Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
For years I have believed in the philosophies such as:
- facing up to your fears,
- working through your fears,
- that courage is not the lack of fear, but having the fear and doing it anyway!
I understood the concept of fear as an intellectual concept. However, it wasn’t until I was confronted with my fear in an experiential way, that I learned to understand fear first hand.
I discovered that when I worked on anything related to being my “life’s purpose,” my body would be overcome with fear. For example, I was asked to speak on a television show about energy, which was a dream of mine. However unexpectedly the day before the scheduled filming, I felt myself feeling extremely anxious. This anxiety related to my old repressed feelings of worrying that I would do it well enough, coming to the surface to be released. If I tried to push these feelings down and ignore them, it only increased the tension and anxiety in my body. To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction, that is, what you oppose you maintain (Newton’s Law of Physics).
However, when I noticed these anxious feelings with love and compassion (no resistance), they were free to flow through my body. All resistance creates pain! This process allowed me to return to my natural loving state and carry on with the work that I love to do. All suffering is an illusion that we can buy into and act upon as though it is real. Alternatively, we can choose to develop the skills to observe fear it and let it go allowing us to return to our natural abundant, loving and fulfilled state.
So rather than letting the fear control you and causing you to give up on your dreams, dissipate the fear by observing it with love!
My seven-year-old daughter recently faced her fears. A few days ago we were walking to the beach with her boogie board. She said “I am NOT going swimming, I’m frightened, I DO NOT like the water. Last time I went swimming in the sea (about eight months ago) I got seaweed wrapped around my legs, and it was scary!!” I said to her “Honey, I know you found the seaweed scary last time (validated her feelings). Luckily today the sea has no seaweed in it, the water is clear. It is so hot; you will feel so much better if you have a swim (the benefit).
Then independently she said, “yes I have to face my fears, I will face my fears,” half talking to herself. (I have never mentioned this concept to her—she just seemed to know about it—perhaps from modelling or from somewhere else. Next minute she was happily swimming in the water saying “mummy I faced my fears” grinning from ear to ear, having a great time in the water.
When we remain in fear, we can feel overwhelmed, stuck or even immobilised. Flowing with the way of life is our natural state, and this will feel good to us. When we are stuck in fear we often are left feeling angry or frustrated and over the long term, this anger and frustration can create disease in our body. By facing our fears and moving through them helps us to feel joyous and happy. Anthony Robbins says our self-esteem grows when we can accomplish the things that challenge us.
What are the big or small fears that are holding you back from living the life you would like to lead? When you face your fears with love and compassion, it will allow you to grow in confidence, expand your awareness and live your life from a happy and relaxed state!
By Deborah Fairfull
Discover more about the journey from fear to love, here.