My last blog post was about the false fears we all suffer from that weigh us down. They are fears that drive our behavior and act like a ball and chain, preventing us from living the life we most want to live. As I wrote in that post, the first step to overcoming them is to become aware of which fears are most likely to drive your decisions and your life (for more on this, check out my previous post).
But then what? What do we do once we become aware that our fear of failure, loss, losing control, rejection, what everybody thinks, (or whatever yours is) is driving our decisions and our behavior? Follow these below steps consistently and you will quiet the voice of fear. Practice them regularly, until they become your habitual behavior. Trust me – this works.
First, name your fear. We tend to resist fear because it’s uncomfortable. We push it aside or stuff it down. Don’t. Call it out. Once you name it and claim it, it starts to lose some of its power over you.
Next, ask yourself the following questions about the fear you’re feeling:
- What caused the fear to arise (was it a person, an email, a phone call, a conversation, a thought…?) What was the trigger?
- What might be underneath the trigger? (For example, if a conversation with your spouse about wanting to quit your job triggered a panicky feeling inside of you that you call “fear” or “anxiety”, what exactly is behind it? Are you anxious or fearful about what your spouse truly thinks of your decision? That he or she will reject you because of your decision? That your finances might fall apart?)
As you get clearer on what triggered the fear, you can decide whether it’s fact or fiction.
That’s the next step: Discern whether your fear is fact or fiction.
This is about questioning whether what you fear is really a fact, or is it a story you’re making up in your head? If the fear is real and you’re in danger, then move away from the situation and get appropriate help. If it’s not factual, it’s often a story you’ve created, or fiction.
Most of the time the fear is a story such as, “I’m afraid my business will fail and I won’t be able to pay my bills.” But sometimes our fears have some factual basis. After all, businesses can fail so that fear might have some factual basis. If it feels somewhat real to you, you want to move to the next step:
Go to the bottom of that fear. Don’t go there and set up camp. Just visit it for a little while to explore what it’s all about, meaning first, write down every awful thing that might happen if that (false) fear (the story you’ve created in your head) came true. Get it all out on paper. How would you feel? Write it down. What you would do if that fear came true? What would you do if you lost your job? If your spouse left? If your latest business venture failed? Write down exactly how you would feel and what you would do if the fearful story in your head became reality.
Typically, we discover that we would survive. We would rebuild. We would recover. It might hurt for a while and we might feel disappointed or sad or angry but, ultimately, we’d survive. What we also discover is that the story we’re telling about what we fear is typically worse than the actual fear coming to fruition. And even more so, these things we fear typically don’t come to fruition. They swirl in our minds, grow larger, and create more dissatisfaction and strife. These steps, 1)- Name your fear, 2)- Identify its trigger, 3) – Discern whether its fact or fiction, and 4)- Go to the bottom of the fear, are a quick process to start to move through fear. The more you are aware of the false fears arising and driving your behavior, the more you can practice this process.
Once you practice it enough, it becomes more habitual than listening to and acting from fear. And the more you do it, the more you will notice that the voice of fear begins to dissipate. What arises instead is the voice of your intuition. When you begin to allow that intuitive voice to lead your life versus allowing fear to lead your life, you step into your Divine flow of life. And that, my friends, is where you can experience all the miraculous moments that life offers us every day.
It’s time to free yourself from your fear-based ball and chain and step into your life of Divine flow. You deserve it.
This blog was originally posted on The Huffington Post on November 1, 2016