Your 5 Step Plan to Conquering your Fear in 2 mins – This will change your life!
Step 1. Increase your Mindful Awareness.
We need to start by being aware that our fear is even present – it is not usually until after it has surfaced, we have reacted to it in some way or expressed it (usually in a not too functional manner) and things have died down that we may even notice that it was ever in the room.
Sound familiar? We need to bring our attention into the present moment and to notice what our triggers are and to be prepared…. Then to notice that the fear is rising and catch it before it gets out of our control.
This is usually the time when the “Stress Response” is turned on in our bodies and we get ready to either “Fight, Flight or Freeze”. There is a fictional/illusory lion that is about to eat us and we need to find a quick way to survive.
In the past, this was most definitely the case – but in today’s overwhelmingly stressful society – there are no lions – instead – it is our thoughts that have risen up to take its place. Thoughts of the past and the future: who has upset us, what jobs need doing, how are we going to pay the bills, why did Jo not return my call, I really need to lose 5 kgs, what am I going to cook for dinner, my partner doesn’t love me because he keeps leaving his dirty socks on the floor…
Get the drift?
Our head has become a whirlwind of confusion, anxiety, mistrust and low self-esteem. Fear is looming in every corner of our lives – ready to pounce at any moment – we are on constant alert and we wonder why we have trouble sleeping??
So how does Mindfulness help? – I hear you ask….
Well, Mindfulness is EVERYTHING!! Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to separate ourselves from our thinking and to know that “we are not our thoughts” and to ultimately become the “observer” of our thoughts.
Mindfulness creates a distance between us and our thinking and this…. my dear friends… is “Bliss” – it is here where the magic really begins to happen. It is where the beginning of our suffering begins to unravel… and we find the ability to discover peace, love and compassion for ourselves and others… The lion has finally become a mouse and we discover that we are more powerful than we ever thought possible… It is in the spaces between our thoughts that we find our Intuition, God, the Universe, Spirit or whatever term you want to use. It is in these spaces that we feel our connection to Source once again and are reminded of what is ultimately true but have only just forgotten. That we are God, we are the Universe we are Spirit and when we open up theses spaces and allow this infinite wisdom and love to flow through us – we realise there is nothing to fear…
If there is nothing greater than us – then what have we got to fear?
Ok so we have increased our awareness – we have been practising some Mindful Awareness Meditation on a daily basis and we are beginning to understand the difference between who I ultimately am and what my thoughts are.
If my thoughts are about the past or the future they are of an illusory nature because the past and the future do not actually exist – the only thing that does exist is this one moment – right freakin now.
So what if fear arises? What if I get up in the morning and see that my partner hasn’t done the dishes (like he promised to last night) – I feel an instant sense of rage welling up in my stomach – (fear comes in many guises), my thoughts turn to: “he doesn’t love me”, “But he promised!”, “How can I ever trust him again”, “I can’t live like this!!!” etc etc –
Step 2. Sit with it: First – I simply notice…
The feelings arising in me and the thoughts that I am having……. I return to my breath and start to breathe – being fully aware of all sensations in my body and thoughts in my mind… I am bringing in the observer – I know that I am not my thoughts and that ultimately my thoughts about my partner are not true.
I decide to sit with this fear and really allow myself to feel all that it has to show me… I have never done this before. We usually react with yelling abuse, throwing things around a little, slamming doors, or throwing ourselves on a bed in a pit of despair and self-pity. We may stuff all of these emotions down with a nice big block of chocolate or even better a glass of wine (hang on a minute – its first thing in the morning!! – yeh – but this time I’m REALLY MAD!) I may even deny what I have seen, not say a word and give my partner the icy cold shoulder all morning and when he asks “What’s up?” – I’ll just reply with “I’m fine – what’s up with you?” Or I may actually really run away – pack my bags – leave some random note about dishes and leave my relationship…
But this time I am going to try something different – I am going to sit down and take my hand to my heart and just bring my attention back to my breath. And I may ask myself some exploratory questions – “Where do I feel this anger in my body?”, “What does it feel like, what’s happening physically for me right now?” My palms are sweaty, my heart is racing, my breathing has quickened, and I feel hot. I begin to notice the barrage of accusatory and blaming thoughts – I am attacking my partner very violently in my mind. There are actual knives involved here and perhaps some dishwashing liquid in the eye would go down nicely too!
Step 3. Identify it (If possible)
Ok so I’m sitting with this damn uncomfortable feeling – hurry up already – now what? – I investigate further – I ask myself – “What am I truly afraid of right now? What is underneath all of this anger? What is this fear? – I take a few deep breaths and keep my hand on my heart and I just listen for the answer “Fear of abandonment”. Fear that he doesn’t truly love me! – Damn it – therefore I need to leave him first before he gets a chance!!! OK, just breath – back to your heart.
Sometimes it’s not important to get a specific answer and that’s ok – when we are just starting out we can just call it “Fear” and continue with the process – as you get better at practising this – the answers will come more easily…
Step 4. Show your Fear some Compassion and Gratitude.
Ok, now we have identified the fear – now what? – what do I do with a big fat ball of love insecurity and fear of abandonment??? – I know – blame my dad – it was his fault after all…… No – just keep breathing – we are going to show that big fat ball of insecurity and fear some compassion……. What? Compassion? For what? It’s only got me into a heap of trouble in the past – I have left plenty of relationships over this one and I guess they have left me too – how can I show my fear compassion?
Because that is exactly what it is asking for…… To be heard, to be met, to be understood, to be treated with gentle respect and kindness. The more we deny it, stuff it down and let it loose like a wild beast the louder it will scream at us to get our attention. Just like a toddler tantrum – it just wants to be held, to be soothed and given some compassion and understanding. Our fear is not here to hurt us – it is not something to be “afraid” of – it is here to teach us, to guide us to illuminate areas in our life where we need to bring in our own “inner carer”. To show us where the work needs to be done – to show us our wounds and to ask for healing, love, compassion and kindness.
You see we’ve had it all backwards for so long – we have been taught not to cry, to toughen up, not to talk about it, get over it – no wonder we are all stressed, full of anxiety and addicted to everything! This is what we were taught to do and this is what our parents did. But it’s time to turn this whole process on its proverbial head…
I used to hear the term – “You have to meet your fear in order to shift it” thrown around a lot – but what the hell did it mean?? And now I get it – I really get it… To meet it as you would someone else in pain – your own child for instance – you would stroke their head, hold them, whisper loving and kind words into their ear… it’s as easy as that.
So when my fear rises now – I actually get excited!! (What tha..??) yep – I do – because I know I have found a limit in my life that I am ready to bust through – I think to myself – what is this trying to tell me…. What have I not cleared? I wonder what is on the other side? My Spiritual Mentor Dr Ricci-Jane Adams always talks of fear being like boxes all stored in our subconscious basement but they are blocking the way to the door in the back wall – the door that leads to the infinite wisdom that resides within in us all, our true potential – that state of love – which is opposite to fear. – Uuuummm – hell yeah – I want to find that door!! And I open it quite frequently these days – the glimpses get bigger and bigger and the door stays open a little longer each time I open a box and give it some love and compassion – the boxes get moved to another department – empty or just less heavy.
So the final step – as taught by “A Course in Miracles” of which I am a committed student…
Step 5. Offer our Fear up to God (The Holy Spirit/ /Universe /Divine Source/Spirit).
This step affirms that we are not alone; we are not doing this without help and guidance. It acknowledges that “God is the Strength in Which I Trust” (Lesson 47 in A Course in Miracles). Like many of us – we trudge through life relying solely on our own physical, mental and emotional strength – which in this 3D world is actually entirely limited and exhausting. ACIM also states “If you are trusting in your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful”. When we tap into unlimited consciousness and the love of God – We can do anything, we are again connected to love and fear has no strength to hold us back.
I usually say a little prayer like….. “God…Please take this fear from me now, I do not know what to do with it, I have met it, shown it compassion and love and now its time to give it over to you…. Please take this from me now as I know it no longer serves me… AMEN.