Fear is the opposite of love. Love encompasses all the positive emotions that feel good to you and others. Fear, on the other hand, can lead to an array of negative emotion that feels bad to you and others. Naturally, fear should be avoided, and love embraced. But as we experience everyday this is not the case; as a whole humanity could really step up the love shown on this planet. Fear is the root of worrying, stress, and negativity and creates a rippling effect of suffering into one’s life. Fear is the root emotion underlying most, if not all, of the world’s individual and global suffering. Unacknowledged and suppressed fears influence your life in some way and you have no idea why bad things keep happening to you. Simply addressing your fears allows you to release the pent up energy surrounding the fear, anxiety, and tension so that the fear has less of a hold on you. This frees up energy to go beyond the imaginary limits of fear into a world of possibilities.
Fear is a part of the human condition and an inevitable part of your journey. You can run fear, or you can be run by fear, either way fear is here. The interesting thing to understand about fear is that it is an assumption based in the future and only exists in your mind. By definition fear is an exaggerated and unpleasant emotion associated with a dreaded assumption relating to the future. Fear is worrying about something that has not happened. Fear is thinking in worst-case scenarios while simultaneously experiencing an exaggerated array of emotional and often physical discomfort associated with your projection of the fear. The discomfort of fear is often worse than actually experiencing the fear, which in most of the cases never happens anyway.
Fear, or False-Evidence-Appearing-Real, is an illusion created by your mind about the future. Fear exists only in your mind and only in the future. Fear is a perpetuating cycle of unpleasant anticipation that constantly seeks something to be afraid of. Even when the original fear comes near people instantly focus on the next fear. For instance, think of someone who is afraid of the dark. They are only afraid of the dark until it becomes dark. Now they are afraid of what is in the dark (strangers, wild animals). This fear only lasts until a wild animal comes out. Now the person is afraid of what the animal will do and whether it will attack. This fear only lasts until the animal attacks because then you instantly fear for your safety and how you will overcome the attack. When you experience your fear the fear disappears and finds another mask to scare you. In the face of your fear you are strong enough and capable of handling the situation with only a fraction of the emotional energy you experienced through former moments of anticipated fear. Fear becomes unnecessary emotional torment because it is based on an illusion- a thought about a future event that has not occurred.
Here are some examples of fear so you can see how fear might be influencing your life and development:
Common fears: Things that are unknown: dark, strangers, germs, ghosts, aliens, conspiracy, weather, storms, ocean. Other species: everything from snakes, rats, and spiders, to wild animals, sharks and sea life, to dogs and cats. Being a victim of crime: bad guys, losing possessions, losing money, being attacked, and weapons. Experiencing physical pain or loss of functioning: disease, illness, accident, and impairment. Lacking self-worth: not getting enough approval, attention, acceptance, respect, love, etc. Feeling out of control: heights, flying, war, conflict, dominance, or feeling trapped. Change and loss in: self, identity, friends, career, status, wealth, materials, schedule, freedom, etc. Death and dying: when will I die? How will it happen? Where will I go next? Did I fulfill my purpose?
You can see that there are so many fears. Fear can wear many masks and influence you in nearly every situation if you allow. When you fail to address and overcome your fears they manifest into problems somewhere in your life. The first consequence of uncontrolled fear is anxiety. Fear puts you in a constant state of anxiety and stress. It is this anxiety, worrying, and stress that lead to other problems like substance abuse and addiction, conflict and tension in relationships, lack of stability and confidence in yourself, poor choices in health and wellness, and lack of movement or growth in your personal and professional goals. Fear creates the illusion that you are limited so you are limited unnecessarily. Fear prevents you from growing, developing, and becoming more successful because through fear you are self-sabotaging.
Fear is not always a bad thing; after all, fear is a natural instinct that serves as a guidance system on your journey. For instance, the fear of dangerous things (such as hot or sharp objects, heights, wild animals, and traffic highways) encourages you to avoid or approach with caution, keeping your safe. The fear of being invaluable motivates you to add value to others. The fear of being ignored encourages you to say meaningful things. The fear of failing motivates you to succeed. Unaddressed and suppressed fears influence you blindly; they might help and they might not. You can take advantage of your fears by addressing them and then using them to motivate and guide you.
How do you address and overcome your fears? And how do you utilize your fears to motivate you? The answer sits in the question. 1) Address your fears. Acknowledge that you have fears that influence your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and habits, and thus your life. Make a list of things you are worried about, anxious over, and scared of, so you can see your fears and how they are influencing you. Acknowledge worst-case scenarios. Do not leave fears unidentified and suppressed within you. Bring them out and look at them in detail. Face your fears by learning about and familiarizing yourself with the idea or image representing the fear. Identify where your fears came from? How long have you been carrying them? How much have they affected you versus helped you? Talk to your fears and reaffirm that you are in control of them and not them you.
2) Use fear to your advantage. Fears show you the edge of your comfort zone. What sits outside your comfort zone that you want? Worrying about one thing to happen means you desire something else to happen. So use your fear to motivate you toward the opposite side of your fear- your desired outcome. If your fear is having a panic attack in public then your desired outcome is to be comfortable, confident, stable, and safe around people in public. Rather then allowing this fear to keep you inside your comfort zone (home), find little ways to step outside your comfort zone that will put you in contact with people. Your fear becomes your goal. Once you clarify your desired result your focus changes from the fear to the desire. Whereas fear brings about anxiety, desire brings about passion, excitement, and courage. These positive emotions inspire and motivate the goal behind your fear.
Summary: Fear is a natural part of your human experience. Everyone experiences fear on an individual, group, and global level. There are aspects of fear you can control and there are aspects you cannot. Focus on the positive side of fear and use fear to motivate you toward your desired outcome rather than your feared outcome. What you focus on most is most likely to come true. Most discomfort and suffering in life stems from a fearful mind. Focus on the desired outcome of your fear, the best-case scenario, life beyond your fear, and identify ways to use your fear to motivate and guide you.
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