FEAR. This word means something different to everyone.
When this monster decides to rear its ugly head, some people may go into complete and utter shutdown, a paralyzed state or denial. Others may lash out in anger or judgment and even physical illness can occur. So, I ask the question(s)- Is Fear just an illusion? And, how the heck do we really ‘smash through our walls of fear’ and live a more joyful and gratifying life?
Well, I can tell you that we are all the creators of our very own thoughts, actions and emotions. And yes, sometimes we allow outside forces to infiltrate and permeate our personal belief system, and for past experiences to define our current state. Which in return can hold us back from creating the future we truly want for ourselves. And sometimes it’s in those crucial moments that we may even choose to hold onto certain thoughts or emotions (including fear) that are surprisingly comfortable, yet so negative and detrimental to our own wellbeing.
Why would we do this?
Sometimes we hold onto certain negative situations because we actually start believing that they are true. It’s simply easier (or it seems) to hold onto that belief since it’s already present and in use on a daily basis. We may not want to (or may not be ready to) stop and come up with a new way…an alternative plan or change, because let’s face it- change within itself can be scary and a very hard thing! Or, sometimes we may not even be aware of the root cause or perhaps not have the appropriate tools or best practices to begin the process of change. Until now!
Now, getting back to the main question- Is fear really just an illusion?
The answer is YES! Yes. It. Is. When you break down the meaning of F.E.A.R. you often hear this as: False, Evidence, Appearing, Real. But for most of us, it’s so hard and at times seemingly impossible to see that this really isn’t a tangible ‘thing’ despite feeling it so intensely. Fear can actually grab hold of not only our emotions, but also our thoughts, physical body, and manifest in all sorts of horrid ways throughout our being. Fear is also defined as an ‘an unpleasant emotion caused by the BELIEF that someone or something is dangerous, LIKELY to cause pain, or a threat.’ The key words here are ‘belief’ and ‘likely’. These are not definitive/decisive descriptions or certain outcomes. Yet we most certainly think that an obvious thought (and fear around it) is definitely wrong, not good or will be too hard to achieve or overcome. But that belief may not be true at all. And BAM, the birth of the Illusion has taken place!
Playing It Safe.
Fear steps in to create a wall or slam a door on the ‘what ifs’ or possibilities on our path ahead. We sometimes give into the illusion/fear as a distinct hard stop. But, we may not have real concrete evidence that this will be wrong or bad, yet we hang out behind that cement wall or door. And, sometimes we build what ‘seems’ to be better- a glass wall or even a glass house around ourselves so we can see out, but never let anything penetrate through. In essence we have created a translucent shield preventing anything that is new or uncertain near us.
We can toy around with an idea, but may never follow through or move forward with a plan out of fear. And it’s so safe to hide behind that glass, where the light shines through but we may never actually FEEL it because we are so stuck in our mindset and the illusion of what we THINK is truly out there.
I’d like to point out that FEAR is considered to be an emotion.
You may be thinking well, aren’t emotions real? The answer is also YES! But the fear you may have could be linked to a predetermined opinion possibly based on a past experience (related to your current situation, yet not identical) that you in fact deemed to be a bad or negative thing. Instead, you aren’t giving the unknown (or what you may not see with your current lens) as a NEW OPPORTUNITY! You may remain in the same misconceived mindset, not considering that this may actually be an opportunity in disguise and not a threat or a negative path at all.
Go With Your Gut & Forget The Joneses!
There are certain situations where you should absolutely not repeat something if it brought you danger or put you in harms way in the past. This type of fear is a protective internal ‘alarm system’ built into our body’s infrastructure and tethered to our gut feelings- which you should always listen to! Always, always, always go with your gut! I’m referring strictly to the fear-based thinking on unsubstantial circumstances or when you worry too much about what people may think or say about your life choices or decisions. This is the type of fear I want to see ALL of us to say NO to! It’s such a waste of precious time and energy. Others truly don’t care about your choices if their lives aren’t affected. It may seem like you will be the brunt of a dinner conversation or snarky social media post. But, trust me when I say that people make your business their business when they are not fulfilled in their own lives.
Do what makes you happy!
So, at the end of the day is your lack of joy really worth it to a bunch of people perhaps not living an authentic or fulfilled life? Is it really worth you putting so much emphasis and let’s face it- FEAR into how you think people may react? And, at the end of the day- Does. It. Really. Matter?As long as you are staying true to yourself, and your decisions or actions do not result in harm to anyone around you- you BE YOU & Go for It!
CHANGE IT UP!
I invite you to look at things differently. Create a shift in your mindset and viewpoint. When we approach life from a place of fear (or the illusion we have created) it’s really hard to tap into and experience daily joy. And on a deeper level, our authentic lifeline and our soul’s greater purpose is obstructed. I discussed how light and clarity cannot enter with all of the clutter in a previous BLOG.
In this case that ‘CLUTTER’ IS FEAR.
From personal experience, I can tell you that once you allow negative (toxic) opinions and outside (mostly self-projected) negativity, then the connection-to-self begins to breaks down and even anxiety can creep in. However, pending your perspective and mindset, this can actually become a huge opportunity that presents itself during these moments on your journey. You see, it’s in these situations when you feel so beat down, crushed, sad, etc. that you can pry open that door. That door that now has a crack. The ‘weakness’ is actually a ‘strength’ if you FLIP THE PERSPECTIVE. Think of this pivotal moment as a ‘hinge’ on a door. The mechanism is now moving (even slightly) and it’s your opportunity to change your mindset in order to change your outcome. In that instant…
You. Have. A. Choice.
A choice to push through the fear and now SLAM OPEN THAT DOOR!
The original emotion that was ignited, now lends to an enormous opportunity to pause- even if briefly. A moment to STOP the cycle of specific thought or fear, you may grasp so tight. It’s in this second that the emotion takes hold and allows you to actually give space to the illusion of fear. It’s such a tiny, TINY instant of a millisecond sometimes. BUT- if you are aware that this is happening you CAN CHANGE THE SCRIPT.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…and further developed!
This phrase rings so true! Past experiences are in fact opportunities for life lessons and to develop best practices for our own future circumstances.
All past experiences allow us to Learn, Grow, and Gain Awareness!
6 FREE BEST PRACTICES TO CRUSH THE ILLUSION OF FEAR:
#1- CHANGE YOUR MINDSET & PERSPECTIVE: These all play an integral role in our forward movement and growth in life- in any circumstance or situation.
#2- STOP & QUESTION EVERYTHING: Just because we handled a certain situation in a particular way in the past does not mean we must repeat.
#3- INCREASE AWARENESS: Identify and then acknowledge that a certain thought, emotion or behavior may be rooted back to an illusion of a projection we created for ourselves.
#4- UNCOVER THE OPPORTUNITY: Negative truly is an opportunity for POSITIVE. An opportunity for a different outcome is now possible in your current situation- astonishing growth more importantly.
#5- LEVERAGE YOUR OWN SUPERPOWERS: You have your very own unique and robust powers that you can tap into at any time as long as fear isn’t in the way!
#6-REWRITE THE SCRIPT: Utilize Tips 1 – 5 to help you transform the illusion of negativity into a new positive reality for yourself!
You can and will allow more fulfillment into your life by choosing JOY over fear!
Photo credit to the lovely Dawn Bowery