How fear can be your guiding Light!

by | May 9, 2018

Is fear stopping you from connecting to your humanity?

What stops you from…

  • Accessing your vulnerability?
  • Bringing all of yourself to your work?
  • Taking your work to the next level?
  • Exploring your next choice in life?
  • Fill in the blank…

Ask yourself, what stops you doing that which you most desire? Most likely, it’s fear of failure showing up.
Are you afraid? Are you aware of physical sensations of fear in your belly, in your body? If so, congratulations! That means you’re dreaming big.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tells us, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” When you’re afraid, you know you’ve found the right pool to jump into. However, if you pass up the opportunity because you think the water’s too cold or you just don’t feel like swimming today — fear wins and you lose.


Facing Fear & Acknowledging Its Role

The more you move towards your dreams and work to manifest your vision, the more your shadow self — the part of you that doesn’t want to change the status quo — will bring up fear. When we face our fear and act in spite of it, we grow. As we push through our perceived limitations, we expand far beyond our comfort zone. In this place, we can embrace freedom and become unstoppable forces in our own lives—and this feels GREAT! When we step over the edge of our perceived limits, we achieve a feeling of aliveness and a greater sense of purpose.

The Root of Fear

What most people don’t realize is that fear comes from somewhere. There is a root to all fears. Being afraid of heights is more about being afraid to fall than it is about being up high. It’s obvious that being scared of dogs as an adult could be because you got bit in your past or a fear of swimming likely stems from choking on the boatload of water that went up your nose as a child. But finding the roots of emotional fear isn’t always so straightforward. Emotional fears build up over time, cemented by the people around us telling us not to be a certain way. If you’re scared of speaking up, it might be because someone used to tease or dismiss you when you volunteered information. Other people are afraid of “being a nuisance” or standing up for themselves because when they tried, they were told it was rude or mean. Maybe you don’t audition today because you were told by your family not to be such a drama queen.  Or maybe you exposed your vulnerability and were rejected, so now you hide your authentic self to avoid feeling shame. Most often, the root of our fear is hidden in our shadows. The limiting beliefs we took on as children continue to live in our subconscious mind. Unfortunately, these limiting beliefs often drive our behaviors and decisions, to our detriment.

Making an Ally Out of Fear

When fear shows up, treat it like a beacon of light, one that guides you to shed another layer of shadow and brings you one step closer to expressing your authentic self. Fear is the gatekeeper of our comfort zone, but when we use fear as a compass needle, it can become our ally. When you get a flash of fear, this means you’re aware of some perceived “danger”. In the moment that scares us, everything in you says, “Oh no!” … and that’s good! It means you’re paying attention. Wherever the needle points — whenever fear raises its head, gulps, and says, “No, I don’t want to go there!” — we know that’s where we need to go. This awareness becomes a tool that guides us toward the fearful rather than shying away. It becomes our impetus for change.

Doing Scary Things Intentionally

How do we strengthen the muscles of self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-trust? By using fear as an ally. Make it a practice to do at least one scary thing every day. Doing so begins to exercise a muscle that’s been atrophied for too long. Each and every time you take action rather than avoid, you strengthen the muscles of self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-trust. You begin to say, “I can,” much more often than, “I can’t”. As you work with this concept, keep in mind that the daily scary things do not have to be huge. You can start with small things and work your way up to your bigger fears:

  • Afraid of spiders? Commit to helping a spider outside or disposing of it yourself instead of calling on someone else to do it.
  • Don’t like networking? Commit to bringing a friend or colleague to at least one per month.
  • Avoid making phone calls? Commit to making one or two per week.
  • Want to make a radical change, but are afraid of taking that leap into something new? Try taking a calculated risk of a physical nature.

Interestingly, these physical risks often produce noticeable growth in our ability to confront fear in the emotional realm. For example, to learn more about her fear of going into business for herself, my friend Lisa did a fire walk, something that terrified her, and in the act of walking across the red, hot coals, there was no room for anything but being focused on her immediate task—all the fearful “what ifs” had to be dropped.

Conquer Your Fear Excersize:

Fear will never fully go away; it IS a human defense mechanism. The trick is learning how to deal with it and keep it from stopping you by learning how to use it as a powerful guiding tool. Practice this exercise when you are in a setting in which you feel safe so that when fear shows up you won’t be swamped by it. Find a quiet place and time and then …

  • Think of a time when you were immensely afraid.
  • Allow yourself to feel the fear IN your body. Where is it? Does it have a shape? A color? Temperature? Vibration? Etc … Allow yourself to experience fear as an object in your body.
  • When fear is an object in your body. Notice what it feels like in your solar plexus, your heart, your belly … in your right knee. Notice how it’s similar or different.
  • Now, take some time and think about when you felt immensely strong, joyous, and courageous. Feel that in your body. How is it different? Does it sit in different spaces in the body? Can you feel the joy while still acknowledging the fear?
  • You may want to talk with your fear, let it know you honor it, but also let it know it can’t make your decisions for you.

As you become more adept at allowing fear in your body, giving it space, versus just being afraid and reacting to that, you can more consciously start to focus on the sensations of courage and joy and where those live in your body instead. Then you have a choice on what to focus — fear or courage. Remember, courage isn’t being without fear, it’s acting and moving forward despite the fear.

I’d love to hear how working on the exercise and working to make fear your ally goes for you, so keep me posted! Feel like you need more personal guidance? Connect with me and find out how I can help you conquer your fear and step fully into your  power to create an authentic fully expressed life. ~Karin


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