One thing I hear often is that by just thinking positive or speaking affirmations, you can overcome your fears. Unfortunately this well meaning sentiment is only part of the story. The other part is something you might not want to know. In order for you to truly get unstuck, it is necessary for you to face the fears and anxiety that is blocking your efforts to move forward.
F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Like all emotions, fear is simply a signal that there is something to pay attention to. It often indicates you have a concern or anticipation that something undesirable may happen soon. “May happen soon” means at some point in the future. This is the reason why fear is false. Fear takes you out of the present moment into a state of worry and anxiety about the future. Fear tricks you into thinking about what might be instead of what is. You might be unsafe. You might be hurt. You might be unhappy. You might be – but you are not right now.
The great news is that you do not have to live in this future state of fear. If you are willing to use fear in a positive way, fear can be a useful tool to notice when you need to get your mind right. Here are the 4 best things you can do with fear:
When you feel fear, do not run from it. Do not avoid it. Do not dismiss it or attempt to smother it with a positive affirmation. Face your fear. Look at it objectively and as calmly as you can. What is the fear really about? How much of your fear is exaggerated? What true evidence do you have to counteract or calm that fear? I like to challenge the fear by asking, even if that fearful thing did happen, what is the worst possible result? It is said that anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. When you look at your fears objectively, even if that which you feared actually happens, it is probably less terrible than you initially imagined.
Take Action On It
What is this false emotion showing you about your current circumstance? Even if fear is based on worrying about the future, there are likely lessons about your present situation that can be addressed. Often there are opportunities to make a decision or pay attention to a detail that will remove or reduce the possibility of that future state ever happening. If there is something you cannot prevent with action, knowing that you are prepared or have diminished the impact can greatly reduce your fears. When you choose to push past your fears, you will see clearly that it was a false obstacle to living with purpose. Honestly, fear is a big punk. Punks jump up to get beat down.
Replace It With Joy
Fear and joy cannot exist in the same moment. If you are in fear, you are not in the present moment and therefore you cannot fully experience your own joy. What brings you joy? Where can you find joy in this situation? If you find you cannot calm your fear, do something to increase your joy. I am I the only one who often experiences something unexpectedly humorous or lighthearted in the middle of a fearful situation? Look for a reason to have joy and release the anxiety. I’ll bet when you take another look at that fear from a place of joy, it will look very different than it did before. You will also be able to see potential solutions and actions to take that you could not see when you were in fear. Joy inoculates you from fear so the stronger your joy, the less intense your fears. Choose to live a life full of joy!
Be Grateful For It
Fear is a signal. Fear can show you something that you did not notice before. Fear can prompt you to do some things that are beneficial to you in the long run. Be thankful for the signals you are giving yourself about how to live your best life. Be grateful that you have a built in system to help you focus on what is important. My fears often show me an upcoming challenge to living with purpose. Every now an again, that which we fear actually happens in some form. If you have faced it objectively, if you have taken all the action you could think of to diminish it, and if you replaced your fear with joy, then instead of fears you now have lessons. You may not be happy about the circumstance but look at this situation to see where you can be grateful. Look for the good fortune and providence in your situation. List all the wonderful things that happened as a result of this undesirable thing. What about those things that could have happened but didn’t happen that you can be grateful for? What do you know now that you can apply to your life that will prevent you from being in this situation again? Who left or entered your life as a result of this situation? When you are looking to replace fear with joy and gratitude, it is not difficult to pull positive affirmations out of your situation. And that is when your positive affirmations are the most powerful!