A guest post by Laura Leigh Clarke
If you’re like most people, you probably have things that deep down really scare you.
Things that make you hang back, when you wish you could move forward. Things you’d just rather not think about – let alone discuss openly with people around you. Thoughts that crop up that then whizz around your mind, out of control whilst you’re trying to focus on the positive.
Maybe your fears aren’t as overt as a fear of snakes or spiders, or things that go bump in the night.
But you’re probably aware of more subtle fears, lurking in the background of your mind, quietly governing everything you allow yourself to do… or not do, as the case may be.
For you it might be the overriding fear is the fear of rejection – leaving you unable to reach out.
Or it might be the fear of failure, keeping you stuck in your old routine, hopelessly frustrated, knowing deep down you have so much more to contribute.
Or it even might be a fear of being seen: because if you’re seen, then you leave yourself open to the pain of criticism. “Who does she think she is?, or “What gives him the right to step up and do that…?” is normal mind-chatter for most of us… even if it’s just an incoherent nagging in the back of our minds most of the time.
And so it goes on…
Ever Increasing Limitation
And these fears only become apparent in certain situations… like being given an opportunity to speak to a group, or an opportunity to charge for your services – just in the same way that a phobia of spiders only becomes apparent when faced with a big fat hairy spider.
And though you can go through life carefully avoiding them, these fears will cause you to live a life in ever decreasing circles. Keeping them in play is to be constantly limited by your subconscious. But your subconscious was originally programmed to “protect” you from danger using the fear sensation as a cattle prod to keep you in check.
And, sure, this has become hardwired by evolution: it’s easy to see how the most cautious of us survived the daily threat of being eaten by tigers, or succumbing to accidents running round forests or deserts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can drop the cattle prod and live perfectly safely without this fear mechanism.
And even though fear is something that we all experience – there is something we can do about it.
We’re not in the survival phase of our evolution anymore. Most of us don’t hunt for our own food. Most of us have adequate shelter and food. And so this affords us the blissful opportunity to pursue our own inner world, and to discover the new territories within that ultimately can unravel this landscape of fear and limitation, and get back to who we really are at our core. A worthy pursuit, if there ever was one!
So, What Is Possible Once You’ve Dropped The Fears?
Even if self-actualisation isn’t on your radar right now –rocking out these fears is the way to live a more expansive, fun filled life – where you’re in the driving seat…
No longer will you be paralysed by indecision, or worried about how to pay the mortgage, or how you can control everyone and everything in your environment. Instead, as you pick away and discard each fear in turn you will gain greater amounts of control over how you feel and what you can create in your world.
And you can start eliminating these fears right now. Not in 20 years of practice. Not through decades of psychotherapy. Right here, right now, you can get rid of all these little hang-ups, and allow yourself to live a bigger version of your life.
Of course, undoing the fear and limitation means challenging some assumptions we make about fear. We need to get these things straight before we get into the process of fear elimination.
Fear – It’s Not What You’ve Been Taught
The sensation of fear doesn’t necessarily keep us safe – at least not at this subtle level we’re talking about here. Sure, it might get us out of the way of a speeding car coming towards us… but that’s not the kind of fear we’re exploring. We’re focusing in on the fear that stops us doing the things we want to do… which include the fears that prevent us from exploring our own accumulated emotional baggage and mind trash.
This is perhaps the most challenging thing to do, but exploring the baggage we’ve picked up from past, and noticing the patterns, can really help us clear out the limitations as we go about our daily lives now.
In this way, avoiding the sensation, the experience, of fear, isn’t necessarily going to keep us safe.
The other thing to realise is that these fears we bump up against may not make sense. They may be irrational. We know that nothing life threatening is going to happen if we say what we really think, or put ourselves out there – but what we fear is actually experiencing embarrassment, rejection, or lacking control… And you can fill in the blank for whatever it that you’re using the fear to avoid.
So we realise is that the fear is simply an avoidance strategy to not feel these other emotions.
Your Emotions Won’t Kill You
Because these emotions we’re avoiding won’t kill you either.
In fact, just like the fear, they can just been seen as sensations in the physical body.
We don’t need to understand the fear or where it comes from, or what is causing it, in order to get rid of it. We just need to acknowledge it is there, and observe it as a sensation.
What we can expect, though, once we’ve eliminated a fear around a particular thing, is a feeling of freedom – like the shackles on our normal thought processes, and habits have been taken away. Using the method I’m going to share in a moment, you are likely to feel a whole weight being lifted from you too…. And when I say weight, I do mean an actual, physical sensation!
You will also likely see your awareness expand and perception shift. You will see the same situations differently. You will, in essence, become wiser.
But then this leads us onto a more pressing question…. Who will we be without that fear?
Removing a habit that has become practiced leaves a gap.
It leaves us feeling vulnerable (and free)… but this vulnerability can leave us open to pulling that fear back in just to be comfortable.
So the important thing to remember is once you’ve released the fear, move on and be that person who doesn’t have the fear anymore. Allow yourself to experience that expansiveness. Move into that change, by either taking a physical action or allow your self-perception to shift.
This is how you totally rock fear once you’ve let it go.
Ok, so now on to the final piece of the puzzle: how to actually get rid of it.
How To Eliminate The Fear
When you begin using this technique you may want to sit quietly where you’re not constantly being disturbed. Maybe turn your phone to silent, and close down Skype and your emails for a little while and give yourself the head space to do this, knowing the results will far outweigh the cost of being away from your inbox for ten minutes.
Step 1: Call Out Your Biggest Fears
The first step is to list out the things you’re afraid of. If nothing jumps out at you maybe think about the things you resist doing or being because you think they will be uncomfortable. Things like putting yourself out there, charging properly for your services, (this is one I see a lot in my work with money and emotions), or even making a change in a relationship that may not be serving you.
We’re not going to physically do anything about these things. We just want to imagine, and experience the internal sensation associated with these thoughts. Just put any decision making around this subject on the back burner for now. And similarly if you’re experiencing a dilemma, once you’ve eliminated the fear and resistance around it the answer has a tendency of dropping out into your lap, so don’t worry about what you’re going to do for now.
Step 2: Feel The Fear
The next step is to tune into the fear around just one of the things you’ve written down. And in becoming aware of it, just spend some moments noticing how it feels. What we’re trying to do is see this emotion of fear as just a physical sensation in the body, without trying to control it, or put it in a box, or stuff it down so we don’t have to feel it. The point is we need to feel it, in order to eliminate it. So go ahead and give that fear sensation a good ol’ feel!
Step 3: Become The Observer
And the third step is to just observe it. As you’re feeling it, just resist the temptation to try and control it. Instead, get curious about the feeling and watch it. And what you’ll find is that it very quickly starts to evaporate. It just vanishes like a weightless morning mist disappearing into the sunshine.
Step 4: Check Back In With The Initial Fear
Now think of that thing you were afraid of again. You may notice you get another sensation. In some cases, it’s nowhere near as powerful as the initial one. Now you just go through the process again, of feeling it, observing it and allowing it to evaporate. Just like that.
Step 5: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Keep going back to the same thought that triggered the fear initially until there is no more fear around it. And then move on to the next thing on your list.
If you take the time to do this, quietly, piece by piece, you will evaporate every fear in your whole life and with it, every excuse you’ve ever made in the past for not having the whole, complete life you would choose.
And that’s how to do it.
You Just Have To Do It
But right now, if you haven’t already tried it, go ahead and try it for just one thing on your list of fears. You need to prove to yourself this works.
If you just take my word for it – it will become something you “know” about, and intend to use when you’re really afraid of something… and then you’ll forget about it.
If you try it out and experience it working for yourself, then you won’t have wasted the last five minutes reading about it. It really is about testing it out for yourself and taking it on board as your own wisdom.
What About You? Now It’s Your Turn…
So right now, give it a quick go. Try it on just one thing to your list, and let me know how you get on – or share your thoughts – in the comments.
About the author:
Laura Leigh Clarke is the Whole Heart, Whole Brained Business Mentor, helping heart-centered solopreneurs to get real results into their bank account. She is also the Hay House Author of Wire Yourself for Wealth. Send a tweet to @EnlightenLaura, or check out her Facebook page.
Image courtesy of Bigstockphoto.com: Young Woman Looking