Fear is indeed a powerful emotion.  Left unchecked, it can paralyze you, stop you in your tracks, and suck the life out of you, leaving you feeling powerless to move in any direction, never mind forward.


So, for this thought for the day, it’s really important to understand how you handle fear and not go unconscious around this powerful emotion.  It’s so powerful, in fact, that it’s almost taboo to even think about it.


Most people have no tools or strategies to handle it.


How do you handle fear when it comes up?


One approach is to just avoid it—to resist looking at and dealing with what’s causing fear to come up.


Another way is to act like an ostrich and hide from it—to act as if it’s not happening at all and dig a hole in the sand and promptly bury your head to avoid seeing anything.


Another way is to ignore it—to give it your best shot to bury the fear and pay no attention to it, no matter how loudly it’s screaming inside you.


Have you noticed that NONE of these strategies work particularly well?


Fear, like everything else, has a habit of not going away if you don’t handle it.  In fact, what can happen if you avoid or ignore it is that the fear can actually get bigger and bigger until it feels like a huge black mushroom cloud above you, and completely envelopes you in its gloom and doom.


On the other hand, there is a way to handle fear so that you don’t experience it this way.


First of all, acknowledge that you are actually experiencing fear.  Sometimes, by doing this one simple thing, it can greatly diminish the grip that fear has.  Once you’ve acknowledged it, then what there is to do is to take a look at what is underneath the fear.


What’s most easily felt and seen is what’s on the surface, but what’s underneath is what will set you free.


For example, if you’re worrying about your relationship with your significant other, what’s underneath this might be fear about losing your sense of securityWhat’s underneath is what’s really going on for you.  So be honest and ask yourself, “What am I afraid is going to happen?”


Thought for the Day: How do you handle fear?


By having the courage to tell the truth, and as a result gain more clarity, what starts to happen is oxygen travels to your brain, so you will start thinking more clearly.


You’re now able to ask yourself an empowering question—a question that will powerfully move you forward: “What can I actually do about (fill in the blank)?”


Usually you’ll come up with a simple answer.  The simpler, the better.  Once you take that first baby step forward, you empower yourself to take the next step and then the next one.  Very soon you will get yourself out of that dark place where fear had such a strong grip over you.
Empower yourself to move out of fear by following these steps:

  • Acknowledge that you have fear.  Be willing to own it as yours to handle.
  • Get clarity by asking what’s really there for you underneath the actual emotion of fear.
  • Ask yourself what you can do about it, and take the first steps to freedom.


To complete today’s thought for the day, what’s on the other side of fear?


Now that you’re clear and empowered and taking those first steps, notice how the fear is slowly melting away.  You’re finding your inner compass again–that center where you’re at the helm of your ship, where you have the domain over yourself and you’re no longer being ruled by fear.


You’re back to being you again in all your magnificence!



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    9 years ago

    A very simple solution to great fears 


    9 years ago

    I have carried fears around with me since I was a child. I still see myself as strong and courageous because I have moved forward in my life despite them. But I never really found a way to get underneath them, to shift them, to be free of them and all the ways they affect me in the here and now. Thanks for your great advice, and I will do my best to face them and act on them.