Fear is an omnipresent and pervasive fact of our current human experience. Constantly reinforced by our biases, judgments, media, and consumerism, how does it affect our lives? It drives us to live in ways that are making us and our planet sick – psychologically, physically, and energetically. Many of us feel powerless, anxious, insecure, depressed, and angry, yet we continue to unconsciously live in a fear-based way. Fear prevents us from experiencing our highest potential for joy because we think we have no control over the reality we exist in.
We are all conditioned from birth to believe what other people tell us is true. For the most part, we are not allowed to be autonomous, trust our personal instincts and interests, or make decisions for ourselves. This sets us up to seek outside of ourselves for the 'correct' path, and to have a profound mistrust of our inner voice. We tend to believe wholeheartedly whatever biases are most common in our familial and cultural groups (our parents, friends, teachers, government, media, the 'news', and churches), yet most of these avenues of information disseminate fear-based ideologies generation after generation.
Have you ever noticed that almost every decision you make is based on a fear? Core fears that motivate our daily life choices are fear of judgment, fear of rejection, and fear of scarcity. These basic fears combined form a generalized fear of abandonment. Human beings have an overarching desire to be loved and accepted, and to feel connected to one another. We will do almost anything to fit in and to be accepted as part of a group, because without this intimate human connection we do not thrive. It is understood in our culture that to be a successful human being we must possess a certain amount of money and material possessions, and conform to a specific look or style. We are brainwashed by television, movies, social media, music videos, advertising etc, to believe that money and stuff will make people love us. So we blindly and desperately keep doing things we don't really want to do - attending schools to get money-making skills instead of studying what interests us; doing jobs that we hate to pay the bills; being consumers; spending time in unhappy relationships because we feel we can't be financially independent or that we need a partner to feel self-worth.
Are you currently experiencing anxiety or depression, or is your body physically out of balance with disease and pain? Do you dread getting up in the morning to go to work? Are your relationships fraught with conflict and dissatisfaction? Do you fall asleep in your class at school, dread exams, or are you bored out of your mind? If you recognize any of these scenarios, you’re probably choosing what you’re doing from a place of fear, not because you love it. Our body acts like a red flag when we have been ignoring our inner voice, and that is when we feel physical and psychological imbalance.
Here are some ways to say ‘F**k fear!’ Notice your fear when it comes up, and take a leap of faith (trust yourself and your inner voice) by choosing the opposite reality than the one you are currently experiencing (this could look like quitting the job you hate, leaving a bad relationship, quitting or changing your school). Another way is to take baby-steps. Maybe start studying what you love part time, or put feelers out for a new job so you can segue from your old job to another smoothly. Have a discussion with your partner about what is not working for you in your relationship, and work together on healing it. You can also simply choose to fill your days doing things you love, and refuse to do things you don't love anymore. Before you know it, you will only be doing things and having relationships that bring you joy! [Generally speaking relationships these days are not particularly easy, and they are definitely not a salvation. We are all frequently finding ourselves in relationships that help us to grow and evolve, through offering us a reflection. It’s a good idea to look at relationships as a healing opportunity, a way to see your hidden blocks through what is being mirrored back at you instead of blaming others for your unhappiness. If something about your partner, friend, or family member is bugging you, take a look inward and notice where you may also need to work on similar issues within yourself. I will soon publish a post titled Conscious Relationships with more on this subject.]
Probably the most important tool on your road to eliminating fear from your life choices is to be present. Presence is the opposite of thinking. It's about being here now, and listening to your inner voice, then acting on what you hear! If you are not present and always lost in thought (which is almost always a negative experience), you will constantly be creating the things you fear the most, because that is where you will be expending the most energy. It is important to be aware of the fact that your habitual thoughts and feelings create your reality. If you realize you are creating an unsatisfactory reality for yourself accidentally through negative thoughts and conditioned fears, hating everything about your life and relationships, why not start positively deciding what you want to experience, and courageously choose to follow your heart instead?