The Fear Factor
There has been a lot of talk lately about FEAR.
Fear is a core emotion. There is no escaping it, however, there is outsmarting it!
Fear at best is an emotion that is trying to keep us safe, however, more often than not, fear is a perception problem keeping us stuck. This is why some people say that FEAR is an acronym that stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” I have a revised and helpful version of an acronym below that will help you deconstruct and stand up to your fears!
But first, let’s take a look at this perception problem, which tends to put limits on our lives. It distorts our core beliefs, and gets in the way of taking action toward living the life that we want. It’s pretty ridiculous when you think about it, because most of the time fear is a falsely created emotion, and nothing more. It is mostly not based in fact, or in reality even. Fear tends to be an emphasis of worst-case scenarios, gross exaggeration, and a grave underestimation of your true capabilities.
If you’ve ever experienced self-sabotage, frustration, feeling stuck, envy, worry, suffering, impatience, pessimism and the list goes on … then this is for you!
My philosophy is to befriend fear!
Fear biologically is a necessary emotion. It is there to keep you safe, to identify threats of bodily harm, dangerous situations, and help you steer clear of injury. We shouldn’t try to eliminate this emotion (or be afraid of it), but rather should learn to analyze it and see what it is trying to teach us.
When you are in physical danger, you want to listen to the fear and move away from a damaging situation, however, most of our modern day experiences of fear are psychologically created. Our most common fears present day are fear of missing out, rejection, looking stupid, being wrong, hurting someone’s feelings, failure, and speaking our truth. It is important to clarify to yourself that these are fears that put our EGO in danger, but not our physical bodies. These emotions can’t actually hurt us! They can only be uncomfortable and difficult to tolerate!
So, how can we stand up to emotional fear?
Here are some tips to strengthen your resiliency against emotional fear, and take back control of your authentic self!
*** FEAR – My revised acronym: Feel – Evaluate – Affirm – Respond ***
step 1: FEEL –
Identify what feelings arise along with the instinct of fear.
Are you also Angry? Disappointed? Confused? Helpless? Worried? Hurt? Lonely? Sad? Obsessive? Etc. etc.
**Byron Katie has an incredible comprehensive list of feeling words that I use regularly in my practice – check it out here.
step 2: EVALUATE –
Take a look and identify WHAT these emotions are leading you to BELIEVE and HOW they are making you THINK/ACT.
Write out what you think this fear is trying to tell you.
WHAT is this fear holding you back from?
step 3: AFFIRM –
Identify who you would like to be in the face of this fear – aka – brave, action oriented, confident, connected, proud, lively, abundant, spontaneous, etc.
What would you prefer to BELIEVE/THINK/ACT?
Create affirmations for yourself and repeat them on a regular basis, as if to give yourself a pep talk.
Take it one step further and say these affirmations to yourself while looking at yourself in the mirror.
You can also write out and practice these affirmations in written form.
Visualize what it would be like to embody these characteristics.
Practice, role-play, and utilize the power of repetition to shift into your preferred self.
Practice with posture, tone of voice, breathing, language, and more.
step 4: RESPOND –
Choose how you would like to respond to this perceived sense of fear after having gone through the exercises above.
Make an informed decision after having seen what fear is stealing from you, or how it is limiting your dreams.
You have your vision and dreams for a reason. They don’t just show up inside your mind and body for no reason. Your mind/body are trying to communicate passion and direction to you. Don’t let fear steal your hopes and dreams, when most likely all it takes is practice, clarity and support.
You are capable of standing up to your fear if you are willing to take a deeper look and not just react with a fight, flight or freeze response.
You are worthy of taking the time to do this work. You are worthy of practicing resilience and taking forward steps in your life!