Too often we allow fear to dominate and define our lives. We allow it to steal our joy, our sleep and our precious dreams. We cling to fear from our childhood, traumatic experiences, and the negative media, like a security blanket. We allow our fear to hold us back and to play it safe, in order to avoid facing rejection, possible failure, embarrassment or being hurt.
It’s our responsibility to acknowledge, face, and dissolve our fear. If you want to know happiness and to realize your dreams, you have to be able to take a leap of faith despite being afraid.
Here are some tips to help you to face your fears and overcome them:
- Be willing to sit with the fear.
When you fear something, move toward it. Rather than closing yourself off to the fear, learn to open to it, to sit with it. Use present awareness to breathe into it wherever you feel it in the body. The fear is there to tell you something. Listen! In allowing the fear to arise in your present awareness it will pass through in its own time. By simply looking at it with no push or pull you will find that being in this present witnessing state the boundaries of the ego will become loosened and the fear will begin to change. The fear may not dissipate immediately, but you will see it start to change. Its intensity will become less and you will start to look at it from a more observant perspective.
- Living in the present moment.
Fear means we’re either worried about something that has already taken place, or anxious about things that haven’t happened yet. Bringing ourselves into the present moment can help us to loosen the stranglehold of fear. Conscious breathing into the belly (slowly) will take the attention away from the mind and bring you into the present moment. A daily mediation practice will also help you to do this.
- The willingness to tell the truth.
Fearlessness involves the willingness to tell the truth, to ourselves (by confronting the content of our minds) and to others. We must be willing to look at everything, our own suffering as well as the suffering around us without averting our gaze. Hold yourself accountable and be consistent and authentic in everything you do.
- Choose to focus on the positive.
As human beings we have the ability to choose. Set the intention to consciously choose the thoughts you want to have. Fearful thoughts attract more fear and positive thoughts create more joy. Instead of expecting the worst, train your mind to expect the best. This takes some work as it is a moment to moment practice of being present in awareness and making conscious choices every moment of the day, however the benefits are tenfold.
- Questioning the validity of the fear.
When fearful thoughts arise over a situation. Slow down and take the time to question the validity of the thought. How true is it? Focus on the facts. Sometimes our minds create exaggerated scenarios of what might happen, which leaves us paralyzed in fear. In any given situation break it down and ask yourself do I have the choice to change this situation? If you do, then start to take make a plan and take baby-steps to implement it. If you don’t have a choice you still have the power to choose how you are going to react to the situation.
- Facing the fear and doing it anyway.
We all know the great Nike ad “feel the fear and do it anyway!” Rather than allowing the fear to hold you back we take the initiative and set the intention to confront that which you fear. If going in head first is too daunting try to find a bite size piece that you can handle. Once you achieve this you will have more confidence and courage to take the next step. Take calculated risks and deliberate action steps. Say “I can” and “why not?”
Remember the power it takes to break through any obstacles that stand in the way of you lies solely within you.