Have you ever experienced a fear, that held you back from doing what you would have loved doing? Fear is a present companion in our lives. But that doesn’t mean that it has to control and affect us. Here are 5 insights that will help you to overcome fear.
I see ‘having fear’ as a part of being human. We all ‘have’ to live with them and I believe that, once we know what ‘fear’ is and once we understand where it’s coming from, we can live with it, without letting us being held back by it.
Today, I’d like to dive deep with you. Into the root of fears, what I’ve learned, and why I know that fear doesn’t have to affect our lives, decisions and the way we show up.
1st Insight to Overcome Fear: You are not Your Fears
The fallacy starts, when we identify ourselves with fear. For a long time I thought, that ‘I was the one with the problem’. I remember running up a hill during my time in army, with the constant thought of “I can’t do it, I can’t do it”. I was afraid of failing. And my body reacted so that I blacked out. My friends had to carry me upon the hill.
Later I realised that fears are actually not real. They show up when we either think about the past or the future. It’s created by thoughts.
And thoughts come and go. They are like clouds. They come and go. You can have the most disgusting thought now and a super happy thought the next moment.
Both thoughts can affect the way you feel and how you see life. One thought can scare you, another can excite you.
To understand fear, it’s important to understand that we are not those thoughts. Even though, they seem so real at times.
But it works like a cloudy sky. We often tend to say “the sky is grey”. But in fact, the sky is always blue. It’s the clouds that are grey. It seems so real that the sky is grey, but these clouds will disappear. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later.
The same applies to our thoughts that can excite or scare us. They all come and go.
Once we realise that we are not our thoughts and we disidentify ourselves from our fears, we can cure almost any psychological issue.
Fear is not you. It’s just a thought, a story that is not real. It seems real. But it’s not. We are affected as we belief and identify ourselves with it.
2nd Insight to Overcome Fear: Fighting fear creates more fear
As I got more into self-development, I started to believe in ‘positive thinking’. I don’t believe ‘positive thinking’ is something bad but I slipped so much into those patterns that I didn’t allow myself to have a ‘bad’ thought anymore.
When I experienced fear, I resisted it. I either ‘blasted’ through the fear ‘AND DID IT ANYWAYS’ or I tried to think about something nice, so that I forget about it.
Having fear is usually not a ‘nice’ feeling, that’s why usually people suppress their fears as they come up.
They don’t fit into our lifestyle. And whenever they come up we either ignore them or fight them.
As we resist fear, it gets bigger.
You can look at it as a little entity that just want’s your attention; it wants to show you something. And as soon as we start to resist it, it will find a way to get even bigger. To find your attention.
It can become so big, that it becomes overwhelming. And we break down.
Fear is seen as something ‘bad’ and that’s why people suffer. They have an enemy within. And with that enemy within we will never find peace.
3rd Insight to Overcome Fear: Fear is Your Ally
But how about looking at fear from a different perspective? I know, we have been conditioned to think fears are ‘bad’, but how about seeing them as a helping hand?
I believe the more people would change their attitude to fear, the less people would suffer from it. Because it’s always us who create the fear. No one else.
Fear exists because there is something within you, that just wants you to be happy. It wants to protect you.
It’s not always rational, but it want’s the best for you.
Fear is nothing bad; it is a signpost for us. As we change that mind-set we can find peace within. We can love even when we experience fears sometimes. But as long as we don’t accept fear as a part that wants to show us something we will always find ourselves in an internal battle.
4th Insight to Overcome Fear: Make Peace with Fear
So once we understand the law of resistance, we understand that we can’t beat fear by fighting it. It’s also not done by simply ignoring it.
We, in fact, don’t even have to ‘overcome’ fear in order to be happy and to truly express ourselves.
You are so much more than fear. There is an infinite beauty and power deep within. We are all made of love and I’d like to encourage you to check in with yourself for a moment. Once we realise that’s in all of us, we can build trust. Trust in our power and potential.
From that place we can look at our fears from a higher perspective. It roughly looks like this:
- A fear comes up
- We can acknowledge it
- Become aware of how interesting it is, that this fear shows up
- Ask the question: Do I need this fear now?
- If not, say thank you, I don’t need you now.
Often people are not connected to themselves and that’s why they identify themselves with the fears they are having.
5th Insight to Overcome Fear: Fear is a Teacher
Fears can become your biggest teacher if we start to listen instead of supressing them. They all have a gift for us.
We can either be the victim or the creator. It’s our decision.
Fears might always be a part of our lives.
But as we start to see them as allies and teachings. We can start to evolve from them. Learn about us and make peace. We can be fulfilled. And we can still take action towards what we love, even though we feel fear.
Fear has become a different meaning and every time it shows up we can be grateful, acknowledge it and step forward.
[Video] How to Overcome Fear (What you need to know about fear)
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Note to header image: This is me at the age of 20, fighting in the rings of Thailand. Photo taken by Cristiano Juliano