Fear is the emotion that strangles thoughts as it tries to escape and keeps us hostage to ourselves. One of the single most harmful emotions, it stunts emotional growth and can cripple us, keeping us tucked safely away from opportunities to experience success and positive interactions with others.
Fear thrives on our insecurities and in our self-doubt. Often it takes an innocent question and supplants it with a host of “Yeah buts,” “What if,” or “What about…?”
In their blog, Overcoming False Evidence Appearing Real, Ed and Deb Shapiro write “Fear may still be there, but love can welcome fear—it can embrace any negativity.”
Here are Five Actions to Take to Shatter Fear:
Begin by looking at fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. What does this mean? False Evidence is to look at the situation as though detached from it and ask ourselves:
- Is it a fact, or our imagination? If the situation is not real or has not happened yet, then it is false. The choice becomes do we to let it go, or continue nursing something that doesn’t exist?
- How Important Is It? Assess each fear to gauge whether (a. above applies and decide if we need to hold on to it.
- Is it necessary for our greater good?
- Is it helping us to become stronger, more courageous or independent?
- Would we experience greater peace and serenity with or without this fear?
- WHY do we have it? If you don’t have answers to these questions, write them out one by one to see them individually. Your answers are already within you.
If we were honest with ourselves, we find fear has been the scapegoat for many underlying issues. Fear keeps us from getting too close to others, from engaging or enriching our lives through healthy risk-taking activities and, from becoming the person we were meant to be.
Action #2 Replace Fear with Faith.
Take a few moments to look at every act of faith you exercise right now. When we wake up, isn’t it faith we experience as we find we’re alive and well for another day? We breathe a substance we call air. As if on queue, muscles, senses, brain and more move to the miracle that is faith. We don’t fear our every move, we trust a faith we cannot see. Faith is the opposite of fear.
There is comfort in knowing we can replace false evidence that just appears real, with a faith already proven to be life-altering.
All around us are demonstrations of faith with fear replaced with a faith we don’t understand but we accept is real.
How have other areas of your life been moving on faith alone during your day?
Now that we’ve asked questions in Action #1, we practice turning fear into faith and watch it leave us as we give up fear one at a time for a gentler, more loving and peaceful existence in faith. All of these action steps imply that we Trust the Process as a way of moving closer to faith.
Write out answers to questions in Action #1 and 2. Journaling is a powerful tool that captures our truth by reflecting it back to us.
Why Do We Need this Fear? There is both healthy fear and unhealthy fear.
We look at our list, examine each fear and ask ourselves, “Do we need this?” Page 68 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states in part:
“We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them. We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us?”
The fear prayer states, “We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.”
Action #5: Practice Makes Progress.
1.As with everything else, we practice these action steps.
1.Provide increased confidence as we follow these five action items.
2.Allow us to feel the beginnings of a shift from unfounded fear toward faith.
3.Practice sets in motion feelings of confidence. A freedom is experienced deep inside that opens emotional doors that for many of us, were closed a lifetime.
We all deserve to be free from unhealthy and self-debilitating fear. Continued practice and dedication to our self-worth free us from emotional shackles that can break for you too.
As we face our fears regardless of what we think will happen, we develop grit and stamina to face anything life has to offer, clean and sober.