Working with Fear

Fear is a natural part of life. It’s what keeps you alive. However, fear can often keeps us stuck and immobilized when we want to move forward. Fear, like our ego often gets a bad rap. We want to push through it, eradicate it. But it’s an integral part of who we are. Learning to work with fear can be a fantastic tool in achieving goals and moving through those places we feel the most stagnate.

Working with fear often takes patience, vulnerability and honesty. Our fear is here is to awaken us, to get our attention, to push us forward. Even if in that moment we are paralyzed and still. Think about a haunted house, when the boogie man jumps out from behind the corner, we are either attacking, running or stuck in place. Fear triggers our fight, flight or freeze. Working with your fear you will know when to use each and to make fear an ally.

Working with Fear

  1. You have to acknowledge fear. Sometimes, even this step is scary and hard. But fear isn’t going anywhere until you acknowledge it. The fear is here to tell you something. It’s here for a reason. Trust its timing. Be honest with yourself. Be open. This is not a place to judge or censor and if you are, most likely your fear is triggering your shadow (those pieces and parts of us we discard).

  2. Do you feel like running (flight)? Yelling, screaming, hitting something (fight), are you motionless and even numb (freeze). A couple other normal responses to fear that don’t get talked about as much is the desire to have sex as a way to reproduce (remember this are ingrained in our human condition), to channel the energy and release feel good and relaxing body chemicals. Or to  feast (consuming all our goods and numbing the feelings).

    2. Where is the fear in your body? Take time to feel where you are holding it.

    Breathe into that space with love and compassion. Take your

    time. Take deep loving breathes into that space.

  3. Can you personify fear? If fear was in the room, what would it look like? What texture does it have? Is it human or something else? Does it have a shape? What does fear feel like to touch? What does it smell like? What does it sound like? What does taste like? What have you learned about your fear? Does anything stick out or feel like a call to action?

  4. Start asking the fear questions

    1. What does it want?

    2. What’s its message/purpose?

    3. Get clear and specific on what exactly the fear is trying to tell you. (For some meditation helps here, don’t censor any images, thoughts, feelings, beliefs that come to you. Let them come to you.)

  5. Listen with compassion. Don’t judge your fear; just let it tell you what’s going on.

  6. Work with the fear.

    1. What can you do to ease the fear?

    2. What makes the fear feel okay?

  7. Give examples of people who have what you want. Who have overcome fear. Those you see as brave.

  8. What have you learned from your fear, what insight have you gained and what do you now understand about your fear?

  9. How can you affirm and remember what you have learned to be possible? (Quotes are great. As well as, affirmations, remember with affirmations you have to believe them. If you don’t believe it when you say your affirmation work with it until it feels believable. Take from what your fear said would make it feel okay.)

  10. Thank your fear.

  11. Change your fear into excitement. The brain doesn’t know the difference.

Fear’s Shadow

Being afraid is normal. It’s part of life. However, when we judge or shame our fear or others. Even judge those who are brave. We are living in our shadow.  See that judgement as a light illuminating your shadow and your fear. Be curious and open to what you learn. Can you own your judgement? Can you see how what you judge serves you?

Fear is part of life, it’s what you do with it that counts. Fear is a messenger. Allow it to guide you, to tell you when to be afraid and when to charge forward!

Margaret BellComment