Fear is unavoidable. But this will help.
How do you get past fear? How do you function when you are overridden with the "What if’s," when you are overcome by the possible horrendous depictions of the future that you see in your mind? I’ve got some answers for you.
Below is an excerpt from my book Getting Answers: Using Your Intuition to Discover Your Best Life. From a chapter entitled, "Secret Ingredient #3: Fear Transformed." In it, I share several real and true stories along with eight techniques you can use to transform your own fear.
In this article, you will discover how to overcome fear confidently and in 4 different ways. But, first you must know these 3 little-acknowledged qualities of fear in order to transform it:
Three important things to know about fear:
1. Fear is unavoidable.
You might as well just accept right off the bat that fear is an unavoidable sensation. Being human is enough to assure that you will experience fear from time to time. We are biologically programmed to feel fear.
I like to think of it as a throwback to the days when saber tooth tigers could be looming around the next bush. This helps me remember that, at its core, fear is a warning mechanism designed to ensure my safety.
Now, however, in the 21st century, the things that cause us fear have very little chance of causing our death.
Face it, even though your heart may be beating at a rate you could hardly calculate, your hands might be shaking, and your palms might be sweating, that thing that you are afraid of is not really going to kill you.
Teaching that class, talking to that person, taking that job is not going to cost you your life. Even if it seems like it, the truth is that your boss (co-worker, friend, etc.) is not literally going to open their jaws and bite off your head. If you speak your truth, you are still going to be okay.
2. Fear indicates you're heading into unknown territory.
Is fear a universal sign that you are about to do or experience something dangerous? No. In truth, I find if I am on the precipice of choosing something that would actually be dangerous for me, the warning signal is much different.
It’s more subtle. It’s like a gentle nudging or a tightness in my gut that says, "Nah. Don’t do that. That’s not a good idea." When we are talking about the kind of fear that can paralyze you or take over your body, it means something else entirely.
Fear indicates you are about to do something that you have never done before. You are about to try or experience something new.
Learn to recognize fear, not as a sign that you should stop in your tracks but as a simple signal from your body that you are moving into new territory. Just because your mind runs through every negative outcome doesn’t mean these things will actually happen.
Fear’s presence is more like a biological alert system. It’s giving you the message to stay alert and present — notifying you that you are about to enter new terrain or make new tracks. This is not necessarily dangerous; it’s just unknown.
When you think about it, you have already entered into new territory thousands of times in your life, and you’re still breathing. This moment will likely not be any different.
3. Fear is all in your mind.
The truth is — it’s all in your mind. The next time you experience fear, take a look around you and become aware of what is happening at that moment. Are you driving your car, lying in your bed, sitting on your couch? Is anything truly scary happening right now?
I can almost guarantee the answer will be no. Really, you’re fine. You’re just lying in bed worrying, drawing a bowl of worst case scenarios from a stew of infinite possibilities.
Well, stop it. Recognize that nothing is scarier than those thoughts. Even the experience itself will be less frightening than the frantic thoughts you’re having about it. So remember — it’s all in your mind. That’s where the fear starts, and that is where you can end it.
Although fear is a natural human experience that we may not be able to control having, we do have control over whether or not we let fear dictate our actions. Here are 4 tricks fo transforming fear:
1. Override fear; don’t let it stop you.
The best way I’ve found of dissipating fear is to do the thing that you know you must. In some cases, as with the class I had to teach, you will be forced to override your fear.
There will be many times when you too will have the chance to walk away. Don’t. Fear looms huge. It can pretty much take over every other emotion you experience, and shade everything you do, but there is another quality to fear — it has the ability to dissipate immediately.
You only see this once you do the thing you must do. Then, poof, like smoke after the fire has been put out, fear disappears. It’s almost like fear was never there. The moment you take action, or do the thing you are afraid of, you find out all those scary ideas were just a bunch of baloney.
With those "what if" warnings obviously superfluous, fear just simply vanishes. Gone.
2. Identify fearful thoughts.
Do you feel frantic to do something, anything? Do you hear yourself thinking about all of the bad things that could happen to you if you move forward on said thing? Do you find yourself creating wonderfully horrific futures for yourself in your mind?
Fearful thoughts are negative, frantic, and inconsistent. One day they tell you that you can’t because of this, the next day they tell you that you can’t because of that. Is this good advice? No. Do not heed these frantic thoughts.
Acknowledge these thoughts, but do not act on them. This is just fear doing what it does — warning you of every possible scenario, giving you a head’s up on every worst case. These are not your cases.
3. Get perspective.
Think about it. In all cases whatever is bothering or frightening you is not going to last forever. You are not going to spend the rest of your life worrying about said thing. You absolutely will not be stuck in this experience.
The shaking of your hands will pass, your heart will also eventually calm, and you will be able to feel your body again. So take heart. No matter how huge your fear seems right now, there is going to come a time in your life when you won’t even remember this moment.
How many times has this already happened to you? Personally, I can’t even count them. Sometimes, fear just takes time to dissolve. Wait it out. It will end.
Exercise is good for so many things. But I’ve noticed especially during times of stress, it is a great way to keep anxiety from lodging in the body. I run it out.
If you are feeling particularly fearful, try going for a run yourself. It worked for our ancestors. Even if you just run break-neck speed down the street for a few moments, it will help.
What’s especially effective is setting the intention before you start to release your body of any excess and unwanted fear or anxiety.
The motto is this: Fear happens, don’t let it control you. You may not have a choice about whether or not you become afraid from time to time, but you do have a choice in what you do about it. You can trust many things, but the fickle face of fear is not one of them.
Aimée Cartier is a psychic guide, author, and intuition teacher. This article is an excerpt from her book, Getting Answers: Using Your Intuition to Discover Your Best Life. You can read the whole chapter, with true stories, plus four more tips for transforming your fear on her blog. More about her psychic work and intuition training can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com.
This article was originally published at Getting Answers: Using Your Intuition to Discover Your Best Life. Reprinted with permission from the author.