10 Life-Changing Facts About Fear: Take Two

free_from_fearAre you ready to go deeper, to really commit to discovering freedom from fear, consider joining the 3-week Flourish in the Face of Fear intensive.  I am so excited about the possibilities it offers you because it is chock full of practical, straightforward information you can apply to the moments of your precious life.  Please click here for more information and to register.

In the support of this upcoming event, I am reprinting a popular post I published a year ago called 10 Life-Changing Facts About Fear.  Address your fear directly and see if your life doesn’t change in some amazing ways.

10 Life-Changing Facts About Fear

“The presence of fear is a sure sign you’re trusting in your own strength.”
~A Course in Miracles

If you’re a human being, chances are you experience fear. These bodies we live in are built for survival, and fear is the gatekeeper. It protects us, keeping us safe and secure by making us wary of any potential threat that might come our way. Fear breeds caution, vigilance, and suspicion.

Which is fine if a hungry lion is chasing you. But if your intention is to live in the abundance that is always here, to lead with the heart, to be open to the depth and breadth of what might be possible in your life, then fear deserves your attention.

A Sacred Choice

Simply said, running from fear doesn’t work. If we avoid turning to face it, it will nip at our heels forever. What does this mean? We live a fear-led life, choosing partners, jobs, and friends out of fear. Habits and addictions run wild because we are afraid of meeting our feelings. We feel separate and alienated, while deep inside, we recognize the echo of truth whispering softly.

Here is my question to you as we move into 2012. What do you want? I mean what do you really want for this precious life you have been given? If you are committed to knowing yourself fully, to living fully, then get to know fear. Start with these facts, then step aside and let your life unfold in all its glory.

Facts About Fear

  1. Fear-motivated thoughts are all about “can’t.” They create a negative, imagined scenario about the future. Here’s the truth: you don’t know what is going to happen, so these thoughts can’t possibly be true. Buy into these thoughts, and you are inviting limitation. Let them float on by, and you will see what is actually true for you.
  2. Fearful thoughts are designed to keep you safe and limited. They are not wisdom, and they are not truth. You get to choose what to follow.
  3. Fear always includes physical sensations. Learn to recognize these, and receive them as they are with an open heart. Channel the energy of fear into excitement and enthusiasm.
  4. Fear makes us think that something negative will happen, when the truth is that we don’t know what is going to happen. Become comfortable with not knowing so that fear doesn’t rule you.
  5. Resisting fear strengthens it. The antidote is awareness – being willing to directly experience fear as it appears to you in the moment, recognizing the thoughts and physical sensations.
  6. The goal is not to get rid of fear, as you don’t have the power to make this happen. But you do have the power to change the way you relate to fear. Learn to receive it with curiosity and a loving heart, get to know how it spins thoughts that deflate the things you are enthusiastic about. But don’t feel like something is wrong or you have failed if it continues to appear. Simply meet it lovingly every time.
  7. A surge of fear tends to arise directly after a moment of truth. Say that an idea appears in your mind about something you’d love to do. Soon after, you might notice that your mind is filled with reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do it. Recognize that this is fear speaking.
  8. Recognizing the presence of fear allows you to make conscious decisions. You have the clarity to see what fear is guiding you to do, and you can consider what you really want.
  9. Fear is not the enemy. It can be the voice of reason, caution, and practicality that serves you well at times.
  10. It takes energy to resist fear. Getting to know it and allowing it to be lets your body and mind relax, as the fight is over. This opens a space for creativity, wonder, awe, love, beauty, inspiration.

Learn about fear. Know it so well that it can’t sneak up on you. Free yourself from the chains of fear, and every moment of your life will shine.

How have you dealt with fear? Does it hold you back? What happens when you embrace fear? I’d love to hear…

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14 Comments

  1. avatar Olivia
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    I’ve been taken up by fear again lately. Was doing well for a month or two in school, staying positive and very motivated but started getting bogged down with the quantity of study i’ve had to keep up with. Still on Christmas holidays but this week is meant to be study week. All week i’ve just been plagued with ‘why bother? You’re not going to get there even if you try.’ which is exactly the kind of thoughts i’ve tried to avoid. Fear of failing has me not believing in myself. I’ve convinced myself I can’t.

    • avatar Clare
      Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Olivia, when you tell yourself “I’m not going to get there even if I try”, continue that though by saying “I’m not going to get anywhere if I don’t try and I least I will have known that I tried, that I did my best”. Trying at least means that you believe in yourself, which you obviously you do, despite the self-talk. Things seem overwhelming at times – we don’t have to be perfect, we just have to push on the best we can. Good luck!

    • Posted January 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for your comment, Olivia.

      It sounds like the thought “I’m not going to get there even if I try” is not leaving you alone, as much as you want it to. You have tried to avoid it, but it has come to visit you anyway.

      It is just a thought. See if you can just let it be – not banish it, but just let it be. Try not to make a whole story about it that leaves you bereft and weighed down. Just notice that this thought is present. Acknowledge it, then see what it is that you need. Maybe you need to rest or relax. And when it’s time, reconnect deep inside with what is most essential to you. In any moment, ask, “What do I really want for this moment?” I mean what do you really, really want from the truest part of your being. That kind of clarity is powerful, way more powerful than any fear-driven thoughts.

      So don’t try to drive the thoughts away. Instead, go inside to get clear about the moment, then proceed on with your lovely life.

  2. avatar Olivia
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. Even reading that has calmed me significantly. I would never have imagined to just leave the thought be and acknowledge it. Up until now any of these thoughts i’ve ended up focusing on and I guess they’ve grown in my mind and gotten worse.

    I’ll keep this post open on my laptop so I can read it if times get tough in future :)

  3. avatar Olivia
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    And thanks, Clare. I guess it’s a case of that i’m terrified that even my best effort won’t be good enough. Although, i’ve never tried, so it’s about time I found out and choose to be happy about it.

  4. Posted January 4, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Hi Gail,

    Fear is indeed a doubled-edged sword. It can empower us or cripple us. And as you rightly point out, running from fear doesn’t work. Given time, fear will grow in strength as it resides in the dark corners of our minds. Fear, like any problem, must be dealt with swiftly and effectively. We have to nip it in the bud before it nips at our heels.

    The greatest fear that I have now is the fear of knowing. Being able to foresee the outcome of events requires immense courage. At times, I choose not to know, I choose to hold on to vain hope that things will turn out the way I want. This is no different from an ostrich hiding its head in the sand. What will be will be if I do nothing about it in advance.

    Since I already know that I have many obstacles to “Bite Through” in 2012 and my chosen word is “Perseverance,” I will do my best to summon the courage to know the outcome of what I do in advance this year. Doing so will allow me to prepare to manage or avoid unfavourable outcomes in advance. This will certainly save me a lot of time and effort which I can put to productive use elsewhere.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

    • Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Irving, and for your comment.

      It sounds like your strategy is to do your best to predict the outcomes of your actions, while also preparing for unfavorable outcomes. Being open to all possibilities allows you to expect the unexpected and deal with things as they come along. This brings a great deal of ease to life and sounds efficient to me.

      I wish you wonderful and satisfying outcomes in 2012!

  5. Posted January 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    My life has been controlled by fear for a very long time. Fear of failure as well as success. Fear of, well, everything. I’m slowly getting over it and the more I do the more my life improves. Your writing on fear have actually helped a great deal.

    • Posted January 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m so happy for you, Rain, that you are finding your way through the fear. I’m not surprised that your life is improving. When you are less deterred by fear, you can be free to live your true life. I’m glad that you get when you need here.

  6. avatar Sarah
    Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Only in the last several years have I faced fear and risk in my life head on. I’ve never felt more alive.

    • Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Good for you, Sarah! You have discovered how not to be ruled by fear.

  7. Posted January 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, this cleared up a few things for me, havent read much about fear in the way you describe it!

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