morning.
I took a deep breath and listened to what fear had to say.
Fear isn’t bad.
It isn’t something to be ashamed of.
Fear isn’t weakness.
And we should listen to fear.
Fear needs to be an advisor, not a dictator in our lives.
The danger is greatest when we allow fear to keep us frozen or refuse to listen to it at all.
Fear as an advisor allows us to keep perspective while assessing the situation. It allows us to stay curious, to question and reflect.
As an advisor, fear can keep us safe without holding us hostage.
We can live in the gray when fear is an advisor instead of black and white when it is a dictator.
I looked ahead at the dark path ahead of me, and Eliza Fletcher, a mother, teacher and not much younger than myself. I thought about my daughter who has fallen in love with XC and running.
I thought about all the women around the world who deserve to be able to go running without fear of being murdered. Who shouldn’t need to worry about carrying pepper spray, knives, tasers and for some, a hand gun, just to keep safe from those who see them as an easy target.
I won’t let fear keep me from running before the sun rises, but I won’t pretend that what has happened to others, couldn’t happen to me. Fear has a place. It deserves to be heard. And it can keep us safe. But only when we allow it to be an advisor, not a dictator.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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