Step 1: Identify your fear.
From the exercise above, write down one fear you identified.
Step 2: Embrace your fear.
Gently embrace your fear; imagine it. What does it look like? What might it sound like? Does it have a name? Drawing your fear without judgment is sometimes quite revealing; just draw what comes to mind, let your hand flow freely. Remember, you created this fear and continue to create it, so you developed this fear for a reason. Its original purpose was to protect you, but now it holds you back. Be thankful for the protection it gave you when you needed it. Acknowledge your fear, and then release it with appreciation.
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Step 3: Disidentify with your fear.
Fear isn’t you. Your beliefs have created fearful thoughts, and your fearful thoughts have created a fearful emotion. But you’re not your beliefs, thoughts or your emotions. Emotions come from thoughts, and all thoughts are transient.
Now you need to disidentify with your fear because it isn’t you. Using the image you created in Step 2, imagine examining your fear outside of your mind and body (it’s outside of you, it’s not you) and slowly let it dissipate, shrink, etc. See, feel, or hear your fear leaving you, moving behind you and becoming smaller and weaker until it disappears. Let it know you’re safe without it. Time to let it go with kindness; it’s not you!
Step 4: Identify your worst-case scenario.
This can be extraordinarily powerful. Years ago when I was a psychotherapist, I worked with an incredibly intelligent, charming woman whom I’ll call Alice. Alice was a nurse who was afraid her abusive husband would leave her for a younger woman who worked in his office.
During a session, I asked Alice, "On a scale from 0 to 10, how distressing is the thought of your husband leaving you?" She answered, "Ten."
Then I said, "What would you do if your worst-case scenario came true and your husband left you?"
She replied, "I'd volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. This has been a dream of mine for years, but my husband has always been against it." With the realization that she could live her dream if her husband left her, she broke into a smile and carried on and on about how much she wanted to volunteer with Doctors Without Borders.
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As Alice left that day, I asked her, "What’s your level of distress now about the possibility of your husband leaving you?" Keep Reading...