10 ways to fear less
It is a given that fear will always exist but as Oprah says,
“Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway”.
The idea that you can get rid of fear entirely is misleading. Fear will always be there, fear will always creep in but we can choose to focus on it and let it grow OR focus our attention on something else and put fear behind us. Being fearless is impossible but fearing less is absolutely possible. So here are
10 TOOLS TO HELP YOU FEAR LESS
1. Create a strong Mantra
Mantras can help to keep you strong when the storms come. Choose a mantra that resonates with you and is set in the present tense. Examples of a strong mantra might be, “I am courage”, “I am becoming strong” , “I am love”.
Attaching a mantra to the breathe keeps you present, positive and empowered, and forces fear to take a back seat. Make sure when you are creating a mantra that you avoid negatives and compound words such as “don’t” because the mind will instead focus on what you don’t want. So, instead of using ‘I don’t want to fall’, change your inner thought to ‘I am balanced’ OR ‘I am balancing’ otherwise your mind might interpret it as “want to fall”.
2. Do some
By incorporating some backbends into our lives we are flexing our courageousness. How, you ask? Well, backbends force our stomachs to be exposed. When we are scared or fearful we automatically close ourselves off by contracting and curling ourselves into a ball. Why? Because back in the day when we were being chased by lions and tigers and bears we would contract ourselves into a ball in order to protect our organs. This reflex has continued on into the modern man and although we are often not being chased in the wild we still physically respond to any threat (including imaginary ones) in the same way. By practicing backbends we have to trust and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Try out some back bending practices here.
3. Settle your
If mantras aren’t your thing one of the simplest and most powerful things you can do is settle your awareness on your breathe. Even if your mind still wanders or fear keeps tapping you on the shoulder, coming back to the breathe will keep you more present and will kick in your ‘rest and digest’ nervous system rather than your ‘fight or flight’ nervous response. If settling your awareness on your natural breathe doesn’t work, try elongating the exhale as this will also help to slow down the heart rate. So if you find yourself in a car going 140km on the highway and it is completely out of your control, tune into your breathe.
4. Accept that
change is the
One thing most of us fear is change, especially if we are experiencing something good. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus says, “The only constant is change” and so we really have no choice but to embrace change. If we are constantly gripping to what we have then we are in a constant state of fear which means we are blocked from love and joy.
“The only constant is change”
5. Trust that you
Fear of not being good enough seems to be a modern plague of man. Somehow with our ‘busyness’ in modern life we have equated success with how much we do rather than what we do or even better yet, what we already are. But what if you are already complete and need no-thing and no-one else to complete you? Trust that you are whole and you will let go of a lot of fear.
You are enough!
If we consider that it is impossible to have two thoughts at once, even if the rapidness of thoughts in succession makes it seem like we can, then we have the power to choose love instead of fear. Fear and love cannot exist at the same time. So we always have a choice in every moment to choose love or fear. Try out a meditation on this here.
I choose love over fear
7. Let go of the past and
Although it sounds like a cliche, all we really have is now. No matter what has happened in the past or what night happen in the future all we ever has is this moment. When organising Omunay do you know how many times fear crept in asking me ‘why you?’, ‘who needs you?’, ‘you’re a fake’! I also kept projecting into the future with things that hadn’t even happened like, what if one day I have a panic attack? Or, what if one day I am terribly sad and sit in my room and eat cake all day? Things that haven’t even occurred. And then I think, ‘yes, this could happen – anything is possible – including succeeding!’ And then I think about what amazing things I will learn from those experiences and what I learn from these experiences of these ways can help others.
8. Help someone else.
Take the spotlight off yourself and help someone else. Focusing yourself on another task can take your mind off the fear. Consider how in emergencies people respond differently. Sometimes people become paralysed with fear and others go into action mode. Instead of thinking ‘I’m scared’ you will be thinking in actions ‘help the lady to stand, get her water, call the ambulance…’ etc. You can’t have two thoughts at the same time so prioritise your thoughts.
9. Avoid owning
What do I mean by this? This is a concept I picked up from Ekhart Tolle who says “you can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” Therefore if we say “my life” we are disconnecting from life itself. We are making a separation between ourselves and life itself and are therefore creating a sense of separateness. This separation from life is what makes us feel incomplete and like we don’t belong. By putting ownership on life we also have something to lose. The alternative is to acknowledge that you cannot have a life, but in fact are life. If we are life then we also have nothing to lose. And when we have nothing to lose, we have nothing to fear. So rather than saying ‘my life’, try ‘I am life’. The less possession we have of anything in our lives the more free we will be as we will have less fear of losing.
that fear is
What is scary for one person is different to the next person so don’t compare your fears to anyone else’s. Take little steps. If you are scared of leaving the house, don’t judge yourself against others who leave the house every day, your fear is genuine and is just as strong as anyone else’s. Instead of being down on yourself take one step each day towards what you want no matter how scary. As you take each step, the first one will seem like nothing and each step will make you more courageous. Maybe you will never jump out of a plane or go abseiling but whatever fear you face is courageous, remember that!
So although fear is a natural part of life intended to keep us safe, we are not always in danger. It is important we differentiate between fear that will save us and fear that is keeping us stuck. As George Addair says,
“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
So pause, take a deep breathe, and make your choice. This is your life, make it the life you’ve always dreamed of!