IS FEAR OUR WORST ENEMY OR OUR BEST FRIEND?
THIS BLOG POST EXPLORES THE DEEP ROOTED CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF FEAR AND PROVIDES ADVICE AND STEPS TO OVER COME IT AND DEVELOP AUTHENTIC AND LASTING CONFIDENCE.
Through knowledge and experience, I came to observe how much today our world is closed in fear. Fear, the opposite of trust. The opposite of what I love inspiring with my work and own life experience people in search of deep confidence, wellbeing inside & out and healthy relationships. The fear of the unknown is certainly one of the most common among humans, young or old, it doesn’t really matter.
TYPES OF FEAR
There are several types of fear which often drive our life, consciously or unconsciously: The fear of recognising our dark side, fear of letting go of denial, fear of change, of betrayal, of Covid, of death, of conflict, of getting out of our comfort zone, just to name some of them.
Then we have the fear of making mistakes, fear of being vulnerable, fear of solitude. Not to mention our fear of hurting, of displeasing family members and friends, our fear of abandoning and being abandoned, of not being liked or not being good enough. Two very important kinds of fear, which I often observe in clients, are the fear of dreaming and the fear of taking risk. Our human heart is often also shut by our unconscious, compulsive fear of not being of value, not being worthy or being accepted and loved just the way we are.
If we dig deeply enough we can eventually discover that there are two major basic types of fear that regulate the way we live our life: Our fear of pain and our fear of love. Both easily lead to another unconscious deep fear in our life: fear of being happy.
That’s right. Just yesterday I was re-watching a movie by Ron Howard, Rush, the story of two Formula One World Champions: Niki Lauda and James Hunt. At a certain moment in the movie, Lauda affirms: “Happiness is the enemy.” “It is happiness that weakens us! Our mind doubts happiness because you suddenly can lose it”. “So,” I asked myself, “is it better to live life in fear of being happy, and continue to reject happiness despite it knocking at out door each day?”
Some food for thought.
LIVING OR SURVIVING?
Allow me to go back to the different types of fears that we often unconsciously feed and are the cause of our stress, anxiety, panic, indifference, toxic guilt and shame and of course… unhappiness. In my opinion, all these fears may be summarised in one deep collective human fear: fear of living. As a matter of fact today an increasing number of us do not live, they merely survive.
In the book I published in Singapore in 2008, Stella’s Mum Gets Her Groove Back, at page 30, a quote taken from Conversation With God by Donald Welsh says: “Some people don’t like to be awakened. Most do not. Most would rather sleep. The world is in the condition that it’s in because the world is full of sleepwalkers.”. What most human beings ignore is that those who live a life as sleepwalkers are triggered and driven by fear, any kind of fear, conscious and unconscious, of course. Certainly not by trust and love.
My personal awakening started about thirty years ago while reading a book by Louise Hay at the border of a hotel swimming pool in Indonesia, You Can Change Your Life. When I returned home I continued the journey of my awakening with another book, this time by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Real Magic. Someone I had met in Bali, during my Christmas holidays with my husband and child, had made the effort to send me a copy of it from Australia. A coincidence? Not at all. At that time I was 30 years old and pretty unaware, and those kind of books were still not being translated into Italian. From that very moment, my eyes never wanted to remain shut again.
“Chance is that you might have been enlightened, Elisabetta,” said a psychologist from San Francisco when I was in session with him a few years later in Singapore. I don’t believe either in coincidences or in chance. I believe in free choice. I believe we all have a journey on this earth. I believe in synchronicities. And I believe we are all spiritual beings meant to live a very human life.
Today? Today I persist in choosing to keep my eyes open because I know well that I am human and I can easily fall asleep at any moment if I don’t remain alert to what happens inside and outside. We all can. No exception.
WHAT IS IT THAT CAN GUIDE YOU TO GET YOUR GROOVE BACK? FEAR OR TRUST?
What is it that keeps our eyes, heart and logical brain shut? What is that turns us into sleepwalkers? What makes us passive, apathetic, depressed, anxious, worried, stressed, envious, too generous, too loving, narcissists, irresponsible, addicted to pain, drugs, alcohol, pornography and sex, gambling and food? What drives us to obsessively search for perfection, or compulsively be in ‘doing’ mode (that is to say dominated by male energy)? Basically only fear.
In my work as an integrative life coach and counsellor, I stimulate the search for trust in ourselves. My great passion is inspiring the desire and courage to get our groove back, living a life of personal freedom, beyond the limits and beliefs imposed by our family of origin and society, to which we all normally tend to conform.
One of the first things I bring to light when in session with customers is the presence of a powerful polarity, fear and trust, which dictates the difference between wanting to live and wanting to survive; which inspires us to welcome happiness or choose to perceive happiness as our worst enemy.
We are born innocent and open. At birth we are pure love. And love means trust, the opposite of fear. Soon it happens that fear (the fear injected in us by our parents and previous generations before them, as well as that fear of our school teachers guiding us during childhood and adolescence) takes its space within each of us: it clings to every tiny part of our being, growing stronger day by day. If we pay due attention, we may also feel it thickening inside and outside our heart.
Day by day while we grow and get older, fear expands and attaches like glue under our skin insinuating itself through our bone marrow. We often ignore that it is an ancient, ancestral fear, transferred through from generation to generation. Science today can prove it.
AVOIDING, CONFRONTING OR…
The solution is not submitting to, or avoiding or ignoring fear. It is not denying it. Our greatest challenge is to embrace with joy and trust any type of fear that absorbs us, that is to say either when it is clearly fear that suffocates us; or when fear is disguised and knocks at the door wearing a mask so that we cannot recognise it; or when unconscious fear knock us down, inducing us to survive, instead of living. The main issue when it come to fear is not avoiding it, but making it our friend by getting to know and understanding its roots.
What does fear do when we give it our shoulders and we resist it making use of our indifference, or denial or addictions? It starts chasing us, attacking us, paralysing us. It becomes our second skin and we stop living. We start to survive. Slowly, without even realising it, day by day we begin falling asleep. We lose confidence, we disconnect from love and trust. We end up living life driven by apathy, laziness, denial, indifference, toxic guilt, and shame. Certainly not confidence!
Finally we find ourselves shut in a sort of self-made prison: we shrink our body, the neurones of our brain paralyse, our breath becomes shallow, our heart shuts down. We end up dying inside and stop living a life fully human and alive. This is when we start to do nothing but survive. Mind you! It can happen already at a very young age. No need to be retired!
AN OPEN OR A CLOSED HEART?
Covered with conscious and unconscious layers of fear, our heart remains locked down. We have the key to open it, of course. Too often though, we choose not to use it. Why? Because we are obviously scared, trapped in the terror of re-opening ancient wounds we removed a long time ago.
The materialistic society we live in has trained us well to live a life in search of pleasure only, as if this could be possible. We want to avoid feeling old pain which, as children or adolescents, would have made us possibly die. And so, we remain shut in fear of dying and we don’t realise that somehow we are already dead. We are not living. We are surviving.
EMBRACING FEAR IS EMBRACING A LIFE OF JOY
How did I pass and overcome my fear of living and being happy? Little by little I learned to look into its eyes, recognising and listen to it. I picked up the habit to go for coffee or an ice cream with my fear, whenever necessary. And step by step each day I have started to dance and laugh with it too, welcoming it instead of dejecting it.
Are you wondering if I was ever in fear of living life? Damn, yes. I was terrified of the possibility of living happy. I had never seen much happiness around me while growing up. And like many others I was keeping on recreating layers of unhappiness inside and outside. I was surviving! Finally I turned fear into my best friend and a travel companion which can stimulate, motivate and protect me any time I need. One day, when I was still quite young, I decided to meet my fears, especially the ones impeding me to live fully human and fully alive.
I started the journey of self-actualisation, which I would advise every young man or woman to undertake and sustain no matter what. No matter what your age or lack of money, start as soon as you can! Trust that if you choose this road, despite the obstacles, the Divine Life will sustain you.
Be confident and you will see.
This blog post is categorised in the Emotional Dimensions. To view blog post based on the 4 dimensions click on the links below:
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► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.
► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.
► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.
► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at www.instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso, www.linkedin.com/elisabettafranzoso, YouTube and www.elisabettafranzoso.com.
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