5 Tips to Conquer Fear this Fall
Has fear been holding you back from creating what you want this year?
Is it getting in the way of your daily happiness and well-being?
Often, this time of year can trigger additional fear and anxiety that we may still have in our system from the past.
Whether it stems from past experiences of “back to school” or a deeper, primal “winter is coming” instinct, we sense that transition is nigh. Shorter, darker days and colder weather are on their way, carrying us to the year’s end.
It’s also the time many of us begin to reflect on our year and all that has (or hasn’t!) happened. We get antsy and afraid when we don’t see the progress we intended for ourselves in various areas of our life like work, health, finances or relationship.
But let’s face it, fear is rampant in our society all year long. It is most often triggered by our mental/emotional state, so our ability to manage that state is key. The strategies shared in this post are useful now and any time of year.
But first, WHY do we want to conquer or prevent fear in the first place?
Fear causes the release of stress hormones in the brain. These hormones suppress our immune system and acidify our bodies, making us more susceptible to disease. They also accelerate our aging process by shortening our telomeres (the part of our DNA molecules that dictate how youthful and vibrant we are).
Fear also causes us to act and react in ways that are destructive in our lives. We avoid, sabotage, lash out, play small etc. and so there’s a huge ripple effect in our relationships and personal success when we don’t manage these unruly emotions!
Fear just isn’t fun. Nor does it feel good.
So as you move into fall (and beyond), I invite you to use these top 5 strategies to manage your own fear :
1. Meditate Daily (maybe even twice!)
The best way to conquer fear is to prevent it in the first place. Even a short, regular meditation practice has a significant effect on reducing fear and anxiety. Meditation is designed to still our mental images and direct our attention to the infinite divine space within and around us. Focusing on that space brings us into a state of presence and awareness, allowing us to rest in peace and calm. The more we practice focusing on that eternal space, the more easily we can exist in presence and awareness in our day-to-day life. The less we focus on unnecessary thoughts, the lower the chance that those thoughts will trigger fear.
2. Walk Through your Fears
When you feel afraid, ask yourself: what, exactly, am I afraid of and why? Explore the details of the fear and see what deeper fears are hiding underneath that. For instance, you may be afraid to speak on stage. When you examine why, you may discover that you are really afraid of forgetting your words. Deeper still, may lie the fear that you will be laughed at. When you get to the deepest layer of your fear, imagine that reality actually playing out! Imagine being laughed at and then ask yourself: what would I do in that situation? How would you get through it, how would you recover? Would it really be that bad that you could not recover? Usually it’s not. When you realize you are actually capable of handling the situation you are most afraid of, it diminishes the whole chain of fears.
3. Create Pressure
Fear is triggered when our attention is focused on untrue or unnecessary thoughts. Interestingly, our attention can’t resist focusing on one thing over anything else (including thoughts): physical pressure. Our attention is most attracted to a pressure sensation in the body, because pressure indicates possible physical danger! When we create pressure by taking deep breaths or squeezing our hands together, we redirect our attention momentarily AWAY from the thought that’s causing fear. This gives as a moment to refocus on an improved thought. In our speaking on stage example, fear comes when we focus on how many people are out there that may laugh at us. By taking a deep breath and holding it, we stop can focusing on this thought for an instant and actively refocus our attention on, say, how well-prepared we are, thus diffusing the fear before going on!
4. Overhaul your Belief System
Our belief system is the ocean of stories that our thoughts bubble up from. Ninety-five percent of our belief system is made up of stories that we didn’t even consciously choose as true but that we inherited from other people or the media. That means we believe a lot of things that probably aren’t true and that trigger fear-based thinking. Common untrue beliefs at the root of our fears include: I’m not safe, I can’t manage, I’m not lovable and there’s not enough. In order to eradicate these beliefs (and the thoughts and feelings that arise from them) we can actively examine and rebuild our belief systems. It may sound like a daunting task, but there are logical tools and systems that my clients learn in our work together that make this overhaul easy and effective in removing fear for life!
5. Stay Heart-Centered
When we are fully experiencing love, fear can not exist. Love and fear sit on either end of the same experiential continuum. The more we are focused on love and love-based thinking the less room there is for fear. Choosing love is a moment-to-moment game that takes mental and emotional awareness. When fear arises, identify the thought or belief that is active and then aggressively seek a love-based thought instead. For example, when we realize we are afraid of being laughed at on stage, we can put our hand on our heart and send out love to every single person in the audience, even if they DO laugh at us. By loving them, we are safe from fear because love transmutes everything and everyone into itself. If you fully love the person who laughs at you, there is no room to fear them or their actions. Powerful, huh?
So which strategy will you try first? I’d love to hear about your experiences conquering fear – message me on Facebook with your questions or comments here!
PS. Ready to eliminate fear for good so you can create your deepest desires? Apply for a free 30-minute Discovery Session with me to find out how a coaching program will help you.