Fear: A SWAP Tactic To Overcome It

Out of Control

My heart picked up speed, faster than Joey Logano on the Kansas speedway. It had gotten under my hood and my pulse was beating so rapidly, I was sure my veins would burst. Hardly able to breathe, I reached for the rear view mirror of my truck and spun it so hard towards me that it almost broke off. Checking my eyes to see whether a capillary or two had burst, oozing blood and turning my yes red as it had done before, I was happy to see that it had not.

“At least no one might notice that I am about to buckle under all of this,” I thought to myself. Opening the vehicle’s door, I slowly jumped down from the cab, careful not to break the too high heels I had chosen to wear that day. Heels and Anaïs Anaïs always boosts my confidence and God knows I needed every help I could get this day.

Fear – False Evidence Appearing Real

It was too much. Things were getting way out of hand and I no longer knew whether I was coming or going. But so many people were depending on me, how could I not go in?

This was not the first time, the tenth or the hundredth time that this immobilizing fear was making its way through every fibre, every cell of my body. Truth be told, fear has been a constant companion of mine for most of my journey. There were moments, even a few days when it left me to my own devices only to return as soon as (a) I got “too” happy or excited about something or someone, (b) the ‘threat’ of relaxation loomed and just as baby girl (me) was about to lean into the comfy couch and sip on some joy, wham! Fear returned.

Ever-lurking fear

Fear was like a bad case of yeast infection. You are never sure what brought it on and the first itch is almost negligible. Only when you are digging – not for gold – but to scratch and tear out what is the most precious part of a woman’s body that you realise it has taken root.

In earlier posts, I told about my ability to let go of just about everything and everyone who serves me no good or intentionally means me harm. Fear is one of them, yet it has been a recurring visitor. No matter the amount of times that the door was slammed in its face; regardless of how mean or polite my vocabulary; whether I cooked a nice meal, serve champagne and have a mariachi band serenading it as I build up my courage to kick its butt out of my life – fear always return.

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Anger and Fear: Bosom Buddies

Like anger, eventually it came to me to try a different tactic. Some people insist that anger is a bad thing, a dark emotion and I would agree, in part. Jane Austen said in Pride and Prejudice, “Angry people are not always wise,” and it is hard not to agree, especially when you saw so many angry people locked up as I did for their ‘foolish’ use of the emotion.

How you use anger was my first lesson, funny enough, to understand how to change my tactic with fear. A wise and calm woman; one who knew better than to call me an angry black woman (maybe she feared I would explode?) was the teacher of this private lesson. Try as I might have to hide and repress my anger at the world, life and just about everyone I had met up to that point, it kept coming through. My eyes were the giveaway. I could give you the look of death, instantly committing murder without laying a finger on you. She pulled me into her tiny office one afternoon for a talk. Fear came in with me.

One day, all hell broke loose

After two hours, copious amount of tears that left my eyes red – not from blood as it could get – anger became my friend. My professor introduced me to the other side of anger and showed me how to use it, allow it to fuel my creativity and not let it continue to consume me and every relationship and interaction. That afternoon, I began slowing and then eventually halted my chase for everything that was wrong in the world.

Years later, after many failed and near passes on this ‘test’, I came up with a practical strategy to not only channel my anger but to tame fear. Recognizing that both are emotions and bosom buddies that will be with me (and you) for as long as I am a human being (forever in this lifetime), I developed a four-point tool to guide me through fear’s attack.

The S.W.A.P

I offer it to you today – National Face Your Fears Day – in the hopes that it might help you as well. It is what I call my switch plan and I still use it, all four steps sometimes depending on the intensity of the attack. Sometimes, just one step is enough to quiet the anger, allay my fears and move me into a productive mode.

Fear Swap ©

Practical and easy to use tool to move from fear to faith
Food - overeating, especially sugary snacks and carbs to mask feelingsSing - any song or simply listen to calming music
Isolate - hide from people and real feelingsWrite - 'confront' fear on paper, writing clarifies what is the truth
Needy - seek someone to 'rescue' you from the feelings, cover upAcknowledge and Accept what is at the root of the emotion
Defend - project blame, avoid responsibility thereby having more reasons to be angryPlan options and strategies, prepare plans 'B', 'C' and 'D' if necessary
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The two-minute walk from my vehicle to the entrance took me ten that morning as I had to switch from F.I.N.D. an excuse to be angry and stare down anyone who crossed my path that day. I did a Fear S.W.A.P. © but only needing three steps to walk in with me. I sang Kirk Franklin’s “Hello Fear,” accepted that all that was happening and all the possibilities that I was fearing were consequences of my choices. Then I planned what my options were to make it through whatever came.

That evening as I walked back to my vehicle, nothing that I had feared materialized but what I had activated through my planning did.

release all fear
Love conquers all

Four years later, with bright eyes and a wide smile, except for several pieces of art, many books and trinkets gathered from countries in Europe and the Caribbean, I was sitting in the waiting area outside the operating room debt free, without the miseries of a one-way relationship and a heart full of hope, awaiting the early arrival of the most precious person in my life today – my granddaughter. That is the thing with fear. If you learn to Fear SWAP © it – life brings you such sweetness – in small bundles oftentimes – than you could have imagined!

Do share this post with anyone who might be going through some form of fear today. [tweetthis]Hey, I know you have being dealing with fear. Here is a great blog post that can help you![/tweetthis]

Consider subscribing for this blog to receive daily inspiration on a variety of topics, as well as access my services and support with letting go and moving forward with your life. As a subscriber, you will also receive my monthly newsletter which is sent to your inbox on the first day of every month, along with an affirmation poster.

Be well, be blessed and be a blessing throughout this and every day!


Claudette P. Esterine

Except for the personal ones, all photos in this post are from Pixabay – a free resource.



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51 thoughts on “Fear: A SWAP Tactic To Overcome It

  1. […] As technology advances and our world shrinks, some people are becoming more mean, focussed on getting their piece of the pie, so to speak, and in doing so, they cut down anything and anyone in their way. Some are quite bold in their approach, and kudos to them for going after what they want. You simply have to give that to them. The question is – are you equally bold to stand in your own power? […]

  2. […] of mine and one in which I offered you a tool to support you in any kind of relationship. It is my Fear S.W.A.P © that you are free to use and share. However, as I asked yesterday in my post on being original, […]

  3. […] of mine and one in which I offered you a tool to support you in any kind of relationship. It is my Fear S.W.A.P © that you are free to use and share. However, as I asked yesterday in my post on being original, […]

  4. These swaps will definitely come in handy!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am glad to hear that! 🙂

  5. katrinagehman

    fear can definitely take over our thoughts. thanks for the great tips, i’ll try them out next time.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome and please let me know whether they worked for you! Namaste. 🙂

  6. Fear can be totally crippling. If you don’t realize it has a grip on you it is so easy to find yourself spiralling down into more and more negative thoughts. Love the way you describe fear here.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Danii for the compliment as well as for sharing your perspective! 🙂

  7. I hadn’t heard of national face your fears day. This is a really great idea. Fear can be so crippling but it’s so important to remember that we can overcome!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed it is! Thanks again Jonathan for visiting! 🙂

  8. kleebanks

    Excellent post and strategies. It’s always important to confront fear and put it in its place so we can grow and fulfill our purpose in life.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen to that!!! 🙂

  9. You’re so lucky that your professor helped you learn to harness that anger and use it positively. What a super mentor!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Lucky maybe but fated – more like it. She was a wonderful teacher, demure but dynamo! Thanks Liz for visiting! 🙂

  10. These are such great strategies! It definitely makes me want to go out and do something I wouldn’t normally do. I’m definitely one to isolate myself.

    1. Ms Claudette

      What are you waiting for? Go!!! And send me some pictures! 🙂 Much love and blessings!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am glad that you think so Erika! 🙂

  11. victoria

    They say Always face your fears but i am so afraid to love again it was really hard for me. I don’t give my trust quick. When i am thinking i love eating sweets.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Sugar has that effect on all of us – always there to comfort us when we are pondering. 🙂 I hear you on the “fear to love again” issue. But I guess as they say, you have to get back on the horse that threw you to get over your fear of riding. I wish you all the best – keep me posted. 🙂

  12. Elizabeth O.

    Fear is such a challenge to over come but if we let it consume us we won’t be able to live our lives fully. It’s important to come up with ways to beat fear out of our system and I think SWAP would be very helpful.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Elizabeth for adding that perspective! 🙂

  13. I have a mantra to get me through almost anything I am fearful of–She Came She Saw She Conquered–I just keep repeating it until I have done what I was afraid to do

    1. Ms Claudette

      WOW, I like that! I will try it next time fear visits me. Thanks Michele! 🙂

  14. I used to be positive and no fear.. but things work differently after having a kid. I have so many fears. My biggest fear? Flying. I was a traveller but not anymore. I had to give up my dream to see the world because i hate flying now ;(

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is such a pity – not being able to travel due to your “new” fear of flying. It is not the same but until such time, you can take adventure of seeing all of your country as well as neighbouring Canada (mine) on road trips? Thanks for stopping by and sharing that. 🙂

  15. I love your list of fear swaps. Sometimes, fear wins big time. These are great swaps to practice every time fear attacks.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you! I use them and they work for me – so I hope it will help at least one other. Namaste 🙂

  16. These techniques are valuable for change the course of ones day or life. Great post.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Chanelle! 🙂

  17. Eileen xo

    I love your ideas – you are a strong woman!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and thank you. 🙂

  18. I love those steps that you shared in order to change your emotions. Those techniques are really helpful, and things that I do too.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so glad that you might be using them Shann – very glad. Namaste. 🙂

  19. I fear sharks even though I am never in the water

    1. Ms Claudette

      There are sharks on “dry land” as well – just as dangerous. 🙂

  20. Glad you have overcome and found the blessings. I have given over to fear in the past, but am learning to deal with it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      We all eventually get there, don’t we? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  21. I have many fears to face. Flying is one of them.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Heights is one of my fear — mountain tops, high bridges, etc. Maybe we can overcome this together? Hold hands and scream? 🙂

  22. Most times we create fear to keep ourselves from doing something we haven’t done before or to keep ourselves from trying something new. It’s easier to keep to the comfortable

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, the comfort zone is really comfortable isn’t it? Funny is, once you move out – you create a new comfort zone! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  23. I find that my fear and self-confidence issues sometimes holds me back and I wish that I could break out of this vicious circle but it is so hard sometimes!

    1. Ms Claudette

      It can be very hard Ana – trust me I know. What I also know is that once you take the first step – the second, the third and the hundredth becomes so much easier. Go according to your pace – only then you can own your release. Much love and blessings! 🙂

  24. I can’t remember ever having fears. I’m the kind of person that says screw it..let’s it go or works on it…

    1. Ms Claudette

      Good on you! 🙂

  25. Sometimes fear can cripple us that we feel so helpless unable to move forward in our lives. So true “if you
    learn to SWAP it life bring you sweetness” powerful statement taking risk does not have to hurt the reward is far out weight everything else. Thanks for sharing this inspiring blog post.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are welcome! And thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Much appreciated. 🙂

  26. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I am an emotional eater, but not from fear – from being mad or hurt.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I used to be as well but, my overeating could always be traced back to my fears of some kind – not fitting in, losing my job, not enough money, not being loved, and the list goes on. 🙁 then I learned self love and now I eat because I really want it or need to so not to pass out! LOL

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