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fear

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Replacing Fear with Self-confidence

You know that crappy feeling in your gut when something is going on (in your mind usually) and you feel that old familiar feeling of fear brewing? It sucks and the sooner you can dissipate it, the more able you become to face and move away from whatever it is that is stimulating that feeling of fear inside you.

First let’s look at where the fear coming from? Putting aside the “I’m in the jungle facing a lion who is about to eat me” situation, fear is almost always an emotion that we generate or at least fuel within ourselves. The catalysts might be an event or person or situation in life but ultimately the extent to which that fear takes hold is determined within each of us. In most cases you can trace the root of fear to one of these causes:

1.      Indecision: Once we know what course of action we want to take, we feel confident and inspired to move forward.

2.      Doubt: Once we eliminate doubt the end result becomes irrelevant because we have full acceptance, confidence and self-love right here, right now and nothing more needs to occur. We have replaced out self-doubt with confidence and self-love.

When we become decisive and self-confident that  fear becomes replaced with resolve, ingenuity, enthusiasm & visions forwhatever greater future we see ourselves moving toward as well as acceptance for who and where we are right now.  At this point, no matter what is going on in your life you become infinitely more capable of navigating it with peace in your heart  and focused energy and vision in your mind.

So how can you move from indecision & doubt to decisiveness and confidence? By trusting your intuition and leaning into your own self-love you can quickly move from fear paralysis to inspired action. We all already have the answers within us, within our own consciousness. We have just been taught to look outside of ourselves for the answers. We have been taught to take a much less productive course of action when it comes to thinking through problems and our own emotions. Rather than looking within, becoming comfortable with our own intuitive knowing and moving forward confidently, we are taught to think about outside solutions, influences, possible outcomes and weigh and second guess all possible outcomes. At which point we either choose a course of action and hope for the best or choose to do nothing and remain in our situation.

We’ve all done this because we learn it through the conditioning of almost everyone around us. Few of us are blessed with a role model who teaches us by example, how to trust our intuition and move forward confidently when faced with a pivot point in life. Nope. We’re going to think that stuff through, make a bunch of list, weigh the pros and cons of every choice and overthink ourselves right into a deeper and more gripping fear.

How much of your fear is really based on the fact that intuitively you know you are not following your heart, not being true to yourself?

Ask yourself this. How much of your fear is really based on the fact that intuitively you know you are not following your heart, not being true to yourself? How much of it is bases on the idea that you are letting yourself downby seeking answers outside of yourself? Probably a lot of it! In this way all of that thinking and planning and strategizing just erodes your self-confidence and your connection to your inner self.

Try Something different! The next time you feel fear creeping in (fears about money, love, your station in life, a specific event or situation, which college to choose or job to take- whatever!)  try this approach.

  • Close your eyes and take several deep breaths
  • Let your body relax
  • Remind yourself by repeating aloud or in your head “I am wise and true and good and kind, I know intuitively, within me, exactly what I need to do”  repeat this several times as you continue to take deep breaths.
  • Let the fear feeling come for a visit and as it rolls around ask yourself “is this fear coming fromindecision or doubt”
  • Allow the answer to arise within you
  • If the root of the fear is indecision then repeat with each deep breath“I have the all of the answers within me and I intuitively know what to do”  Do this several times.
  • Next take a very deep breath and state “my decision is to_______” let your heart, mind and intuition fill in the blank with whatever comes first to mind.
  • If the root of the fear is doubt then repeat with each deep breath all of the positive features about yourself that prove this doubt wrong. For example if your fear is about a job that you are loosing you might repeat “I am highly skilled and will find an even better position that speaks to my soul “I am an amazing teacher and will find an even more flexible and rewarding position.” Etc. 

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How to Identify and Overcome Little Fears and Why It Matters

overcoming_fear.jpg

I recently joined a synchronized swimming troop. Every Thursday at 5:30 I ruin about twenty minutes of my life trying to talk myself out of going and then I go anyway. I always leave the pool feeling like a million dollars so I began to wonder why I was self-sabotaging this amazing experience. It didn’t take long to realize there were a bunch of little fears working their magic like little joy parasites. I rolled my eyes and sighed at the realization, “oh my gosh, Oh my goodness- ok, I got this.”

What am I afraid of?

What am I afraid of here? Well rejection for one and failure for another. I’m walking into an established tight knit group where I am new and don’t know anyone. I’m literally afraid of treading water all by myself, not participating in locker room banter. Not being picked for a formation team.  On top of that I have not learned a new physical skill in forever. I’m afraid of not being able to do the lifts, master the form, flow beautifully through fluid formations.

When I made my excuses every Thursday, I did not realize these were at play. These were subconscious fears that I realized only upon closer inspection were bubbling beneath the surface and showing up as “its too cold today” and “I should probably stay home and mend all of my torn sweaters.”  

Moving beyond fear.

Then I was able to put my fears in the crosshairs. Just by recognizing them, individually, giving them names and bringing them to the light I could pick them off one by one. How can I get to know these ladies better? I can listen, I can ask questions, I can learn about them. I can be patient for crying out loud, that is how relationships are formed. Sticking that complex formation on my first try? Yeah right! How has my adult mind been duped into thinking this is how anything works? Hello? Revel in the progress! I’ll start by not sinking it can only get better from there.

So needless to say at the first inkling of what I now know is a fear response I  play the old west high noon dual showdown whistle in my head and take my position. Instead of feeding it at all, I replay in my mind how great it felt to master sculling for almost an entire width of the pool. How much fun it was to view the formations from under water and gain a better understanding of their inner workings. Small victories right! It seems like small stuff, but it’s all small stuff and yet it’s critical. Here’s why…

Developing new ways of thinking.

At its core, this practice is all about developing new neural pathways for your brain to call upon. Left unchecked, little fears become big fears and eventually habits of the mind. You literally are creating pathways in your brain when you experience thoughts and emotions. Have that same fear over and over again, feed into it, let it take hold and it’s created one and only one well-worn thought path in your brain. So now you’re only available thought pattern leads to fear. Something happens and the fear brain kicks in and says “that’s ok, I got this, I know the way” and off it goes. When you create a new thought pattern you create more alternative pathways for your brain to explore as responses and then you can break the pattern of fear based thinking. As you identify and then move beyond one small fear after another you build upon your collection of positive possibility pathways in your brain. When you do this, new pathways and possibilities are opened up and who doesn’t love new possibilities!

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