Some people would like to believe that by just thinking positive or speaking affirmations, you can overcome your fears. Unfortunately this well meaning sentiment is only part of the story. The other part is something you might not want to know. In order for you to truly get unstuck, it is necessary for you to deal with the fear and anxiety that is blocking your efforts to move forward.
F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Like all emotions, fear is simply a signal that there is something to pay attention to. It often indicates you have a concern or anticipation that something undesirable may happen soon. “May happen soon” means at some point in the future. This is the reason why fear is false. Fear takes you out of the present moment into a state of worry and anxiety about the future. Fear tricks you into thinking about what might be instead of what is. You might be unsafe. You might be hurt. You might be unhappy. You might be – but you are not right now. The great news is that you do not have to live in this future state of fear. If you are willing to use fear in a positive way, fear can be a useful tool to notice when you need to get your mind right. Here are the 4 best things you can do with fear:
1. Face It
When you feel fear, do not run from it. Do not avoid it. Do not dismiss it or attempt to smother it with a positive affirmation. Face your fear. Look at it objectively and as calmly as you can. Breathe. What is the fear really about? How much of your fear might be exaggerated? What evidence do you have to counteract or calm that fear? I like to challenge the fear by asking, even if that fearful thing did happen, what is the worst possible result? Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even though that perspective has never been much comfort for me, I can admit most things we fear aren’t actually going to kill us. When you look at your fear objectively, even if it actually happens, it is probably less terrible than you are imagining it to be. Breathe deep and take a courageous look at what you’re afraid of for what it is.
2. Take Action On It
What is this false evidence showing you about your current circumstance? Even if fear is based on worrying about the future, there are lessons about your present situation that can be addressed in the here and now. Often there are opportunities to make a decision or pay attention to a detail that will remove or reduce the possibility of that future state ever happening. Ask yourself questions like ‘How can I handle this purposefully and for the highest good of everyone involved?” “Where do I see an opportunities for brilliant, creative action to handle this situations?” You can continue to worry, or you can move to do something about it. If there are aspects you can’t prevent with action, knowing that you are prepared or have diminished the impact can greatly reduce your fears.
3. Replace It With Joy
Fear and joy cannot exist in the same moment. If you are in fear, you are not in the present moment and therefore you cannot fully experience your own joy. What brings you joy? Where can you find joy in this situation? If you can’t calm your fear, do something to increase your joy. Yes, that’s right, let the fear be what it is and turn your focus to joy. I am I the only one who often experiences something unexpectedly humorous or lighthearted in the middle of a fearful situation? Look for a reason to have joy and release the anxiety. I’ll bet when you take another look at that fear from a place of joy, it will look very different than it did before. You will see potential solutions and actions to take that you could not see when you were in fear. Joy inoculates you from fear so the stronger your joy, the less intense your fears. Choose to live a life full of joy!
4. Be Grateful For It
No one wants to be afraid but fear is a signal. Fear can show you something that you did not notice before. Fear can prompt you to do some things that are beneficial to you in the long run. Be thankful for the signals you are giving yourself about how to step into your power. Be grateful that you have a built in system to help you focus on what is important. My fears often challenges me to honor my highest and greatest self. Even though I’d prefer not to be motivated by fear, I’ve learned that fear has a helpful purpose.
Every now an again, something we fear actually happens. If you have faced it objectively, if you have taken all the action you could think of to diminish it, and if you replaced your fear with joy, then instead of fears you now have lessons. You may not be happy about the circumstance, but look at this situation to see where you can be grateful. Look for the good fortune and providence in your situation. List all the wonderful things that happened as a result of this undesirable thing. Notice your gratitude for the things that could have happened, but didn’t happen? What do you know now that you can apply to your life that might prevent you from being in this situation again? Who left or entered your life as a result of this situation? When you are looking to replace fear with joy and gratitude, it is not difficult to pull authentically positive affirmations out of your situation. Overcoming fear is not difficult when your positive affirmations are powerful and true!