Everything you want is on the other side of fear. – Jack Canfield
Fear is the number one emotion that holds you back.
Fear of rejection. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of heights, dogs, or elevators. There are countless types of fears that people experience.
I spent years stuck in fear. I was afraid that I wasn’t enough, would never be enough, and that I would fail. Fear kept me stuck in a bad marriage and in a job that was slowly destroying my soul. I was living in a house of broken dreams.
I knew I couldn’t continue living this way. Somewhere, somehow, I heard my inner voice urging me that I deserved more. I decided to believe it.
I started with baby steps by reframing my experiences and empowering myself through small actions. Eventually, I gained the courage to embrace the things that I feared.
What would it be like for you to move past your fear? To embrace a life you desire? In this article, I’ll explain how to recognize fear and three healthy ways to build courage.
Fears and Phobias
Fear seems to have many causes… but ultimately, all fear is the ego’s fear of death. – Eckhart Tolle
It’s perfectly normal to experience fear in certain situations. It’s a natural impulse that helps you to survive by triggering the fight or flight response.
We aren’t born with fears. We gain them through life experiences and lessons. Everything our subconscious mind does has a positive intention, and usually the fear response is there to keep us alive and safe. They are a warning signal that makes you run if an aggressive dog chases you.
When the fear becomes inappropriately large, it is called a phobia. Phobias (fear of flying, driving, speaking, spiders, snakes, etc) can result in a feeling of anxiety – your heart races, your palms sweat, your mind spins with worry. Sometimes a phobia becomes so intense it can cause a panic attack.
Any kind of fear, whether it’s rational, irrational, or a phobia, is a response to embedded emotions. That’s why hypnosis works so well, because it works with these deep-rooted emotions of the subconscious, instead of the conscious thought. Our ultimate goal is to deal with our fears in healthy ways.
Dealing with Fear
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin
There are a number of ways to handle fears, including doing what you fear or turning it into humor. But three simple ways that won’t put your life in danger or cover your fear with a blanket are:
Face your Fears
Eckhart Tolle explains in his book The Power of Now that as long as you identify with your mind, the ego runs your life. “Because of its phantom nature,” he says, “the ego sees itself as constantly under threat.”
Part of the goal is to detach yourself from an overworked mind. That way, when fear patterns arise, you can disassociate yourself with it and, as Tolle says, “state clearly and firmly how you feel or what you think.”
When you create a picture in your mind of a feared result, you are imagining the situation taking control. This only allows more fear to grow. Facing your fear and seeing it for what it really helps you to take control of your emotions and your imagination, stopping the cycle of fear and anxiety.
The 7-11 Breathing Technique
For many people, breathing exercises are a lifeline of grounding, calmness, and inner control. When we experience fear, we sometimes ‘forget’ to breathe. We tend to get stuck in a shallow breath, which only increases the fight or flight state.
One popular breathing technique to create a more peaceful state is the 7-11 breathing technique. This exercise works on the autonomic nervous system to slow the heartbeat and decrease our production of adrenaline that was raised by fear. To do it, you simply breathe in for a count of seven and out for a count of eleven.
Your breathing should be slow, filling your abdominal area up like a balloon. Since it takes concentration to do the 7-11 breathing, it helps by taking your mind off of the situation. To make it even more impactful, imagine breathing in a positive outcome for seven counts, then breathing out the fear for eleven counts.
Undo Hypnosis with Hypnosis
Intense fear is similar to a negative hypnotic trance because you are entirely focused; your attention narrows in completely to this one event. In that deep state, more negative thoughts and feelings are created because the fear is so suggestible.
For example, if you have had painful experiences in relationships, it’s easy to become afraid of being in one. Especially when we allow our minds to become entirely focused on the negative outcome.
Hypnotic coaching has the opposite effect. It taps into your subconscious mind, where you keep your fears. Then, we gently explore the memories and emotions associated with the fears and transform them into feelings of acceptance and safety.
This results in resolving the fears as you can now see them from a completely different perspective.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. – Rumi
Fear is one of the biggest blocks anyone can experience, and it gives us excuses to hide and stay small. Courage is the ability to move forward in the face of fear.
Courage is what you want to gain.
The first step is learning to recognize your fears when they show up. Then use the process described above to begin to reprogram the way your mind works and build a new, courageous you.