We encounter fear as a natural part of life. Sometimes our fears are small and easily managed, other times they are large and threaten to overwhelm us. Our fear can present as a very clear total body-mind reaction or it may cloak itself in anxiety or stress.
During times of great change or challenge many fears can come together and make it difficult to identify them let alone respond to them adequately. We live in such a time! When this is the case it is helpful to have a full toolbox with a variety of tools to manage our way through.
Here are some ideas that can help.
Why we stay stuck
It may seem crazy to think that there is a reason we cling to our fears but our subconscious has its own “logic” and will block our more conscious efforts.
We all have beliefs that are encoded deep within and have receded into our unconscious. People who have had trauma in their history are more susceptible to stress and having a fear response triggered and becoming frozen. Emotional trauma is stored in the body, in cellular memory and tends to be activated during stressful situations. Some common sources of trauma are: being bullied or ridiculed, emotional or physical abuse, accidents, surgeries or any event that results in emotional or physiological overwhelm.
A useful general question to ask when noticing a pattern that seems stuck or hard to release is, “How is this helping me?”.
If you are interested in exploring this topic you can find a list of questions to help guide you to sort out what may be blocking you from releasing fear at .
- Adopt a
Perspective of strength when diving into your inner world:
What quality am I being challenged to develop?
If this situation was just the perfect one to point me in a different direction than I have been taking, what would that new direction be?
Is something new trying to be born in my life?
2 . Identify False Beliefs
Questioning how you perceive the world and challenging your beliefs can help begin the process of letting go of fear. It can feel tricky to sort out limiting beliefs because we have lived with them as truth for much of our lives.
Listening to your inner dialogue and challenging it, observing your habitual patterns and thinking more deeply about what they may be saying, and questioning what may be behind reactive behaviors can all help to illuminate false beliefs.
3. Ask some new questions
What are you really afraid of?
What is the likelihood that it will happen?
How can you look at the issue differently?
What if you were free of your fear, what would you do?
4. Does staying stuck in your fear help you in some way?
Sometimes we are not willing to do what it takes or are afraid of the new responsibilities or roles that come with a deep change—it’s good to know that!
Some helpful questions:
How does this fear serve me, protect me, or help me maintain an identity?
What am I avoiding by not facing or moving through this fear?
Do I want to accept this way of being or move through the fear of change?
5. Identify the needs behind your fear
Our needs are not usually a problem. How we go about getting them met due to our unconsciousness is what trips us up. If you can be clear about what you need and seek positive means to fill those needs the negative can fall away.
6. Adopt a Perspective of Strength
Access an inner state when you felt strong, able, confident and bring those feelings to the forefront of your awareness when you are facing fear. When we are in fear our energy contracts and we feel weak and unable to cope…our biochemistry runs amok and we are unable to access clear thinking or creative solutions.
When we calm ourselves we can access strong internal states and can link those feelings to new situations and benefit through own inner resources—a deep feeling of trusting ourselves can be a side benefit here in addition to collapsing the fear.
You can also ask yourself if there are new strengths that are trying to be born through the challenge of the fear you are facing. What new ability or quality is trying to be born in you? If this were the perfect situation to point you in a new direction, what would that be?
7. Use grounding and centering techniques on a regular basis
Quieting body and mind, centering and grounding your energy goes a long way to calming the biochemistry of fear (fight/flight/freeze) and being able to employ some of the other methods mentioned here. It can also open you up to higher ways of knowing that can guide you on your journey to freedom from fear.
Fear like stress is a part of life. We do have the ability to conquer it, if we reach deep, open to new information and perhaps try some new approaches. Fear creates–easily and readily given the intensity of its grip. We need to become aware and more conscious within ourselves, as well as to engage practices that counterbalance fear in order to claim our freedom to live with more ease, health and happiness.