“I’m not afraid!” you might say…
Well, perhaps you don’t call it that, but stress, tension, avoidance, worry, anxiety, anger, defensiveness, impatience, over-control are all aspects of fear…
And it is what you fear that gets in your way. It is fear that stops you doing what you want to do, being who you want to be. It is fear that damages your relationships and holds you back. It is not other people, things, circumstances, your past that block you – it is your relationship to these things in this present moment that is your obstacle.
You can see and sense an increase in fear all around us. It seems to be increasing as the old social, economic, political and belief certainties dissolve around us. The results of fear-based behaviours of aggression, defensiveness, victimhood and hyper-reactivity are evident in all these areas as well as in our own lives. People don’t want to engage and learn from each other anymore – they just seem to want to shout at each other from behind the barricades they have erected!
Knowing what fear is, where it comes from, what its purpose is, is the first step to freedom from the stresses, tensions, worries, anxieties, anger, defensiveness, impatience, avoidances, the need for control – in other words, the fears – that are getting in your way.
Our fears are rooted in the deep instinct we share with all creatures for defence and survival in the face of immediate danger. For us, dangerous threats relate not only to immediate, life-threatening circumstances (sometimes called ‘Fear of Tiger!”). Most of us will have a default position of reacting to perceived threats to our broader security, our possessions, our sense of who we are and our settled view of the world (what is real/not real. Right/wrong etc.) as if they were life-threatening issues rather than manageable challenges that require adaptation and change. This means that we tend to blow up the problem to potentially catastrophic proportions charged with strong emotional energy, rather than trying to focus on the core issue in our present time and circumstances so that we can work out a strategy to solve, use or avoid it.
The root of your fear lives in the most primitive, least-evolved part of your brain. When this defensive reaction is triggered it can ‘hijack’ your thoughts and emotions. We are unable to put the issue into a broader perspective or, for instance, to see it from another’s point of view. It makes you stupid (remember when you could not access all that information you had stored up for that interview or exam?). It makes you say things that cause pain and regret for yourself and others (remember when you just had to let that other person know what you were thinking and feeling – and the instant realisation of what you had done immediately after – “Oh why did I say that? What have I done?!”).
In fear, we are acting from a very basic ‘reptilian’ part of ourselves – we are not fully human. This is why any decision taken in fear is always the wrong decision…
All our fears are rooted in how we view the world, which springs from our conditioning and our experience of our unique life-journey to our ‘now’. The frustration you feel, the anger, the impatience, the reticence, the pain of the fear you feel is down to you…
The route to freedom from your fear involves 5 steps:
- Understanding what fear is, where it comes from and what its purpose is
- Managing our physical and emotional responses through Presence and Purpose
- Choosing the story we tell ourselves about what we think threatens what we hold dear (instead of our past choosing that story for us)
- Being clear about what it is we want and how to get there
- Taking the first step
The video above tells you more about where fear comes from and what its purpose is.
Take this questionnaire to discover what your main fear is, and we will send you a short but powerful PDF booklet of advice on how to free yourself from its chains.