Over the years I have entered discussions with like-minded personal growth seekers around the fact that the two main emotions that drive us and shape our lives are those of Love and Fear. Opposites in their intention. Powerful in their individual ways. The black to the white. The pleasant to the unpleasant. So, it’s here that I’m going to take a look at fear and the different ways we can experience it in our own lives. I refer to fear and love as the big E’s. Big in their presence and big in their impact.
So, what is fear?
Fear is something that is built into our DNA. Without it we wouldn’t have been able to run away from ravaging tigers and dangerous predators and if we hadn’t developed an ability to fear then humans would have been wiped out and quite frankly, we wouldn’t be here. So, fear in the face of danger is indeed a legitimate response and one that we need in healthy amounts if we are to navigate certain situations.
It’s the irrational responses of fear that rise during actual or potential situations that cause us damage and can railroad our lives and influence some of our biggest decisions.
As if that’s not enough to circumnavigate there’s other people’s fears about you which although belong to them, can leave you feeling doubt about your life and decisions. If we’re feeling even a little bit vulnerable, we can take on this unwanted fear attention until we realise it doesn’t belong to us anyway. If you’ve ever journeyed your way from hopelessness to hope, there will be people who will unwittingly keep you in a fear-based energy to soothe their own insecurities of you changing and showing up in a different way to the one they are used to. Fear it would seem is everywhere.
So how do we recognise when fear is at play? And what do we do with it?
The first question I would encourage you to ask yourself is ‘What is going on for me right now?’ this is a question that allows you to simply think about your feelings and in turn pinpoint your distress. This is a practice that is often used in a therapeutic setting but one you can adopt too. By recognising and voicing the things that are bothering us we give them airplay and the attention that they are screaming for. It’s easier to do this with another person as an observant listener (choose this person wisely as you don’t want to get bamboozled by the views of others) but if that isn’t available then write them down. Writing things down has merit as you can look back and remind yourself and it gives some focus so that you can start to unpick the fearful situation.
Have a good think about the root cause of the fear. The list is endless but here are a few examples:
Are you in a toxic or unhealthy relationship/friendship but you fear being alone?
Do you fear travelling abroad because something terrible might happen?
Do you fear failure of any kind because it would make you a lesser person?
Do you fear speaking up or telling your truth because you’re afraid of rejection or criticism?
Do you fear success because you feel like an imposter?
Are you fearful about the state of the planet and the politicians ruling it?
Is someone else voicing their fear about you and your situation?
If you highlight the part that’s worrying you as I have, you will start to recognise where the issue lies. You can see that the fear is attached to a perceived outcome, a response from another and a whole lot of limiting beliefs that you are telling yourself. Fear likes to lie to keep you firmly in its grip.
However, Fear cannot control us or our situation unless we let it. But like a small child stamping its feet it vies for our attention. It makes us accept jobs we don’t love because we’re fearful we won’t make the rent. It makes us enter and commit to relationships that are wrong for us because we fear being lonely or being left on the shelf. But once you realise that fear is driving you and making you uncomfortable and unhappy you can learn to release it and banish it from your mind. Letting go of fear buys you a newfound freedom to make choices that your heart wants you to do. Fear can only really be destroyed by love so make sure you love what you do, you love who you spend time with. Don’t surround yourself with fearful people and the best thing I ever did to eradicate a fearful mindset was to stop watching the news. No news is good news, so they say.
Release fear and let love in. Love is the big E that we all need to work from.
As a Bach Flower practitioner I am interested and invested in human emotions. For anyone unaware of the Bach flowers, they are essences derived from certain flowers that once administered orally set about to shift difficult and unpleasant emotions that have risen to the surface. There are 38 separate flowers in the Bach collection that treat things like guilt, envy and overwhelm to name but a few and if you’ve ever taken Rescue remedy (a combination of 5 of the flowers) for exam nerves or anxiously dropped it in your mouth before a dentist’s appointment or are a nervous flyer, then you’ll have an idea how effective these essences can be. Fear is behind so many difficult feelings, so the remedies are a good starting place. If you would like to explore any difficult emotions and learn how to shift them, contact me to discuss the Bach Flowers and how they can help you find emotional freedom.
Follow me on www.louisacox.com to read the next blog.
The big E’s – the emotions that shape us – Part two – Love.