Fear of success
Fear of failure
Fear of loss
Fear of being hurt
Fear of being alone
Fear of being unlovable
Fear of not being good enough
We all have fears. It’s part of being a human being.
I once read (I think it was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear) that we’ll never be void of fear. At first I didn’t believe it. Surely there had to be a way to remove fear once and for all. Some rigorous exercise for eradication, perhaps… so we could live fear-free lives??
I recall a time in my life when I had so many fears that if someone told me to try a Linda Blair style exorcism, I would have.
The reality is, similar to negative thoughts, fear happens. And just like negative thoughts, it’s not the fear that’s the issue. It’s what we do with it or better yet, what we allow it to do with/to us… that’s the real issue.
But my friends, there’s a silver lining in that dark fear cloud. While we may never be void of it, there are definitely things we can do to deal with it, to stand up to it, to move it out of the way or barrel through it.
SOME COOL FEAR FACTOIDS
I think it was Francis Bacon who once said, “Knowledge is power.” He was right. When it comes to fear, the more knowledge we have the more powerful we become.
Here are a few cool fear factoids (some taken from the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear) to arm you with a bit more power.
Fear doesn’t ever really need to be in control or in the driver’s seat. We choose to place it there in how we deal or don’t deal with it.
Fear doesn’t live in the present moment. Nope, it lives in the future and in past, but mostly in the future.
When we shine a light on fear it diminishes. I once heard this great analogy that fear is like bacteria. If kept in the dark it will grow and grow, but if we bring it into the light it dies.
Fear serves a purpose. It keeps us safe from harm or toxic situations. It also validates the importance of something in our lives. Say, for example, we have a fear of failing at a job or on a project. That fear is letting us know that whatever we’re doing is important, important enough to not fail.
I apologize for my redundancy, but this is key and worth repeating…it’s not the fear that is our real issue. It’s what we choose to do when the fear appears that can become the issue.
THOSE TESTED STRATEGIES
Sure we could let fear knock us over, talk us out of going for that promotion, shut us down, or make us run in the opposite direction of something really awesome. OR we could arm ourselves with the following tested strategies to deal with the fear.
(Yep, they’ve been thoroughly tested. I personally use them and I use them with clients …they’ve got a successful track record.)
STRATEGY #1: Forgetting Everything’s All Right
For the life of me I can’t remember where I heard that F.E.A.R = Forgetting Everything’s All Right, but I gotta say… when I remind myself that everything really is all right the fear loosens its grip. It then triggers the realization that regardless of what has scared me in the past, I’ve always managed to make it through and come out the other side.
Give it a whirl the next time fear hits. It’s really as simple as saying, “I’m forgetting that everything’s all right.”
STRATEGY #2: Present Moment.
Remember when I shared that fear doesn’t live in the present moment? It’s true. Most of the things we fear are future-based, which causes us to worry about what has yet to happen or may never happen. Viola, we have just been transported from our current time and space to some place in the future.
Focusing in on our breathing is a great way to get present. Quick, easy, and can be done anywhere without drawing the attention of passers-by. If we’re alone we can take a scan of our surroundings and share out loud what we’re most grateful for. “I’m grateful for the carpet under my feet, the light streaming through the window…”
Since the brain can’t think positive thoughts and negative thoughts at the same time, this little gratitude exercise pushes fear out of the way and pulls us into the present moment.
STRATEGY #3: Talk It Out
What better way to shine a light on fear and diminish it, then to talk it out with someone we trust? I always find talking about the fear helps me, not only to uncover what it’s trying to tell me, but it’s also empowering to know that I’m not alone.
STRATEGY #4: Then What? (One of the powerful exercises used in the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear)
Pick one fear and then with that fear in mind answer this question, “What would happen if what you fear actually happened?”
Let whatever is coming up come out. Let’s not censor ourselves here because we’re not being judged or graded, I promise.
Now answer this question, ”Then what?”
Again, let whatever is coming up to come out.
And then answer this question, “Then what?”
The key is to keep asking “Then what?” until we run out of answers or we come up with some solutions/realizations that take the power away from the fear.
STRATEGY #5: Prove the fear wrong.
When we do something any way, regardless of the fear we prove it wrong. (As long as what we’re doing isn’t going to put us in danger or harm’s way.) When we prove fear wrong it slinks off into the sunset.
Even though we may never be void of fear completely, we are in charge. We have the power of choice on our side; do we let it stop us or do we take a stand and implement a strategy to deal with it?
The choice is ALWAYS ours. I say take a stand. Who’s with me?
Just know you’re not alone. I’m hear and I’m listening.
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours…
Originally published at www.whatswithinu.com.
Originally published at medium.com