Overcoming fear is fundamental to inducing beneficial states of consciousness and enjoying a more joyful, conscious, purpose-driven life. It is a process, a process that will be with you all of your life…overcoming fear is a skill that you can learn.
Overcoming Fear – Two Types of Fear
The fear response that helps warns us and keep us safe from physical harm is completely rational and a healthy. You need to work on this type of fear. This kind of fear lets you remember that certain animals, objects, situations in your life are dangerous…we all know this kind of fear.
This fear is based in the NOW…that tiger was not a real threat when he was lazing in the sun, but when he decided to rush your car, you would rightly feel fear at that moment.
Your body only has ONE response to fear — which is fight for flight…however most situations that cause fear today don’t allow us to fight or run away.
This causes anxiety that creates thoughts and energy patterns in your body that need to find release.
Another aspect of unhealthy fear is that your feeling of fear is not based of a situation that could cause you physical harm NOW.
Many the things that we fear would never cause us physical harm, only some form of shame or embarrassment…like the feel of public speaking…unless the audience decided to throw things at you! :-)
Some of the things we fear might some time in the future cause us harm, but not now, but our bodies react the same way to fear…fight or flight.
Still other fears are memories of past hurts and pain, which are valid, but again this will cause the body to react as if the trigger were happening NOW.
These deep seated hurts from your past may require professional help, only you can know how much pain and fear your are carrying around with you…if you try some of these suggestions and don’t think you can handle moving forward, then I would advise that you seek professional help.
The rest of the strategies apply only to the unhealthy sort of fear…if a tiger attacks you…run!..or hopefully you have a gun handy.
Overcoming Fear: Learn to Accept Fear
Eckhart Tolle has this wonderful idea he calls the “pain-body”. He describes the pain body as a separate entity that lives in you like a ghost or a gremlin. When you are not experiencing fear, the pain body is dormant, waiting for a trigger in your life to SPRING into action.
…Of course, this is just an idea, but it is an amazing metaphor what what it FEELS like to have a fear or anger reaction. This is also another great tool in overcoming fear.
Again, since the body only has one reaction to fear, many times you will want to attack what you think is causing fear…which might be ok if you are facing a healthy fear, but might get you in trouble if that tiger is really your boss, a friend, a stranger…or even your computer…
…I have seen people yell at and even punch and kick computers, fax machines, copiers…you name it. I used to work in IT support…:-)…IT needs love too!
Tolle asks you to try to be very aware when you think you feel fear coming and learn what it feels like in your body, and do your best not to react violently. The pain-body can take over your mind and having you throwing punches in no time.
But, if you learn to just be still and not listen to that voice in your head and let the trigger moment pass and then as soon as possible, walk away….if you can’t walk away, just stay present and try to quiet your mind and thoughts.
Mediation practice can help learn how to quiet your mind so you can learn to catch yourself before your let your fears get the best of you. Overcoming fear was made much smoother when I learned to create a space between me and my experiences.
Overcoming Fear: Examine your Beliefs
“…The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”
– A Course in Miracles
That is one of my favorite quotes from “A Course in Miracles” This means that the “REAL” me can NOT be hurt in anyway in the universe.
I believe that I am unconditionally SAFE in the universe…I have no way of knowing this, and I can’t prove it to you, but I choose to believe it to be true
Sure, I know my body can be hurt and will die.
But, I also know that I am not my body…I am real…my body is part of something unreal..i.e. the physical universe…
…some people call it a soul, I like to call it consciousness…just a sense that “I am”
So, a very fundamental question to ask yourself when trying to overcome fear is:
That is an unconditional question…if you say yes, then you believe that you are your body and when your body is hurt or killed you cease to exist…or go to your version of the after life…
Now, if you believe that you cease to exist, then you will most likely try to prolong your earthly existence as long as possible, that is, if you like your earthly life…
If you believe that you will go to some version of an afterlife…hell might hurt, so you could be hurt there as well.
Overcoming fear might be much more straight forward, not easy, but a smoother road if you tried on a different model for your beliefs, one in which you can not be harmed.
Steve Pavlina did a great podcast about this subject and I took some inspiration from it for this page (like a lot of my pages!). Check it out, he is an awesome teacher….the podcast is called “overcoming fear”…big surprise there eh?
Overcoming Fear: There is no Escape
“No Escape” is a great term that I heard Steve Pavlina (again) use, and then again in the “Seeker’s Guide” by Elizabeth Lesser. It may help you in your process of overcoming fear.
The idea is that if you believe
1) you are conscious…which I do, and that
2) you are “eternal” or at least my consciousness is
…and you believe that
3) once you are conscious there is no going back (sure there are breaks and sleep and thank god we forget stuff between lives!)
There is NO ESCAPE from consciousness! Participation in consciousness is mandatory…you can run and hide and avoid your fears for as many lives as you want…literally, but you will keep coming back…
…time means nothing to the universe…the universe is YOU!
Your fears are lessons from you to YOU…to wake up and be fearless in the face of fear and live your life with courage…sorry if that came out preachy…I was yelling at myself mostly…I guess