Face your fears is easy to say and harder to do. Fear can keep you frozen, keep you stressed, and keep you from taking a step forward into your preferred future and a better life. There are many quotes about fear such as, Neale Walsch’s acrostic, “FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real”,
or Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Platitudes are great, but what about what is gripping you right now? Fear is a personal experience. One person fears snakes and another enjoys having a snake as a pet. One person enjoys the thrill of public speaking and another fears it so much that they freeze.
Fear originates in our old brain from our fight or flight triggers. Fear of tigers or falling for example are innate fears. Most day-to-day fears are learned. Fears can be learned from people, usually early in life, and can originate from bad experiences. Fears are buried emotional reactions. It may take a bit of research to unearth the origin of your fear. You can solve the mystery and move forward into your best future by quelling your fear.
Fear leaves you feeling powerless. The thing, person or situation you fear holds power over you, your thoughts and your actions. Your old brain memory is running you around with no peace and no action. Fear can make you feel powerless, you, then, often look for something to ease the stress or block the fear. Thus, negative habits such as overeating, drinking a bit too much, and over doing pain killers can enter into your life. Fear can drive you to excessive attempts to control others, over-checking everything, being overly picky, codependent behaviors or rescuing others. Or, fear can lead to inaction, being frozen, stuck.
Time to face the fiddler of your fear. Look fear in the face and dispel its hold over you. Start with a meditation or with journaling. Ask yourself, “What is the root of the fear I feel?” Journal or meditate until you discover the root cause. This may take a few days, but once you decide to start, your subconscious will work with you. You may have a flash memory at an unusual time. If you can; stop and write about the memory.
Once you have the memory in mind, find a quiet time to work with the memory. What I mean by “work with” is to visualize the scenario as it was and feel through the feelings you had then. Sometimes allowing buried feelings out into the present can relieve the hold that this fear has on you. Next, visualize putting yourself in the role of each person in the scenario, one at a time. Feel what they felt, see why they acted the way they did. Next, visualize all of the people in the situation sitting together at a boardroom table and each in turn asking for forgiveness. Finish with replaying the scenario with your new understanding. Replay the scenario in your mind until the sting of the fear is gone or neutralized.
Breaking through fear’s hold on your subconscious mind takes a willingness to risk and to change. To conquer fear requires facing it and resolving to move forward with the fear out of your way rather than letting the it run the show. You will need to stretch your comfort zone. Comfort zones are a creation of your subconscious mind and are often established through old beliefs. The more you face your fears and conquer them, the more fear-facing muscle you develop.
“Resolve to do the things you fear and the death of fear is certain.”
Another fear-busting tool is to turn the fear around and put it into a positive statement of what you want to happen. Write out the positive outcome that would dispel the fear. Take the positive statement and use it as an affirmation. Make it your motto until the fear is gone away enough that you feel ready to take your necessary action. Read the positive statement several times a day starting first thing in the morning and repeat before retiring at night.
Fear: I am afraid I won’t have enough money to pay for school.
Affirmation: I am capable of finding new ways to increase my income.
Action: Resolve to learn more about scholarships for school or part time flexible income opportunities.
A third tool is to read Susan Jeffers book, Feel the Fear and Do IT Anyway. It was a life changer for me.
You can start here, and if you need more serious help, I suggest finding a NLP facilitator (NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a study which encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming.) or a hypnotherapist in your area.
I have used all of these processes in my own life and can vouch for them. Fear will keep you in your small self. You have the power to bust through to your preferred fulfilled self.
Lastly, keep this quote from Taylor Swift close at hand to give you courage.
Fearless is not the absence of fear.
It’s not being completely unafraid.
Fearless is having fears.
Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them.
Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.