What are these fears that we can overcome? A fear of the lion about to attack you or of a raging forest fire? There is a natural physical mechanism instilled within us that motivates the body to protect itself from physical harm and death. It’s commonly called the fight or flight syndrome. But, these are not the fears we’re talking about. The fears we’re talking about are the ones we, ourselves, create within our minds. They are imagined fears, which tap into or resonate with actual fears of physical self-protection.
Except in this case, the “self” we’re protecting is not the physical self. Rather, it is that little self that our mind imagines us to be. It is not that Divine, wondrous, infinite self that we are—see blog #29—The Power Within Us.
So, what are examples of the kinds of fears we want to address here? I spoke recently to a friend who I haven’t talked to for about six months or more. When we last spoke, she was starting, or re-starting, her small business consulting practice.
I asked her how it was going, expecting that she would have some clients and some successes to talk about. She apparently had none. As we talked, she expressed her fear of hearing another “no”—another rejection. As a consequence, she’s frozen—unable to move beyond where she is: with the knowledge, experience, and desire to help small business owners become more successful. And she has even developed business cards, a website, and a brochure. But, she’s afraid to go beyond that.
There are many more examples. I really like someone, but am afraid to ask her/him to have lunch or coffee with me, or I resist negative feedback even though honestly and fairly given. I’m sure you can fill in examples of your own—for some of us, we have many examples :-)!
So, how do we overcome these fears of the mind—fears created by the little self in its imagined need to protect itself? This is the key: the little self imagines that it needs protection from something that it imagines can hurt it somehow or other.
But the hurt is an emotional hurt—not a physical hurt, which our fight or flight physiological mechanism was designed (evolved) to do. So, the little self (the mind) is hijacking a physiological mechanism of the body to use to protect its (unreal) self from imagined hurts!
Let’s next look at the nature of these imagined hurts. This is really looking at the nature of psychological fear. Is psychological fear tied to physical hurt (and fear)? Only remotely—in the sense that somewhere in some lifetime we suffered severe physical harm, or even death, and made some kind of decision. On top of that decision we have linked many, many lifetimes of “related” psychological hurts—emotional hurts that restimulated the long forgotten decision made at the time of severe physical hurt or death.
Is it necessary to know all this? Yes and no. Yes because ultimately to release all the linked hurts and decisions, we have to see the core decision made at the time of death. But no, we do not to need to know all this to release many (most) of the linked hurts that accompany those decisions.
So, how do we overcome these fears that result from our emotional hurts? That’s what we’ll cover in the next section.
1) The first step is to acknowledge the fear and all the impacts it’s having on your behavior—especially the things you are resisting or avoiding doing.
2) List the impacts. Write them down. What are the actions you’re taking and not taking as a consequence of your fear?
This is not easy because you may not at first recognize that your actions are a consequence of your fear. For example, take my friend above. She spends a lot of time looking for articles, quotes, etc. that support her very progressive political beliefs. She then spends even more time posting these on FaceBook—often with well-written, extensive commentary of her own. From my experience, she is likely spending so much time as described above to avoid directly facing her fears of customer rejection and perhaps moving ahead in spite of them.
3) Now go back over your list. Spend a few minutes contemplating what you’ve listed. Add anything else that comes to mind during your contemplation.
4) Go back over your list of behaviors again. What might you believe to be true to behave in the way you are for each of these behaviors? List everything that comes up—even if they seem strange or unrelated to you.
5) Now repeat the process in #4, but identify all the things you might want to avoid or be afraid of to behave as you are.
6) As you scan through your lists of possible beliefs, avoidances, and fears, notice which ones seem brighter (or darker).
7) Identify the top three to five. It’s now time for honesty! Which ones feel true to you? Which ones do you resist most strongly? You resist because your little self knows it will have to face its (imagined) fears.
8) Let each of them speak to you as deeply as you can allow. Spend time contemplating each. What does each want to show you or to have you know about it?
9) Ask yourself what is the underlying decision you made. When you clearly see the decision that led to the belief or fear, it will let go of its grip on you.
This is much easier to describe than to do. It requires that you be brutally honest with yourself—something the little self avoids doing at all costs. When you have a passionate desire to release the fear, you will find you can go much deeper into this process no matter how uncomfortable you (i.e., the little self) becomes.
You might also want to consider finding a coach who does deep energy work to guide you through the process. A good coach will notice when you are avoiding and guide you to go into that avoidance.
Have fun with this discovery and recovery process!