I think that fear is an essential part of being a human. We are not born with fears, but from a really early age, our parents start to teach us what we need to be afraid of, what we need to avoid to keep ourselves safe and what we need to anticipate.
It’s part of our incredible brain chemistry that we can take something that is happening now and anticipate various scenarios for what that might mean and what might happen next to us. We can then plan for it, arrange things to make our lives more comfortable and potentially take different actions.
But what happens when the fears become all encompassing? What about when they are stopping you from taking the actions that you need to take? What about when they are keeping you living a small life? Sometimes the fears become debilitating. They are so big and real to you that you would do almost anything not to have to take the action that you find scary. Someone telling you not to be scared or anxious will have almost no effect on you. It just won’t work because you ‘know’ how bad it will be. And no words can persuade you.
What is the answer to this? It might be surprising to you, but I think that the answer is to get really present to the now.
This moment right now.
Eckhart Tolle has written the most masterful amazing book called The Power of Now, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t come across it. The basic idea is to understand that there is only now. The past is no longer with us and literally doesn’t exist. The future isnt real either, because it hasn’t happened yet. There is only the NOW. Each second, each heart beat, each breath.
When you find that there is only now, there is actually nothing to be afraid of at all. The past is gone and doesn’t exist. The future hasn’t happened, so any fears are just your internal made up stories about what could happen. There is only now.
When you get clear in your mind that anything that hasn’t yet happened is a made up story, it’s your mind imagining what might happen, all the fears are imagined, it can bring a feeling of calm and peacefulness. You have control over what story you tell yourself about the future, it hasn’t happened yet. You can start to play with this in your mind, imagining all sorts of wonderful things that might be about to happen.
Notice that often you are doing this game in reverse…imagining all the bad things that might happen. You are doing this as a result of your mind doing it’s job, working to keep you safe. But it is in reality keeping you small, by making your imagined story feel real. You may get physical sensations, feeling sick or nervous, and again it’s your mind doing it’s job, to try to keep you safe. All this can change with techniques to replace the story with positive messaging and rewiring your subconscious mind to feel more confident that there is nothing that can hurt you as much as your story about it.