When I tell someone it is possible to live life with Freedom from Fear, an interesting look comes over their face. They twist their mouth and raise an eyebrow as if to say, “Yeah, sure … right – like I’m afraid”.
Yet, I can also sense they know exactly what I am talking about, when a moment later they look at me with this look of confusion as they ponder the possibility with wonder and concern. (I’d like to know what’s going through their mind, lol)
(Actually, this happens a lot when I talk about things I’m not supposed to talk about – especially with guys!)
In this post, I will share with you some of my insights that can lead to possibilities to actually do what many of us see as impossible: Living Without Fear. I’ll include a couple of examples to make the point (so, I hope it doesn’t get too long).
Before we continue with this discussion, let’s recap what I asserted so far about fear:
______ . ______
Fear is NOT REAL
It is just a LABEL we give to a FEELING IN OUR BODY (adrenalin)
OurMISTAKEN PERCEPTION of Fear can be changed
We call the feeling Fear if the moment it happens is a real or perceived threat, and
we call the feeling Excitement if the moment is pleasurable and exciting.
We can pick and choose either – OR NEITHER.
Fear is based on FALSE past memories
The interpretations of the feelings of fear can change over time just as the memory.
We CAN live WITHOUT Fear
Fear is only a STATE OF MIND.
All it takes is Awareness.
There is no work involved.
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Some Great Benefits To Living Without Fear
It changes our life beyond anything we could imagine.
While the changes are subtle at first, over time we begin to see a fantastic shift in our lives.
We not only transform our experience of life by the way we approach the outside world (and the colourful mosaic of individual differences), but the internal personal experience of our essence becomes magical because we have a better understanding of ourselves.
We become “intimate with ourselves and become closer with others”
We no longer have to live the feelings of having to do things for all the wrong reasons.
Once we peel away the layers of excuses we make up about NOT doing things we really want to do, we then realize the deep-seated fears that rule our lives rear their ugly head and expose themselves for what they are: Just a feeling I am mistakenly labelling fear!
Consider this: Compare what we do for ourself personally and what we do with our money – and see if you take the same care. With our money, we know we are taking risk regardless of what we are doing with it (even spending it). When we make large financial decisions, we feel the adrenalin rush and it gets us a little excited (or scared as heck, lol). After all, we are taking risk. But what we do next (if we are doing our due diligence), we do our research and maybe hire an expert for advice. As we become more confident with information, the thought about our bodily feeling changes as the adrenalin rush (or the memory of it) dissapates.
This is what happens: As we get to the bottom of information and strip away the perceived risks (that challenge our fears), we realize we can make well-founded decisions with confidence instead of fear.
We experience no more feelings of inadequacy.
We can pursue hobbies, career directions, activities, and opportunities we truly enjoy and are good at performing because it truly lights us up – WE CAN’T FEEL BAD – it’s impossible because we enjoy what we are doing.
For example: Instead of hiding your tiny art studio and work in your basement corner as a dirty little secret, you can take a risk (lol) and decide to show it publicly. You decide to show at the local community centre; and lo and behold, someone actually makes an offer on a piece. Another person invites you to show at the local artisan show. Once there, you then get another buyer for a piece and you meet 3 great people to chum around with and talk art.
This is what happens: Getting outside your head and shell, you finally express yourself and experience the rush of just having someone look at and appreciate your art work. The sales are bonus, and the new art friends are invaluable and allows you to stretch your imagination and boundaries.
Other people in our lives become more interesting and alive.
Because we know people live with their fears (just as we do ourselves), we can be more understanding and compassionate towards them. Conversations become easier to have with strangers because we know they are behaving out of their fears.
For example: A young man stands in the corner alone at a community social. You see him and imagine his possible fears (as well as the look on his face) and given the knowledge you now have about people and their fears, you can understand that he is so gripped with his fear within themselves, he cannot even talk to someone. Maybe he doesn’t want to sound silly, or say something wrong, or appear aloof. Sounds like a number of different possible fears, huh? And he feels like that just like we’ve all been at one time or another. You realize he could probably use a friend right now.
This is what happens: After speaking with the young man, you find out he is a fledgling artist and lives with his sick grandmother. He can’t go out much, so he is house-bound as well. You realize you know someone who could use an artist to do some web design. You link them up; and some months later, you find out he is able to get homecare assistance for his grandmother and is now enrolled at art school to take a program on web design – something he always wanted to do.
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Some Downsides To Living Without Fear
It goes without saying that there are some downsides to this new way of thinking and being. But these are usually temporary and the best thing that ever happened to us (in hindsight).
1 – People are going to see a change in us right away >> and they may not like it.
They were used to us cowering, or fighting back, or screaming, or crying. Certainly not someone more confident and relaxed. You are not reacting any more. And deep down, they know the fear is gone – and that changes everything. Then we quickly see them show true colours or their true expression of their own fears.
2 – Another thing to notice as we release Fear in our life is that we may take Risk less seriously.
Risk is what makes the world go ‘round, but that doesn’t mean we could just throw away caution to the wind. Some fears are real and require the proper investigation before taking action.
This EXTREMELY IMPORTANT downside to Living Without Fear
is probably the reason why we have people do reckless and dangerous things (especially among young people). And again, it is not always apparent – but I have deep and strong suspicions. I believe it happens immediately and ends up sinking deeply inside our memories.
The worst downside:
When we confuse or mistaken
the feeling of the adrenalin rush
Here are some examples:
Someone may drive home drunk one night and is scared of getting caught. After a couple of times (and it doesn’t take long to imprint the memory) of not getting caught despite the feeling of fear, s/he decides (for some reason) that it is actually exciting to be breaking the law and not get caught.
After a few more times, the excitement causes him/her to take more and more in order to re-create the feeling again. The progression of risk keeps getting higher and becomes a habit until something tragic happens.
Someone is living in debt and is scared of losing everything. Deciding on fixing the problem by going to the Casino, s/he is getting an incredible feeling of the adrenalin activated because of the risk. Once inside and gambling, the feeling gets stronger as you maintain hope of escaping the fear of poverty.
Then s/he wins a couple, and all of a sudden, the feelings of joy are connected with winning – and boy does it feel good. Eventually, the risk associated with the feeling is exciting and escalating and we want to re-live it again and again – so regardless of the outcome at the end of the night, if strong enough, the new feeling of excitement compels him/her to come back until something tragic happens.
In the next post on Fear, I will offer some suggestions on what we can actually DO to change the paradigm of running away and actually take action in our lives so we can “laugh in the face of fear”.