Fear is experienced as an unwelcome visitor knocking at your door in the most inconvenient moments. It slowly steals your confidence, success and ability to reason with logic. Fear knows no bounds. It creeps up from the darkest of shadows within you.
The Many Faces of Fear
Fear shows up in a multitude of costumes with a voice that demands pause. It might be the visitor who tells you not to get on that airplane because flying is unsafe, or the one who tells you everything there is to worry about the future rather than being in the moment. It loves to replay old stories in your mind. Fear might show itself as a discomfort with heights, medical procedures or public speaking. Fear wants you to stay small.
What Happened To Reason and Logic?
You try all you can to talk it away. Surely, it will leave when you employ logic? When those attempts fail, you try to distract yourself from feeling it. You try with all of your might to think positive thoughts, to will it away but it remains. It becomes a nagging voice you begin to identify with, as it slowly reinforces what you feel you must avoid. It feels like fear becomes who you are, sometimes only in particular situations and it sometimes consumes your whole being in the form of persistent worry. It feels like an enemy.
“In Order to Rise Above Your Fear, You Must First Nurture The Wounds That Reside Beneath It.” – Jennifer Catlin
The thing is, fear is a friend. It wants to help. Relating to it as something unwanted only causes it to grow and become stuck. It intensifies and presents more frequently. Emotions are energy. When an unpleasant emotion like fear shows up within your awareness, the most common way to be with it is to engage in an automatic subconscious fight or flight reaction. You either attempt to will it away or you gain flight by distracting yourself in hopes you will no longer feel it.
Fear is the voice that says, “Pay attention. If you stay alert, you will be OK.”
Fear is a response to what feels unsafe. The fear that shows up now as an adult is the same fear that showed up at an earlier time in your life – perhaps a time you remember or not at all. It can even be a time that you do not feel is a big deal now, but as a child, it mattered. Perception is everything when it comes to the subconscious. Fear is the voice that says, “pay attention. If you stay alert, you will be safe. You will be OK”. It is not a conscious thought. It arrives when you are younger as your protector during a time when you knew no other way of being. It was a healthy coping mechanism for fear to arrive during a time when you felt a loss of control or lack of emotional safety. The event that first caused the fear may make no logical sense in relation to how or when it shows up in your life now. It doesn’t have to. The subconscious is driven by unresolved emotion. That is all it knows. Transformation requires accessing the unresolved emotion within and empowering that part of you so it can step out of the old story.
How To Free Yourself From Fear
- The first step is awareness. You cannot free yourself from fear unless you first get to know it. Become familiar with it. Ask yourself, “If my fear looked like something, what would that be?” Give it its own identity. This makes it easier to gain some separation from it so you can begin to shift your relationship with it.
2. Once you are able to envision it as something separate from yourself, imagine having a conversation with it. Approach it gently. Remember, fear is simply a protector. It does not want to hurt you. It only knows what it knows from an earlier time in your life. Thank it for showing up, for trying to help you. Let it know that its protection is greatly needed in your life, but help it to understand that how it is protecting you is actually causing stress now in your life because you are not a child anymore. Ask it if it is willing to work with you in a new way.
3. After having an internal conversation with the fear, begin to cultivate a friendship with it. Accept it with your whole being. Let it in. Give it a space to rest so it can rejuvenate and work with you in a new way. It will transform. When you take the battle away, there is nothing left to fight.
The opposite of fear is love. As ironic as it sounds, you get fear to go away by loving it. Of course, it’s not always as simple or easy as it sounds but continue reading for a more in depth, personalized approach.
Going Deeper With Hypnotherapy and Emotions Coaching
Sometimes guidance is helpful. If you find you are ready to go deeper, experiencing this process in a client-centered, transpersonal hypnotherapy session can assist you with establishing direct access to the part of yourself you internally battle with. These sessions are experiential and designed to help you move beyond the blocks. These types of sessions can be experienced in person or if long distance, via Zoom (after a free, initial consultation to determine if this is an appropriate service for you). Sometimes, clinical regression is used to help you identify the source. Additional techniques can be utilized in session to go even deeper, discovering the very deepest roots of where this comes from, what you may be holding onto and carrying that isn’t even yours, and transforming it all so you can live with a sense of freedom, peace and joy.
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* Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for psychotherapy. It can be an excellent adjunct or tool for those who experienced therapy and are ready to safely go a little deeper to explore a method that creates effective behavioral change.