Do you have a dream…something you want to be, do, or have, but you can’t move past the fear gnawing in your belly? We all go through times of fear. Some may be small daily issues when we’re not sure what to expect, like forgetting an appointment or having the boss over for dinner. Or major ones that almost immobilize you, like job loss, divorce, illness, returning to school, etc. You conjure up what-ifs in your mind, and fear can destroy you. But it can also open doors for outcomes you want in your life when you find the courage to move ahead.
Ten years ago I was dealing with a health challenge, but my search for a cause brought no answers. And fear of the unknown took over my life. Then I had a totally unrelated car wreck and spent 2 months in a nursing home for rehab. Really bad experience, but I learned a valuable lesson about fear from a Psychologist in the nursing home. And fear became a catalyst for courage I didn’t know I had.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ~ William G. T. Shedd
You can live with fear and the regrets that follow, or you can choose to take command, replace the fear with courage, and live the life you’re meant to live. There are steps you can take to address each situation. But first you need to know yourself well enough to understand what you’re afraid of.
“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.” ~ Cheryl Strayed
Explore and clarify your fears in 3 areas:
1. Being. Are you afraid to express who you really are? Afraid others will judge you negatively, not accept you? You’ll feel awkward, not measure up? What would you risk being yourself?
2. Doing. When situations arise, do you jump right in or hold back, afraid you’re incompetent, you’ll make a mistake, or fail? What about the unexpected or unknown? What would hold you back from taking a chance on something you really wanted?
3. Having. Do you have any fear of having what you want? Are your dreams too lofty, out of your reach, you couldn’t handle having them, or you don’t deserve them? And what would people say about you? You’re selfish?
Think of the stories you’ve written about yourself. Explore your beliefs and feelings, and identify your fears. Then you can tame them as they arise in different situations and be free of the fear burden.
We consider fear our enemy, and our first impulse is to push it down somewhere hoping it will disappear. But your fear is about a belief you’ve created in your mind (one of those stories you tell yourself about being, doing, and having) that’s holding you back from a more rich, rewarding experience in your life. And you need to examine it and make necessary changes. Norman Vincent Peale says, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” So it’s wise to embrace fear as something that’s there to help you and allow your courage to spring forth.
“The beautiful thing about fear is, when you run to it, it runs away.” ~ Robin Sharma
Now it’s time to talk to your fear and, using denials and affirmations, talk to the situation that’s causing your fear. Repeat several times.
1. Fear: Thank you, fear, for helping me see what I need to do. Now I no longer need you, so I let you go.
2. Denial: Describe your situation, and say, “You are no more than a fly on a horse’s rump, (or something like that) and I deny that you have any negative power over me or my life.”
3. Affirmations: I declare and affirm my clear mind and the courage to face this situation. I am strong and determined, and free to be who I am, to do what is mine to do, and to have peace and goodness in my life. I release all fearful thoughts and move forward.
In your denials and affirmations, use your own words, and allow this method to restore the courage you were born with. This method works, and it gives you tools you need when fear invades your life.
I wish you ease in saying goodbye to fear.
Marilyn Fowler, Author & Self-Help Writer
I’m a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. However, retirement is not for me, so I stay busy. I belong to a writer’s group and am active in my church. E-mail me at: NonnieFW@aol.com . . .