Have you been feeling more fearful that usual lately? Do you find yourself self-doubting, procrastinating or sometimes even feeling paralysed by your fears? If so, you are not alone, and you are completely normal. While fear can grip us, the great news is that you have the power to break through it and create a different reality for yourself. Read on to find out how…
This last year has felt like a year clouded with fear. While the pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever had to face, even bigger than the actual virus has been the fear that the situation has triggered. I spent more time than ever being gripped by fears around what could happen, how I would cope if it did….’What ifs’ plagued my mind. I repeatedly found myself retreating into a ‘safe’ place, but quickly realised it was actually a place of indecision and inaction. It was only when I stopped engaging with the negativity of the media and consciously worked on my mindset that I was able to shift into a more positive and resourceful place– the result of which was the launch of my new coaching business!
So what really is fear and why is it so powerful?
Fear is an emotion that starts in the brain and spreads through the body as a reaction to a perceived threat. It is part of our innate make up, designed to protect us from danger by preparing us to either fight the threat or flee to safety. Studies show that 80% of our thoughts and emotions are negative – for that very purpose of trying to keep us safe. Yet, ironically, they are doing the exact opposite and keeping us stuck.
Fear is mostly imagined – studies prove that our brains cannot tell the difference between our fears (the stories and beliefs created by our minds) and our actual experiences. Our imagination is an incredibly powerful machine. Just take a moment to think about a time when you’ve been afraid of doing something. You imagine what’s going to happen – all of your fears playing out as a movie in your mind. You might feel your heart racing, your chest tightening, your stomach cramping, or you might start physically shaking – that is how powerful your imagination is that it creates a physical reaction!
So, if our mind can produce fear with such powerful force, surely we can use that power to create excitement and possibility? Indeed we can!
But firstly, let me be really clear, you will never be fearLESS. As we now know, our brain is wired to hunt out potential threats, so it will always be coming up with new things to be fearful about. But we don’t have to be a prisoner to our fears – we can break through them and use the power of our minds to create a new and positive reality for ourselves. Here’s how;
6 steps to break through your fears and create a positive new reality
1) Recognise your fear
Ask yourself “What am I afraid of?”
Take the answer to that question and dig deeper by asking “Why am I feeling like this?”
Take the answer and ask the same question again. Do this up to 5 times to really get to the root of your fear. Write it all down.
Seeing it in black and white immediately enables us to see it for what it is.
2) Challenge your fear
Ask yourself “What is the truth in this fear”? “Am I 100% sure this is true?” “What isn’t true about it?”
This will enable you to see your fears and limiting beliefs more objectively and will therefore lessen their grip.
3) Get clear on the opportunity cost
Ask yourself “How will it impact my life if I don’t let go of this fear”?
This will provide your brain with the motivation for letting go of the belief creating your fear.
4) Re-write your fear
Turn it into the positive opposite of what you have written in step 1.
Say it out loud to yourself and repeat it several times with conviction. Notice how it feels.
5) Shrink your fear
Close your eyes and see your fear – What shape is it? What colour is it? Where is it in relation to you – is it in front of you, to the side of you, inside you, behind you? What does it feel like?
Play with changing its colour, shape and position until you feel an emotional shift into a more positive state.
6) Create your alternative, desired reality
Ask yourself, what do I want to happen?
Close your eyes and take a few minutes to visualise it. Play it out like a movie in your head and engage your senses – what are you seeing, what are you hearing what are you feeling?
Connect in with this every time fear tries to grab you – it will immediately change your emotional state and will create a positive focus for you to move towards.
Your reality is yours to shape – let the power of your mind create your new and positive future!