Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Taking fear head on...

OK, so yesterday's post was about one of the ways I use my own tricky, fear mongering brain to out wit itself when it comes to fear. However, that is only one strategy of many that I use.

One of the things that has helped me over come fear and to step forward boldly on my chosen path is to really understand what fear means to me.

There is what I call "real" fear. This is your bodies defence mechanism that lets you know when you are in danger. Your body will release certain chemicals and give you signals and collect information from a thousand sources to let you know that you are in physical danger. I don't ignore these kinds of instinct, I get well and truly out of the way of anything that causes this response. I trust my body and the instinct it has developed over centuries of trial and error to know how to keep me physically safe.

Then, there is the fear that is generated by my brain, the fear that tells me I cannot achieve what I want to, that I am not worthy, that something will go wrong, that the risks are too high and that I may fail. This kind of fear, has NO place in my life. This is the fear I have developed methods of exorcising from my thinking. I am not always successful, and sometimes I have to try many different methods before one will work, but more often than not, I am now able to circumvent those fears and free myself to follow my heart rather than listening to the fear my brain uses to self-sabotage.

Someone said to me once that fear is actually False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, all those "what if" and "worse case" scenarios that all of a sudden pop into my brain every time I imagine trying something new; focusing on these things, makes them seem real, when in fact, they are nothing more than a figment of my brain.

Strategy number two for not letting fear stop me from attempting anything my heart desires....

Any time I dream up something I wish to achieve, I take a moment to sit and think on it in some quiet, uninterrupted, out of the way place. I take some deep breaths and focus all of my thoughts and intentions on the situation then let thoughts flow through my head in whatever order they appear. My rule of thumb is really simple when filtering through , these thoughts to determine whether I take the action or throw myself into the situation...

...if the thoughts are negative, if they are thoughts about how I "can't," or how everything may "go wrong", then my brain is in charge and is feeding the fear. Thus those thoughts are baseless fears with no evidence to back them up and I can discard them.  If the thoughts are positive, point out the challenges without "mentioning" that they are insurmountable...then the thoughts are heart driven.

Knowing that words have power, I write down, and reinforce the thoughts that are positive, solution driven and that give me food for thought. I ignore and thus dismiss anything that is negative, tells me I can't or makes me think I shouldn't even try.

This takes practise and discipline. Practise to sort through those different thoughts, and discipline to ignore the negative and hold yourself to the path you have chosen no matter how scary it may seem. The fear is an illusion, yet sometimes it seems convincing...this is why it takes discipline.

I also have a great group of fear busting friends who are there to support me when my discipline slips. These friends let me know when I am starting to believe the illusion and remind me to get back on track by believing in myself.

You don't have to be stopped by fear. It is an illusion, albeit a sometimes convincing one. Arm yourself by listening to your heart and stealing yourself to walk through the illusion no matter how convincing it may seem.

With love and light

P.S. For those of you who may have read yesterday's post called, "Using fear to release yourself from fear," I just wanted to let you know that I did indeed sing the anthem at today's ceremony, and to my delight, the students and staff joined in and sang with me. Although I missed a few noted and my voice shook with nerves at the beginning, ALL of the students congratulated me, told me I had a nice voice and warmly thanked me for singing. My boss put his hand on my arm and told me the singing was beautiful and that I was, "Full of surprises." I didn't forget the words, I didn't fall over, or have any other mishap; it was perfect and from my heart.

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