It’s been said that fear of something or fear of life is just fear of emotion. It’s not the thing that we are afraid of. It’s the emotion that we attach to the thing that we are really afraid of. That’s what we are shying away from. I started thinking about this recently and realized how true it actually is.  And I think this is very good news. Because once we get curious about our emotions and uncover the root of this attachment, almost anything seems possible.  Let me explain.

First, let’s consider some of the many things that cause fear.

For some, it might be fear of running out of money. Others might shy away from taking action, having a difficult conversation, asking for the sale, or a promotion. Some people might be afraid of social situations or public speaking.  Perhaps we fear not being liked, not achieving enough, or not being good enough in some way. If you actively watch the news, there is a laundry list of things that might frighten you. I have a friend who is afraid of eating a piece of cake.  The fear is real.

Some things cause more fear than others. And even when we know that we are blowing things out of proportion, we may feel trapped in its grip, until we set ourselves free.

Imagine the thing you fear.

Now ask yourself how you would feel if that thing were to happen.  What is the emotion or emotions you would experience?  For example, let’s say you are afraid of asking for what you want. What emotions show up when you think about taking this action? Now, let’s imagine you do take action. You ask for what you want and you get a flat out “no” as a response. Will you feel then? Will you be sad, angry, resentful? Will your inner critic take over and make you feel bad about yourself? These are the very things that you actually fear. These are the emotions that you are trying not to feel. And this is your starting point for self-reflection and empowerment. 

Emotions are vibrations. Their impact is rooted in our thoughts.  And sometimes our thoughts deceive us.

It’s true that being human means sometimes feeling negative emotion. It’s also true that we don’t have to stay in that state for very long.  In fact, there are a number of science based strategies for quieting unnecessary negative feelings and experiencing more resiliency. I use some of these strategies in my life and in my coaching practice. We start by examining the truth behind our thoughts, the ones driving our emotions.   I can’t underscore the importance of this enough. You see, so much of what drives our feelings, our actions (or inactions) resides in our subconscious. Left unexamined, we become susceptible to blowing things out of proportion.  For instance, when we look at things objectively, it’s is easy to see the difference between jumping out of an airplane without a parachute vs. setting a boundary with a loved one, or coworker. Unexamined, we might inadvertently attach the same level of risk and fear to both.  But only one of them will actually kill us.

The point here is that we have the power to challenge the root of our fears.  When we do, we may discover that our thoughts are deceiving us, or that we are stronger than our inner critic would have us believe. We might realize that, put into perspective, we can weather some level of discomfort. And we can then consider how best to navigate our circumstances, without the burden of fear or unnecessary emotional baggage.  Here’s where we discover our strength.  We can acknowledge the presence of a negative vibration and still take action.

And with that, we move forward, from fear to freedom.

Remember my friends, you are more powerful than you think you are.

Questions to ask when fear mode has you feeling stuck:

What is the emotion I don’t want to feel?

What are my thoughts that are driving that emotion?

Are those thoughts 100% accurate?

How can I best navigate an uncomfortable vibration?





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