Fear no more!
I’ve noticed that when I express myself from a place of fear, I support the things that scare me. When I put focus here, I have a tendency to worry about the situations I want to avoid. At this point, I have to ask myself: ‘is this is a productive use of my thoughts?’ If I believe in the idea… what I put energy into expands – and why would I want to amplify my fears?
In my mind, there are two types of fears: percieved fears and actual fears. How on earth can you tell the difference? An example of a real fear is the unpredictability of driving. With time and experience, I’ve learned how to ‘mangage the risk of driving.’ I find it helpful to be present, follow the rules and drive with the utmost care. In turn, I have become a defensive driver with a keen sense of periferal vision. I choose to stay focused on safety: what I do want instead of what I don’t want, which is an accident. With this state of mind, I can fully pay attention AND enjoy the ride.
When you pay attention, you will start to notice how much time you spend in the make-believe land of ‘what if?’ When our stories are based on past experiences – they are valid – to a point. For example, if you almost drown, chances are you will develop a fear of water. So, you can choose to stay in the shallow end, or you can put energy toward learning to be a better swimmer. With practice, you will gain confidence and learn to keep your head above water. You will also learn to make sound decisions and not swim in choppy or rough water. This chain of events – progressing past the fear of water – is called wisdom.
Practicing awareness – by taking positive steps towards making wise decisions with intention – will help you progress past the place of fear. Take time to pay attention to people who seem to be faced with a lot of misfortune and notice what they talk about. It is often all about the things that have, and are going wrong in their lives. This behavior creates a domino effect.
Why is this?
The universe conspires with the words we say – including the energy and intention behind them. It might sound like new age ‘woo woo’, but it’s true. What we say and do circulates, and people pick up on who we are. Since misery loves company and we are all drawn to the life of the party…who are you attracting?
You can take this example and apply it to other aspects of life. I have noticed how easy it is to overthink a situation and turn our story into drama. I’d like to make a bumper sticker that says: Quiet Please: Drama Free Zone! You will usually get out what you put into a situation, so approach those that invoke a sense of fear in you with a positive attitude and intention.
How to bust through the fear:
1) Be aware – notice when you are in a place of fear
a) Is the fear is real or percieved?
b) Is the story you are telling yourself true? If not, why continue? (Byron Katie The Work)
2) Connect with your highest values and treat yourself with respect
3) Gratitude – we have so much to be grateful for! From here, the fear disappears
4) Stay in the present moment, your most powerful tool! (Eckhart Tolle Power of Now)
The antidote to living with consternation is to live with purpose and determination. Practice the values and virtues that are important by setting an example. When we choose to connect with the things most important to us, such as honesty and integrity, for example – our best self will likely show up! Here, we naturally operate from a place of self respect.
I just finished one of our Chicks Rock! programs in Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin and one of my favorite comments came from our youngest, a 15-year-old, participant. She said “the reason I like coming to this clinic is because being in nature brings out our true selves. When people act natural and real, it makes it easier to be myself. This group is kind and respectful, I feel good being here!”
- List your three highest values
- Write about why each are important to you
- Give examples of how you actively live by these values
- What is the effect on yourself and others when you practice these?
- What happens when you don’t?
- What values do you look for in a good friend?
Now spend time imagining what you want for yourself, and let this be what expands from your thoughts. Create the stories that inspire you to flourish and grow, surround yourself with people who belive in you, have fun and take swim lessons. Live on purpose!