We all experience fear.
We may think that the world is crumbling around us.
And we may feel angry or frustrated because of it.
So we act unlike ourselves (or avoid action altogether).
This results in us making things worse for ourselves and those we care about.
That energy is a signal for what’s beneath the surface.
If you want to acknowledge and overcome your irrational fears, as well as turn it into something positive, then this is the article for you.
Acknowledge Your Fear
The first step is always awareness and noticing where fear might be coming up for you.
It’s really important to process your fear compassionately.
Do not be a bully to yourself and say, “You shouldn’t be afraid. It’s fine. It’s not a big deal.”
A lot of well-meaning people will try and do this. Like, “Come on, lighten up. It’s going to be fine. Stop freaking out.”
That’s fine, people say that to you, but it’s important that you go in and compassionately hear yourself and the fear that you’re having, even if it’s totally irrational.
Because that fear is telling you something.
Where Fear Actually Comes From
All fear is coming from our brains. Just because you’re having a really intense amount of fear doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in an intense amount of danger.
Have you ever noticed that?
What this fear means is that you’re having intense thoughts about something that’s causing you to feel an intense amount of fear.
You want to be really clear that the mind is what creates fear, not the world.
There is no fear without your mind.
It’s important that you don’t dismiss your mind. You’ve got to pay attention to what’s going on in your brain so that you can uncover anything that’s causing fear for yourself.
When you judge fear, dismiss it, or put yourself down, you miss the opportunity for developing “fear awareness.”
You miss the opportunity to process it compassionately.
And you allow yourself to feel fear later.
How to Process Your Fear Compassionately
One of the ways to do this is to sit down and say, “I’m scared and that’s okay.”
Being scared is a human experience. It’s part of the human experience. Scared is a feeling; it’s a vibration in your body.
Fear does not mean you’re in imminent danger.
Then, what you do is breathe it in and allow it to vibrate in your body. Feel it.
Now, for some of us that will look like crying. For some of us it’ll look like shaking. For some of us it will feel very subtle. And for some of us it will be very intense.
It’s different for everyone, processing fear and allowing it to be there.
Most of us have a desire to resist it. It catches in our throat and we try to downplay it. We try to talk it out of our life, make excuses for it.
We try to push it away.
We try to take a deep breath, move on, and be tough about it.
Instead, take a deep breath and go into the fear. Welcome the fear. Allow it to be there.
Recognize that it’s just a vibration; it’s just an emotion in your body. It’s okay to feel afraid.
Fear doesn’t mean something has gone terribly wrong. It means that you’re a human with a human brain experiencing an emotion.
Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel fear, you’ve opened the doors to being compassionate with yourself.
Then you want to ask yourself this question:
“What are the three main thoughts scaring me right now?”
Be afraid. Go into a place where you acknowledge the fear. Say the fear out loud. Honor it. Acknowledge it. Do not dismiss it.
Write down the three thoughts that are scaring you.
Here are some examples:
- I’m scared of getting sick.
- I’m scared of losing my house.
- I’m scared of other people getting hurt and being mistreated.
- I’m afraid the world’s gone crazy.
Write it down. Do not dismiss it. Honor it. Listen to your own thoughts.
Because these thoughts are important.
Choose the big three fears. Focus on those three for now. When you focus on the big three right now, all the other fears come tumbling down. All the supporting actors come tumbling down. You reveal your fears, whether those are facts or thoughts.
Next, you’ll separate the facts from the thoughts.
A lot of times we think we’re afraid of something happening in the world that we can’t control like a hurricane. We think we’re afraid of that thing and we think that thing is what’s causing our fear, so we try to run away from it, dodge it, control it.
None of that works.
It’s immediately relieving to know that there’s a difference between the hurricane and the thoughts about the hurricane. These are two separate things.
There’s an immediate sense of relief because you see the separation between your mind and the world. You recognize that there is a partial piece of this that you can control.
You can’t control the hurricane, but you can control what’s going on in your mind right now.
Separating out the facts from the thoughts relieves your fear.
You start to control your thoughts.
Identify “Future Thought Errors”
You also want to look for “future thought errors” during this process.
Are you using your imagination to scare yourself?
Are you imagining something happening that hasn’t happened, that probably won’t happen, that could happen, and it’s all in your imagination?
Are you believing something that you’re making up in your mind?
Doing this does not serve you. Sitting there obsessing over that make-believe fear does more harm than good. This make-believe fear blocks you from actually being able to process your emotions.
We want to separate it out.
The facts from the thoughts.
Then we separate out any future thought errors that were happening.
We’re not doing this to get out of fear right away. We’re not trying to not be afraid. We’re not trying to recognize these thoughts so we can eliminate them, so we can be happy. That’s not what we’re doing.
We’re still processing fear. We’re just understanding it. We’re becoming aware of it. We’re feeling it. We’re understanding the thoughts that are causing it.
When you are comfortable with experiencing fear and allow for fear, you take its impact on you down by almost half. This is because so much of our fear is our fear of being afraid.
We’re afraid of our own fear.
We’re afraid of our own thoughts.
We’re afraid of experiencing the panic that we create for ourselves.
When we can stop being afraid of being afraid, we automatically relieve some of the fear.
Do not try to eliminate the fear. Allow it to be there. Because what you realize when you process fear is this:
Fear is not something to be afraid of; it is something to embrace.
We don’t need to be afraid of fear.
We can allow fear. We can be afraid. We can survive fear.
We can survive that emotion.
We can feel it.
How to Utilize Fear So It Serves You
The next step is practicing peace.
This is something you do alongside the fear, not as an effort to replace it.
There is this amazing experience for people who meditate. While they’re witnessing having an emotion they can be at peace about it.
It doesn’t mean you’re eliminating the emotion. The emotions co-exist.
Here’s how to practice peace:
First, come to the present moment, to this very moment that you’re in. Take a four second breath in, hold it for six seconds, exhale for four seconds, and then hold it for six seconds. In and out.
Do this breathing exercise until you feel your thoughts calming down and your mind becoming more present.
You can say thoughts like these to help bring you into the present:
- “I’m okay right now because there is no hurricane right now.
- “The sky is blue right now.”
- “I’m sitting in my house safe right now.”
- “Nothing is hurting me right now.”
- “I’m safe right now.“
- “I can handle this moment.“
- “I am handling this moment.“
- “I am safe right now.“
- “I am not sick right now.“
- “I am healthy right now.“
- “I am not being hurt right now.“
- “I am strong.“
- “I am capable.”
- “I can handle the negativity in the world right now.”
- “I can feel fear right now and I will be okay.”
Those are the kind of things that you want to help yourself practice believing.
Next, notice this practice doesn’t require you to eliminate the fear. You can have fear and still be okay. You can be afraid and still be okay in your own fear.
Try saying this while present: “I am afraid and that’s okay.”
You’re simply “resetting” your brain to focus on the here and now, not the past nor the future.
It brings us back to this present moment.
Finally, start to notice when you’re making future thought errors or imagining worst-case scenarios. You can’t make peace with them until you come back to the present moment.
The present moment is where life happens.
And even in our fear we are okay.
If you want more help acknowledging and processing your fear, then the Get Coached program is perfect for you.
No more experiencing fear and thinking the world is going to crumble around you. You don’t have to feel angry or frustrated. And you can keep control of yourself, so you can change your life for the better, positively impacting those around you.
Get Coached will help you transform your fear into something positive and useful.