Fear is an inevitable part of the human experience. There are different intensities of fear to be experienced, and often anxiety shows up in modern life.
Anxiety is just another version of fear, with a different label, and all fear can be experienced in different ways.
We can choose to identify with the fear, and allow it to envelope our mind and body, resulting in a sort of mental paralysis, where we can’t think or act because there is a lack of clarity.
Or we can witness the fear. When witnessing the fear, we are still experiencing it firsthand, but there’s an added layer of awareness at play. The goal is not to suppress the fear; we want to experience it and allow it to be felt, but it does not need to paralyze and control us.
The way we do this is to notice the fear as soon as we can. Noticing it, through our awareness, is what prevents it from overwhelming us.
After noticing the fear, we can remind ourselves of this perspective: Fear is just showing us that we care deeply about something.
If you can recognize your fear in this way, your experience of it will change. When we’re scared of something, that means we care about something. When we can see past the fear, into its roots, we can choose to experience it differently.
We rarely feel fear about something we don’t care about. So by recognizing the fear, we are reminded that the source of this fear is our love for something. By going to the root of this fear, which is actually the thing we feel love or affection for (the thing that we care about), we can choose to relate to it differently. Once you get to the root of the fear (which again, is just recognizing that we care about something), gratitude is a very accessible alternative experience.
Here is an example of this process:
We are feeling anxious at work because we fear that we might lose our job. If we are scared of losing our job, that means we care deeply about our job. This immediately presents an opportunity to feel gratitude for our job and the fact that we still have it.
Notice that fear is usually a projected future, not a present reality. By using our awareness to notice the fear, and then choosing to investigate what the root of the fear is, we are able to return to the present by consciously choosing to experience gratitude for what is here now, instead of the non-existent, projected fear of the future.
Fear: We are scared of losing a loved one.
Root (Love): We care deeply about someone.
New Experience (Gratitude): We are thankful to have someone we love so deeply, and are grateful that they are still here in our life at this moment.
Changing our experience of fear, by shifting it to gratitude, doesn’t just help us find relief in the moment. Fear paralyzes us, it clouds our mind and judgement, it distorts our ability to problem solve. By shifting our experience to gratitude, we are offering ourselves a moment of clarity. Through this clarity, we are able to open ourselves up to an inspired solution from the Universe (Or our mind is relaxed enough to think clearly, if that feels better to you). Ideas don’t come easily when you’re panicked and overwhelmed; they come much more freely when you’re experiencing clarity and calmness. So by shifting from fear to gratitude, you are not just experiencing relief from the paralysis of fear, you are also setting yourself up to receive clear insight on what to do next.
Remember this is just a different perspective of fear, it’s not Ultimate Truth. So, I invite you to try this technique out next time you are experiencing fear, and see how it feels to you. Does it actually work for you? Does your experience of fear change? Are you actually able to receive clear insight more easily from a place of calmness and clarity, brought about through gratitude?
Play with it and see what happens! And if you feel called, let me know how it worked for you; I’d love to hear about your experience!
If you’re ready to dive deeper into transforming your fear, check out these free Akashic resources.