Putting on a brave front often hides inner fears that block you from knowing who you really are and realizing your potential more fully.
It’s OK to be afraid… it’s actually a valuable emotion! Fear alerts you not only to physical danger – thank goodness for that! – but to any inner limitations that you might have.
If you think you’re not good enough, for example, you will fear approaching your boss for a raise. If you believe you’re not that talented, you will fear putting your work out into the marketplace.
So it’s good to feel fear. Emotional fear is just as powerful as physical (survival) fear, and the response is the same: fight, flight or freeze. The trick is, of course, not giving in to emotional fear, and taking action anyway.
You don’t need to put on a brave front that masks your fear. While it’s true that faking it does help you feel more brave, it does not eliminate the fear (which may pop up again later). It’s better to acknowledge your fear and spend a little effort in analyzing and eliminating it.
This breathing exercise helps you avoid that automatic primal response and gives you a chance to take positive action. If you do this often enough, it will eliminate many of the emotional fears you have.
When fear starts your knees knocking and your teeth chattering, find a quiet place and breathe. Give yourself a few deep, long breaths, focusing on the EXHALE. Fear makes your body tense up and it’s difficult to breathe deeply, so by focusing on the exhale, you relax your muscles. The body will take care of the inhale.
Then, acknowledge that you are feeling afraid. But instead of saying “I am afraid,” say “I feel afraid”. You ARE not fear. You don’t want to embody fear. You are simply feeling that emotion, so say that. “I feel afraid”. Feelings, as you know, come and go – which means, your fear will come and go as well.
Now, on the exhale, breathe that fear out. Let that feeling go.
When you feel a bit calmer, think about WHY you may be feeling that particular fear.
Ask yourself, is that fear founded in reality, or just something you’ve been hanging on to like an old security blanket? Is it a childhood fear based on you just not knowing how to navigate the world… or worse, a hand-me-down fear from your parents?
Most importantly, does that fear SERVE you? Does it help you? Is it even relevant to your life right now?
Do you AGREE with it? Do you have to feel afraid of this thing?
Now, on the inhale, take in a more positive outcome. Just turn your mind to an equally imagined, but POSITIVE potential outcome. What can go right?
Inhale that positivity. Let yourself luxuriate in that positive mental image.
Exhale the fear.
Inhale and mentally rehearse what can go right. Think to yourself, “Yes. I can do this!”
Exhale what can go wrong.
Inhale and mentally rehearse a great outcome. Again – “Yes! I can do this!”
Keep going like this, mentally rehearsing the outcome you want and AFFIRMING it with an emphatic “Yes! I can do this!”. This may take a few minutes before you feel the courage to take action, or a few months if the fear is deeply ingrained. Either way, this WORKS if you give it the time and effort necessary.
It’s a good way to spend some meditation time – choosing one fear, and transforming it into a positive “let’s do this” attitude!
Here’s how one of our valued members turned fear into happiness…
My fear of death and therefore rejection of being alive had made me depressed, constantly anxious, a heavy drinker, resentful, angry, lost, confused, helpless with no social confidence etc etc for as long as i can remember but now i am actually happy!! I have done a lot of ground work over the past seven years, and now LifeFlow has made it actually happen! and I’m only just starting LF8.
That is AMAZING.
All it takes is that bit of space that comes from being so totally relaxed.
Awesome. Life makes sense now, and is truly enjoyable for the first time.