Are you living scared?
Do you avoid the things you know you should be doing because they might be hard or even worse, because you might fail?
Why is it that so many of us let fear rule our lives?
I mean, it’s not like we have a lot to be afraid of.
Most of have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and a job that provides for our basic needs.
So why do so many of us live in constant fear? And more importantly, what can we do to stop this silly emotion from taking over our lives?
Is the world hostile or is the world peaceful?
In today’s world there are plenty of things to make us fearful. Just watch the news for 5 minutes and you will undoubtedly see what I’m talking about.
Sex is no longer king as fear dominates our TV shows and daily news.
Unfortunately, this constant state of fear is taking a toll on us as our minds are quick to see a threat and make a snap judgment.
Today’s average person is scared and fearful so it’s no wonder that we have seen mental disorders like anxiety and depression skyrocket over the last few decades.
The truth is though, (as I’ve mentioned before) today’s world has never been safer. More people have access to food and resources and overall there is less crimes in the world than ever before in history.
The problem is that most of us operate under the fundamental assumption that this world is hostile and therefore, we should be on alert at all times.
Now this belief isn’t a question of pessimism or optimism.
Instead, it’s about scarcity and abundance.
Imagine for a moment if you woke up every morning thinking the world was full of opportunity. How would that make you feel?
Conversely, what would it be like if you woke up every morning thinking the world (or someone in it) was trying to take something from you? How would that change how you approached your day?
So many of us operate under the belief that this is a “dog eat dog world” and someone wants to take what’s ours. This immediately puts us in a defensive and hyper-alert emotional state but it doesn’t have to be that way.
First, we need to ask ourselves this fundamental question:
How do we see the world?
If we see it as a hostile place that’s okay, because knowing this is our default mode of operation gives us the opportunity to change our perspective.
A problem well stated is a problem half solved
In order for us to start changing our relationship with fear we must first understand how we see the big picture.
Once we know how our minds operate, we can then start doing the work to change our minds.
Meditation is a wonderful way for us to get insights into our thinking patterns.
As you sit in meditation see what kind of thoughts come up for you regularly.
Are you constantly anxious when you sit?
Are you constantly wondering if you are doing the practice right?
Does your mind pull you to an imaginary future event that you’re nervous about?
Do you find yourself reliving your past failures or your old traumas?
I don’t know about you, but my meditation practice isn’t always easy.
Here are some of the common thoughts I see when I sit down to meditate:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I will never be able to do this right.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”
“I’m going to blow it.”
As you can see all these thoughts are fear-based and each time I let one of these thoughts pass through my mind unconsciously, I buy more into my fears.
But this is how we learn. We must first see to know and then know to grow.
How to reduce our fears
So many of us try to fake it till we make it. We pretend to be happy and confident all the while feeling scared and unworthy.
This is a deadly cycle of denial and of course, we cannot fix a problem until we admit we have one.
After we face the music though, how can we stop living so afraid?
The answer is simple and yet profoundly difficult at the same time:
We must FACE OUR FEARS REGULARLY!
The only way past our fears is to work through them and the more we face our fears the less scary they become.
In psychology desensitization is a classic technique to help people get over phobias and fears.
But we don’t need to go a therapist and spend hundreds of dollars to start practicing this technique.
All we need to do is come to the realization that this world is not a hostile place and do one thing a day that makes our palms sweat.
So, if you’re terrified of speaking in public then start small and join a toast-masters group. Each time you speak in public you’ll build resilience and increase your tolerance to fear.
The more we face our fears the less we fear our fears.
In other words, everything we want in this life is on the other side of facing our fears and in order to live to our fullest potential we must do one thing each day that scares us.
By changing our mindset about the world and systematically facing our fears we will begin to see that the world is indeed full of opportunity and abundance.
Fear, as it turns out, is just another emotion. If there’s one thing we humans are good at, it’s confirming our own biases.
So, if we believe the world is full of opportunity and our fears are nothing to be afraid of, then our mind will quickly start to confirm this idea and our lives will begin to transform for the better.
When we see our fear and this world differently the world will in turn respond differently to us.
So this week do something that makes you a little scared!
Ask yourself how you see the world and if you don’t like what you see then start doing the work and you’ll see that there’s really nothing to be afraid of!
Thank you as always for reading this week’s blog. We hope this post encourages you to start living your life free of fear. Drop us a line and let us know what you are doing this week to face your fears!
Until next time, thank you for reading and we’ll see you next Wednesday.