Everyone has fears on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels; everything from the fear of death, to the fear of humiliation, loneliness, rejection, and so on. I will explore some of these shortly.
What’s less acknowledged, which I’ll address first, is the fear of positive things! People can be afraid of love, success, intimacy, power, money, happiness even, for example.
This can be because of (often hidden) feared consequences around them, such as the fear of loss, of responsibility, of being seen, of not being good enough, of stepping outside your comfort zone, of being ‘more than’ one of your parents (and feeling disloyal about that), of change itself, and so on.
These are often less conscious fears yet can create resistances to achieving those things in your life.
One thing to look at in discovering fears of positive things, is if there’s something you desire that you don’t have in your life, a part of you may be resisting it, i.e. be afraid of it, whether that’s money, power, visibility, intimacy, and so on.
Of course, it may also be because you have limiting beliefs that hinder your manifestation of these, or a combination of both. If subconsciously you believe money is bad or evil, you will likely fear and sabotage attaining it, whether you’re conscious of that dynamic or not.
It is liberating and empowering to face your fears, learn from them, and befriend them, rather than run away from them.
Fear won’t necessarily disappear if you ignore it, and if in your subconscious may show up in your life in some form, so you may as well face those fears, feel and release the feelings around them, and discover what they are telling you about the beliefs and expectations you hold.
What you secretly fear you may attract, even without focussing on it, simply because that energy exists in your consciousness, even if denied.
Obviously, what you consciously fear you may also attract, because your attention is on it and your thoughts (which are manifestors of reality) are directed towards it.
The more aware you become of your fears (and any negative beliefs behind them), the more you are able to release them and let them go. It is what you resist that persists.
That’s why owning your fears, facing them, being present with them and feeling them if necessary, can help to release them.
Acknowledge and listen to your fears. What are they saying about what’s going on inside? Writing them down, feeling them, or running through them like a scenario in your mind to release the emotions around them, can all be liberating.
This is different to dwelling on your fears, and more a cathartic release process. When you run from fears, they usually become bigger and turn into scary monsters. When you face them, they shrink and dissolve in the light of your awareness and ownership.
It’s OK to be scared. Allow yourself that. Own that there are things that may frighten you (unless you really aren’t frightened of anything, which is unlikely). What you accept, you more easily let go of and release.
Types of fears may be different for different people, as I explore below.
Some people may be very brave in one area, yet terrified in another. Some people are brave with emotions yet scared of heights; others may take on a big challenge in business, yet run from feelings, and so on.
There are reasons why you’re scared. Don’t judge your fears and be compassionate with yourself. Owning them in itself can help to transform them.
Sometimes you need to get digging to uncover fears, and there can be fears under your fears!
The fear of public speaking, for example, can hide a deeper fear of visibility, rejection, humiliation, or vulnerability, for example.
The fear of commitment might hide a deeper fear of intimacy, which can hide a deeper fear of being abandoned, or a belief you are ‘not good enough’, or a fear of losing freedom, etc.
What are your main fears? What fears grip you the most?
Here are some common examples:
Being judged or disliked
Loss of security
Loss of Power
Loss of freedom
Loss of control
Loss of beauty or youth
Being stifled or controlled
Of course, there are many more possible fears. Let me know if I’ve missed a biggie here in the comments section below, and there are fears of positive things too, as mentioned earlier.
Experiencing your fears through facing them (i.e. ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’) is one way to help them diminish.
If you practised public speaking at Toastmasters classes, or did a speaker’s course, for example, your fear would likely decrease over time. Each time you face a fear it loses power over you.
In experiencing your fears (I think I’ve lived through a lot of mine now, other than death, though I’ve been close to that once too), is that you realise you survive in spite of them, that you are MORE than your fears and anything that can happen to you, and this in itself brings a new found sense of faith and freedom!
Clearly, some fears you don’t want to experience, nor would it be in your highest interest to.
When you look at your fears, what might they be pointing to about your beliefs about yourself, others and the world, life-scripts, and stories?
Look at your fears and ask yourself the question “What must I believe to have a strong fear about this?”
If you have a strong fear about being burgled, mugged or robbed, do you believe the world is an unsafe place, or that people are dangerous?
If you fear making a mistake, or being wrong, were you once punished and shamed for making a mistake? Do you believe you are not enough, and hence strive for perfectionism to prove your worth?
If you fear being rejected in a relationship, is it because you believe that relationships don’t last, you are not good enough, that the people you love will leave you or let you down, that true love doesn’t exist, that you don’t deserve love, that men/women are cold, uncaring, etc.?
If you fear loneliness, is it that you believe you are alone, or that you are unloved or unlovable? That you do not yet understand that you are never alone and are ever connected to the loving source of creation, loved in every moment?
Sometimes you fear loneliness because you are disconnected from yourself. It is the very absence of you that creates the vacuous, empty feeling of loneliness. Or sometimes you fear it because you fear facing the emotions you are carrying inside that may be painful, for example.
If you have negative fears in your relationship, what beliefs do you have about that gender? Do you believe men/women are untrustworthy/uncommitted/controlling/unfaithful? Does this relate to childhood experiences with one of your parents?
Fears can even stem from past-life experiences, as I discovered personally with a past-life persecution experience.
What fundamental assumptions lie behind your fears that could be changed?
Are your fears similar to your parent’s fears and represent ancestral patterns (and corresponding beliefs therein)?
Do your fears come out of a belief in scarcity? (Being scared that there never will be enough money, love, time, for example).
Many fears are based on negative past experiences that still haunt you and a fear they may re-occur. Perhaps these experiences were many years ago in childhood and long forgotten consciously, or more recent.
What happened to you that caused you pain or anxiety, be that physically, mentally or emotionally, that you consciously or unconsciously may still be afraid of happening today?
What beliefs were formed by these experiences, or what beliefs may have generated these experiences in the first place?
These are just questions to help you pin-point possible fears and roots behind them.
Use your fears to discover hidden thought processes and beliefs, and start transforming THOSE.
When you do, things will unravel in beautiful ways, and you’ll realise more and more that fear is ultimately only as real as you make it.
When you fear something you give it focus and attention and keep it more alive as a possibility. The more you fear something, the more you are telling yourself it is likely to happen. If you repress that fear, it may still surface in your life in some way to be dealt with. See this as a healing opportunity, and a way to change the limiting beliefs or stories that may be behind those fears.
Your fears can offer clues and point in directions that enable you to reach greater understanding and self-awareness.
The more positive your beliefs are in general, the more trusting and less fearful you become, and the more confident you are in yourself and the world.
Fears can challenge us to be courageous, step into the unknown, and grow. They can also encourage us to seek healing, love and peace within. Plus as said, they can point to limiting beliefs and assumptions that do not serve us which can be altered.