Fear of future, fear of death, fear of spiders, fear of heights, fear of love, fear of not being enough, fear of being judged, fear of ‘what others would think’… We all have certain fears. Those who say ‘I have no fear, zilch’ have probably not met it yet… On the other hand, our fears are not that bad. Actually, being fearless is not the point. A certain level of fear will protect us like a blanket would do in a cold weather. As my esteemed master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says: ‘Fear of death keeps life going; fear of making mistakes protects the truth, fear of getting sick provides hygiene and fear of suffering makes us fair individuals.’
In this article, we are going to tackle with our fears that keep us from making a big leap by constituting a veil before our eyes, a blockage on our path and shackles on our feet; those fears that take us away from our authenticity and hinder us from fulfilling our potential.
According to Tony Robbins, if we have a hard time making important decisions, the most fundamental reason behind it is the fear based on the opinion ‘none will love me if I try and fail or if I am not enough.’ I would like to share with you what I read, learned and understood from fear experts.
1- You are not alone. Everyone has fears. Even though this knowledge may seem simple; actually it’s extremely important.
2- Recognize your fears: what are the exact things that you are afraid of? If you can exactly identify what you fear from, then you will have come a long way in overcoming your fear. Fear can only exist where there is no ignorance about that specific subject. For example, if you go deeper in your fear of flying, you may possibly see that you cannot get on an airplane actually because of your fear of death. Searching about death and collecting information about what death may possibly be like can actually relieve your fear.
3- Communicate with your fear. It’s obvious that our fears do not make us feel good. But instead of saying ‘I don’t like this feeling and I want to get rid of it as soon as possible.’, close your eyes when you feel fear and realize your physical sensations. Observe your body. Notice the rhythm of your heart beat and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourslef: ‘What are you trying to tell me?’ Your subconscious tries to protect you. It sends you the feelings as messages in order to protect you. When you receive the message given by your system, the frequency of fear will decrease. (For instance fear of getting sick may try to warn you about your health that you have been neglecting for some time. Fear of death may signal you that you are not living your life fully or fear of loneliness may try to advise you to be friends with and love yourself.) This is not to say that it’s always the case. However you’d better recognize that each fear has a warning message for you.
4- Do not identify yourself with your fears. ‘I am not my fears.’ Therefore, I am not the voice in my mind (thoughts like ‘what will happen in the future?’, ‘what if I can’t succeed?’, and ‘what if I become lonely?’ ‘What if I am dragged into a disaster? Etc.) ‘I am’ not this sensation (heart-throbbing, sweaty hands, tension etc.) formed as ‘fear’ in my body. You may even give it a name to separate yourself from your fear, such as ‘Pump’, ‘Chucky’ or ‘Dumdum’… Every time you experience the fear, you may say ‘Oh Chucky is it you? Come and sit.’ Once you separate it from yourself, it will be much easier to accept and observe it. You will realize the thoughts that cross your mind each time you have this feeling. The timbre of the voices will fade as you observe the issue. Because your observing state is much stronger than your fearful state.
5- Face your fear. Fear might seem real but you realize that it’s fake once you catch its eyes. (Fear=False Evidence Appearing Real)
6- Fear can only manifest where there is no love. Change your fear of future with the love of life; fear of old age with the love of wisdom and change your fears about relationships with the love and trust you feel for yourself.
7- Think about what can happen when you overcome your fear. What will change in your life? How will you be when you do not have this fear in your life any more? What will you do differently? How will you be walking, how will you be talking?
8-Who is bigger? You or your fear? Remember the story of black and white wolves:
Together with his grandson, a wise Native American tribal chief watches the scuffling of a white and a black wolf. The grandson asks why they need two wolves to protect the tribe. The chief tells his grandson that one of them represents goodness while the other represents evil and that their fight always reminds him about the struggle of goodness and evil that prevail in human beings. The grandson feels curious and asks: ‘So who wins the fight?’ And the chief answers: ‘The one we feed, son…’
You amplify your fear if you focus on it. Yet if you observe it and understand what it warns you about, then your fear will quietly leave the place.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Chris Ramey, Josh Pais, Marie Forleo