Sure there are many things to fear. There’s no denying that we live in uncertain times, it’s how we interpret our fear, the power we give to it, the weight we assign to it, that determines how it affects us. We have the power to dial it down in our own minds and interpret it in a way that serves us rather than crushes us. Here are 3 ways to deal with fear, that build on each other. Let’s go!
1. Accept Your Fear
The first thing to do is notice what it is that you are feeling fear – acceptance – you are not burying it, denying it or shoving it below the surface. Where is it showing up in your body? Next, what it is that is causing your fear? Label it - is it a person, a situation, or some concern in the future? Am I afraid of losing my job, afraid for my health, or the health of my loved ones? Then ask yourself: “How am I in this moment?” Check in with yourself: am I safe, am I breathing, is there any imminent danger I need to pay attention to? That is fear’s main job – to let you know. Is a dog running in front of your car? Is there a storm outside and you need to secure your place? Do you have a bad feeling going into that empty garage? Pay attention to that. Fear is sending you information to use now.
But for the pervading, lasting, nagging fears that keep you feeling uneasy or don’t let you sleep at night, you have a choice. You have the power to position that fear in a way that helps you get through life instead of keeping you paralyzed. So to create a context, I want to ask you now two things: number one what are you grateful for most in your life right now. At this moment, I am grateful for my family - what is it for you? Remember, life has many aspects – fear is just one of them. Often just sitting with it, allows it to pass.
2. Shrink/Reinterpret Your Fear
Second question is what do you fear most in your mind right? Imagine you’re looking onto a screen at the thing you fear. Is it a relationship concern, financial, health-related, a lack of direction? Everyone has something. Now, put that image on a screen, like you are in the middle row of a movie theatre, sitting there and watching it, what your fear, up on the big screen. You have some choices here - you can make it into a close-up and it could be in a faraway shot; it could be in full color large and looming or it can be in the distance in muted tones or black-and-white. Imagine you have a magic dial where you are sitting, and you can dial up the intensity of the fear, the colors, the closeness OR you can dial it down to be fainter, less in your face, less looming. You can determine how much it affects you by how you are interpreting it. Is it something that is going to take over your life or if it just another thing like the many other things that you have already dealt with during your life? Is it the end of the world or is it just the next thing that you will figure out? Remind yourself that you’ve made it through tough things and you can do this again.
3. Redirect The Energy Of Fear: The F.I.E.R.C.E Formula
Which leads us to another invitation and that has to do with visualizing in your mind the life and a world that you want to see, that you want to be part of. We have a choice - focus on fear or focus on what you WANT. So right now focus on a situation that you want, that gives you a sense of hope, or faith, or peace of mind. And we also have the choice to hold on to that vision fiercely. Why? The more we practice patterns of thought the more they grow the neural pathways in our brains. What we focus on grows.
Here’s the challenge: visualize a world you want: one where you feel seen and heard, aligned, at peace, and vibrant. Is this important to you? Are you ready to prioritize it? You can fiercely keep the vision of the world you want. With as much energy as you might normally put into fear, you can now replace fear with fierceness.
I call it the Fierce Formula: an easy way to remember how to manage your internal energy, (even if external chaos rises). And before we start let’s be very clear about the definition of fierce is not that the lion was a fierce animal and tore up anything in its path; it’s more like, “they kissed with a fierce passion.” Intense, heartfelt, impassioned.
The Fierce Formula uses the acronym:
F - Focus on the world you want
I - be Intentional and unwavering in bringing this to mind
E - Energy redirected to what you want, not to what you fear
R - Be resilient - there will be setbacks; get back on the horse
C- Commitment to your vision and the journey it will take
E - Your Enthusiasm sparks that in others too
Now that you know you can invest your energy into building what you want, what will you do with it. Above all, keep practicing - you will feel better and notice subtle shifts around you too. Get into action: exercise both your body and your rights. If you live in the U.S., vote and encourage those around you to do the same.
Directed energy, whether in the form of visualization, meditation, or action is more powerful than we know. Remember your options and that your thoughts and actions really do matter. What is one fear that you are ready to let go of?
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