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How to Make Friends with your Fear

Practicing the Art of Self-Compassion

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Fear is not the enemy.  In fact, when we are able to act with compassion towards our fear, we begin to understand how it can be fuel for our growth, and even be our friend. 

In 2018, I felt like I had hit rock bottom! My Mum (and best friend) had died after a protracted battle in hospital and palliative care. I no longer had a clear sense of purpose in my life as I had acted as my mother’s primary carer since 2014. To top this all off, I found myself in a position of severe financial hardship and having to find a new place to live. Apart from the enormous sense of grief and loss caused by the death of my mother, I also experienced a crushing mindset of fear. With time, inner work and the support and love of wise and trusted friends, mentors, coaches and colleagues who believed in me, I have greatly improved and strengthened my mindset. Today, I work in a role I love helping others to improve their mindset. 

As a Self-Care and Wellness Coach, I have been helping people to achieve emotional independence for some time now, and I find that one of the biggest challenges actually holding them back from achieving emotional independence is a mindset of fear. Can you relate to this? In this article, I will reveal 3 ways to improve your mindset starting today for the rest of your life.

  • Identify when you are in ‘fear mode’

There are tell tale signs that give away a mindset of fear. They can include: negative self-talk, being extra hard on ourselves and procrastinating to avoid doing tasks. Although a sense of fear is essential for our survival, dwelling most of the time in ‘fear mode’ is not helpful. Fear can trigger our nervous systems to operate more in fright/flight/freeze mode (sympathetic nervous system dominant) instead of rest/heal/digest mode (parasympathetic nervous system). This impacts our health and well-being over the long term because our brain is continuously sending signals to our body that there is a threat (actual or perceived) which affects the way different systems of our body work.

  • Breathe

When you notice that you are operating in ‘fear mode’, stop and breathe. By consciously slowing down our rate of breathing, we send signals to our brain that all is well and we are indeed safe. To start with, you can try breathing in through your nose for a count of 6 and breathing out through your nose for a count of 6. As you become more proficient with slowing your breathing, you can breathe in for a count or 4 or 5 and breathe out for a count of 6 or 7. Your body will thank you for practicing this simple yet powerful technique! 

  • Focus on what you want (not on what you don’t want)

Our brains pick up on the words and images we surround ourselves with. One way of  improving your emotional independence is to focus your thoughts towards those things that you want in your life. Take some time to consider what you want and create a list for yourself. For example you might value: great relationships, work you love and a healthy body. Then focus on moving towards these goals by using clear words and images which bring you closer to these things.     

I trust you have found these tips useful. If you would like more help with improving your mindset, go ahead and book a one-off Self Care coaching session with me here so that together we can identify strategies that you can implement straight away.  

These 60 minute sessions with myself are perfect if you would value a dose of support but aren’t quite ready for the investment or transformation that comes with an ongoing program. 

I look forward to supporting you soon. 

With love,

Anthea xo

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