3 Ways to Dispel the Fear That’s Holding You Back

Sky & IAlmost everyone holds onto some fear. There’s fear that can kick in adrenaline to help you speed out of difficult situations like a near-miss accident. Then there’s the needless, energy draining kind of fear that holds us back and drains resources. This kind of fear keeps us from being who we are. It brings us to constrict and tighten shoulders, jaws and muscles when what we yearn to do is expand to be who we’re meant to be. This kind of emotional fear feels a bit like wearing a barbed wire fence. Every new move we try hurts. So what happens? We stop moving and get stuck.

How can anyone climb out of a barbed wire fence? Ouch! Is it possible to cut away the fear of pain and become free to move? Imagine taking a pair of heavy-duty wire-cutters and snap, snap, snap! In a few quick, efficient moves cut away every last, tight wire to free yourself up. It’s time to let go and express those heartfelt intentions and live the expansive life.

People who live in fear put up walls around themselves. They create armor so thick that nothing can get out or in. It’s time to tear down walls you may be aware of and take a risk. Do something that you’ve always dreamed of doing. This might be jump off the high dive at the pool, join Toastmasters and face fears of public speaking or simply tell someone you love them.

  1. First, recognize the fears that inhibit. Take a moment and reflect. What would you really love to do that you don’t do out of fear that you’ll be ridiculed, fear of failure or something else?
  2. Next, take a moment and imagine what’s the worst that could happen? Imagine success instead. If the desired leap of faith is not life threatening or harmful to anyone, take the next step.
  3. Dare to do what you dream. But don’t stick with the mental stuff. The mind sometimes creates demons that hang around and scare us into paralysis.

Moving into the heart, imagine joining the belly dance class and performing in public, or speaking those words to the one you love. If your aim is something big, like starting a business or appearing on a TV show, then work your way up to the big moment through learning about the process. Go back to school. Learn to manage, do interviews and express yourself in ways that unleash your positive creative energy. Get out and grow. The extraordinary mystical poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (better known simply as Goethe) wrote, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Enjoy the leap of faith!

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Debra Moffitt’s book, “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life” will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in May 2011 (www.awakeintheworld.com).  Read more at www.debramoffitt.com Her essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus on drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world.  She presents workshops in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Originally published January 2011

Comments

  1. what you say about doing things you fear is immeasurably helpful. my dad taught me by instruction and by his own example at a very early age to run directly at what i fear and not away from it. that's how i learned to disregard the walls by simply smashing through them whenever i see them coming up, instead of hiding and cowering behind them. but not everybody has the spiritual or emotional strength to bring the walls down. so my advice is: put a window or a door in the wall, and simply slip through it.

  2. Hi Debra, it was a nice surprise to hear, when not your voice, but your pen.

    Fear is a big problem for most of us, fear that something may be hurt if we do a certain action. Usually it is either ourself or somebody else.

    In the first case I try to estimate the risk and the value compared with the goal. I might go near to but not into risking my life.

    In the second case I try not to hurt any person, but if I just risk that this other person gets angry with me, that is not my problem, because others might even applaude to my action.

    Best whishes,

    Nick..

  3. I love your idea, Eugene. In fact, when I dream of walls and difficult barriers, I will sit in meditation later and imagine what happens next. Very often there’s a ladder at hand to help me climb over easily or I find a door that I’d not initially seen. Thanks so much!

  4. I love your idea, Eugene. In fact, when I dream of walls and difficult barriers, I will sit in meditation later and imagine what happens next. Very often there’s a ladder at hand to help me climb over easily or I find a door that I’d not initially seen. Thanks so much!

  5. I love your idea, Eugene. In fact, when I dream of walls and difficult barriers, I will sit in meditation later and imagine what happens next. Very often there's a ladder at hand to help me climb over easily or I find a door that I'd not initially seen. Thanks so much!

  6. I love your idea, Eugene. In fact, when I dream of walls and difficult barriers, I will sit in meditation later and imagine what happens next. Very often there’s a ladder at hand to help me climb over easily or I find a door that I’d not initially seen. Thanks so much!

  7. Hi Nick. I find a good practice to follow includes the idea of non-violence. That is do not harm in thought, word or deed and that includes one's self and others. Facing fear challenges us to consider whether the possibility of getting hurt is real or only imagined. Thanks for your reflections. There's much to consider.

  8. Non violence is a wonderful idea and there are proofs that it works (Gandhi & Co.). But tell me, what would you do if you come to meet an act of violence like some youngsters beating an old person just for the pleasure of beating, or a woman being violated? Would you pray, or meditate? I guess you might call the police so they can counter the violence. I could not wait, it might be too late for the victim, but would use all my physical force to stop the act. I think that in such a case I would even risk my own life.

  9. You have a good point. One of the notions about spiritual precepts like non-violence is how to use discernment or discrimination. Discernment will tell you how to balance it with other values like duty.

    Non-violence needs to be balanced with the idea (and action) of right action or dharma (which is the Sanskrit word for it). That is doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. If we see an old woman being beaten up, then it's our duty to help her — if we can. Each person may react in a different way. Someone may call police. Another may pull one of the boys off, another may stand between her and the boys. It is noble to risk one's life, but it's not everyone's dharma or calling.

    Think also of self-defense. If someone attacks us, we have a duty to defend ourselves and protect the body temple. Non-violence does not mean lying down to do nothing. In fact, even Gandhi was very active, though I don't believe he ever struck anyone.