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Fear is something we all deal with on some level every day, whether it’s anxiety about being late for an appointment, worrying about our health, or even dreading that something bad is going to happen. We don’t always realize the negative effect fear can have on our lives. Fear can hold us back from pursuing our goals and prevent us from growing in meaningful ways. Thankfully, there are methods for us to both utilize and eradicate fear.
Here are 5 tips for overcoming fear:
1. Assess if your fears are healthy, real, or illogical.
There are 3 types of fear. Healthy fears set us up for our survival and protection. They keep us safe by making us mindful of our surroundings and help us take necessary precautions to not get hurt. Real fears are based on things that we know happen, like death, disease, or losing a loved one. These fears can be useful as they may lead us to eat healthier or to spend more time with loved ones. And then there are illogical fears. Fear of spiders, heights, small spaces, rejection, failure – they paralyze us and stop us from creating the life we want.
More often than not, we get stuck in illogical fears. Healthy and real fears can be useful in the right context, but illogical fears stop us from creating change and pursuing our dreams. When you feel afraid, take a moment to assess where the fear is coming from. Ask yourself, “Is this fear propelling me to grow and change, or is it just paralyzing me?” If the fear is bringing you to inaction instead of action, that is a clear indication that it’s something to work on eradicating.
2. Pay attention to what your fear is showing you and ask, “What is the opportunity for growth?”
Most people see fear as a stop sign. Something is scary, so we want to run the other way, avoid it, or pretend it doesn’t exist. In reality, nothing comes into our lives that doesn’t have a purpose. Every emotion, including sadness, anger, or fear, are indicators to bring us to a certain awareness. They give us data on what we need to pay attention to. The key is to become an observer, recognize the emotion, and ask, “What is the opportunity? What do I need to pay attention to?”
Allow yourself to stare your fear straight in the face and say, “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” When you do so, you force your brain to think of other options and opportunities. Instead of feeding the fear, you can now choose a different path.
3. Remind yourself that fear is stealing moments of joy and potential from you.
In most parts of our lives, we go to great lengths to make sure nothing is stolen. We deposit our money in the bank, keep our jewelry in a safe, and lock our car doors. Yet, we allow fear to steal so much from us all the time.
Fear is what stops people from reaching out and doing the things they love. We tend to make excuses for why we can’t move forward – we’re too old, too young, don’t have enough money, it’s not the right time. But these are excuses because it is really fear that holds us back. When you are busy in the space of fear, then you are not putting time and energy into what you could become, and so it steals your potential.
Fear also steals the current moment of joy and happiness from us. Even if the things we fear end up manifesting, the moments we lose to worry don’t come back. There is a loss of happiness, joy, and pleasure from the days we allow fear in.
Look at all the fears you have right now and imagine how your life will look if you keep feeding the fear. Picture your life and make it visceral. Now picture if you eradicated the fear. Which path would you rather pursue?
4. Trust that the Creator is the one who is really in control and wants what is best for you.
The fear behind all fears is the fear of the unknown. What is going to happen? What if something goes wrong? It’s the unknowable part of life that trips us up. Everything feels so uncertain and out of our control.
In reality, we control almost nothing. We can make plans, but the day may or may not go that way. We have no idea what’s going to happen. Even when we take a breath, we are not really in control – our bodies and the Creator assist us.
In order to really eradicate fear, we have to awaken certainty in the bigger picture. The Creator ultimately wants what is best for us, even if we don’t quite see how in the moment. Trust in the Creator’s process. It doesn’t mean you get everything you want or that everything will work out exactly the way you plan, but ultimately it is for your soul’s benefit.
5. Have certainty that you can overcome fear with spiritual work and growth.
We often try to mitigate or reduce our fears while attempting to stay the same people we are today. In truth, it is not possible to eradicate fear if we aren’t consistently growing and changing and becoming different people. One of the goals of our spiritual work is to elevate ourselves to the point that those fears have no control over us.
It is possible to get to a state where fear doesn’t affect you, even the fear of death. You can live a life where there is no fear. It takes work and spiritual growth, but it begins with knowing it is possible.
Fear can be a powerful tool for growth and transformation, but it’s one that we can ultimately shed as we ascend to a consciousness where we are no longer afraid. Instead of hiding from your fears, take a hard look at them. If they are illogical fears that are not serving you, look for the opportunity to grow from them, knowing that they are stealing today’s joy and potential, and trust that the Creator has your back. And above all else, have certainty that it is possible to overcome these fears through spiritual transformation.
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