Some people call it anxiety, worry or nerves. That is your fear. Here are four steps to having the best possible relationship with this misunderstood emotion.
1. Notice how you treat fear
We are all taught to –you know the language– control, fight, overcome, conquer, let go of or rationalize away fear.
These efforts offer you temporary relief, yet cause worse anxiety over time because you are now in an un-winnable, repressive war with your primary self. Your un-dealt with fear doesn’t go away, it gets pushed down and stored in your body. It will then covertly, over time show up as PTSD, depression, insomnia, anxiety disorders, panic attacks or other problems.
Which is why your awareness of how you treat fear is so important. Are you denying it its rightful place in your life? This question can be life changing.
2. Realize fear is natural
The trick with fear is to have a considerate relationship with it. Spend 15 seconds then, to really realize that fear is not a sign of personal weakness. It’s a normal and natural human experience. We all feel it, even people you admire. If someone says they have no fear, if you (or they) look beneath their relative reality, you’ll find it. This is especially true of you are taking risks, and putting yourself out there to learn and grow.
3. Learn how to feel it
I see emotional intelligence as our ability to feel our emotions in an honest way, and use them to enhance our awareness and aliveness.
To do this, find the sensation of fear in your body. You may believe fear is in your head because you’ve been conditioned to think about fear instead of feel it. It may show up as anxiety, nerves, stress, anger or worry. Identify that place now, for me it’s often in my solar plexus or jaw. Then spend 1 full minute feeling or even being intimate with that sensation, without trying to get rid of it.
4. Be curious why it’s there
Spend the next minute, especially if it seems excessive, being curious about what message fear has for you, that you have been ignoring?
This is your new fear practice. It’s all about curiosity and honoring that discomfort. Do this 2 minutes a day for one month, and your fear and anxiety will run out of things to say.