Have you been ‘stuck’ for a while? Do you need to make changes in your life but is fear holding you back?
You’re not alone. I’ve been there.
We all experience resistance to change. It’s how we deal with that resistance that determines whether we grow or stay still.
We’re wired for fear, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The truth is, fear is both a guardian and an imprisoner.
As a guardian, fear ensures we turn off the stove before leaving the kitchen and it makes certain we lock the front door before we go to bed.
The trouble is fear is a terrible driver ‒ steering us away from opportunity and causing us to miss out on what’s really possible for our lives.
Dealing with fear lets us see it for what it really is – a survival technique.
Fear is ingrained in our nature and it has kept us alive as a species for thousands of years.
As humans evolved, so too did our thinking capacity. We went from measuring immediate danger to perceiving future danger. The first is finite; the second is infinite in possibilities that could threaten our security and safety.
Think long enough about what could go wrong and you’ll find a likely doomsday scenario to confirm it..
It’s this ability to anticipate and project negative outcomes into our future that can paralyze us from making progress. Fear becomes our imprisoner.
I’m fascinated by fear of change. I make it my business to study the subject and help others overcome their fears and move forward.
Author and spiritual teacher Gabby Bernstein often quotes the metaphysical texts of A Course in Miracles by paraphrasing “If the thought is from fear, it isn’t real.”
This is an inspiring philosophy, but it falls short to deal with fear effectively. Labeling fear as unreal isn’t a quick fix to make it go away.
What really helps to alleviate fear when making changes in our lives is to acknowledge it, bring it into the light of our consciousness and have the courage to take action.
Overcome, not succumb.
Fear as an imprisoner has two faces. Knowing them allows us to maneuver through them:
1. Personal: Fear of vulnerability.
It’s difficult to be vulnerable, to take risks and to put our security on the line in pusuit of our dreams even though we admire people who convey these qualities.
2. Social: Fear of what others may think.
We’re social creatures and derive a sense of self and support for our actions through social acceptance.
It also helps to acknowledge when you’re feeling afraid rather than merge with the feeling completely. “I’m afraid” becomes “I’m sensing fear.” This simple shift in perception expands your consciousness, freeing you up to take action.
Become the observer of your fears – so every action is a conscious choice, not a reactive one.
Let fear be your catalyst to change, not your nemesis to nowhere.
Be brave. It’s what we all really want to be.
PS: Are you stuck in fear or have you overcome your fears? Leave a reply below.
(Cover image credit: an untrained eye)