Yesterday I suggested that fear was ultimately tied to our anxiety around entering the unknown. Today I want to suggest how we can acknowledge and work with our fears without being overwhelmed by them. Our first strategy is to recognize when we experience fear. This sounds simple in the extreme, but psychologists and therapists will tell you that many individuals will routinely block out their fears as a way of avoiding dealing with them. To deal with fear, we must first acknowledge its existence. Being in touch with our bodies and minds is a great help in this regard.
Our second strategy is to remind ourselves that fear is common to all of us. It is a part of our humanity. We are not deficient as human beings because we feel fear. The more we are able to accept fear as natural, the more it loses its hold on us.
Our third strategy is to become intimate with our fears. But I’m referring to a particular kind of intimacy. Mothers hold and comfort their babies when they become upset and cry. We need to hold our fear as a loving and compassionate mother holds her child, completely accepting the reality of the fear. Paradoxically, however, at the same time we need to detach and adopt a deep curiosity concerning our fear, much in the way that an archaeologist examines a rare artifact. The combination of love and compassion toward ourselves coupled with detached curiosity allows us be with the fear and yet not become overwhelmed by it.
I have written a special report, entitled What’s Holding You Back? that deals with the reactive patterns that block our success. It is available for $14.95. Please contact me for your copy.