“What is fear? A thought. A feeling. When you are afraid what are you thinking? What are you feeling? What is going on in your body? Where do you feel it? How does your heart beat? Do you sweat?
What goes on? Think about it, for a second. When afraid of something what is the process that occurs? There is what you are afraid of and how you react to it. It may seem out of your control.
Realize this. As we evolved our reptilian brain responded to fear in this manner. We pumped chemicals to handle a threat so that we either could fight or we could flee.
Do Not Let Your Fears Determine Your Destiny
We’d either stand our ground and take our chances or we’d run away. We also might just freeze. You know, you’ve seen rabbits when scared. They freeze. Their hearts beat wildly but they freeze.
These are evolutionary responses to threats from the wild. We still respond similarly. Our brains perceive modern day, less than life threatening, threats as life threatening. Our brains don’t know.
Subconscious processes begin and our little conscious minds don’t have much chance once this snowball rolling down a hillside momentum gets going. Emotional flooding it is called.
Fear Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will
Feels like an avalanche. Everything seems to happen at once. The same is true about anxiety, the fear of the unknown. Often, it stems from trying to control circumstances not within our control.
We fear making the wrong decision. We freeze, unsure what to do. Analysis can lead to paralysis. Overthinking isn’t a good thing. So how to deal?
Learn to control your thinking up front, while feeling calm. Take control and decide the thoughts you will think. Yup, affirm them. Positive powerful assertions and declarations that you repeat.
Fear Has Two Meanings – Forget Everything And Run …
Repeat them powerfully, confidently, persuasively. Imagine an actor portraying each and step completely into that role. Stand and shout them. Over and over again each day for 60, 90, 120 days or more.
Eventually, you will come to accept them. Record them on your electronic device and play them as you go to sleep. Listen with headphones whenever you can. Adjust the volume for comfort.
Monitor your self-talk. Put a guard in front of your tongue and a lock on your lips. Only speak positive, with confidence about what you want to think, feel and experience. Speak to bless, heal and prosper.
… Or Face Everything And Rise
Make a vision board and see yourself calm, confident, in charge, enjoying life, laughing, smiling, living as you want to. Imagine what it is like to feel these feelings right now. Where would you feel them?
What part of your body feels the best? Where does it feel wonderful? How are you breathing? How do you move, stand or sit when feeling in charge and on top of the world? Experience these.
Practice these. How does it feel to feel calm; confident; at ease; relaxed; in charge; peaceful; serene; joyous; happy; delighted; ecstatic? Practice these, rehearse these over and over again.
Skill Comes Of Doing
Your body knows the pathway to fear. Now strength the pathways it knows to security, safety, confidence and all the good feelings you’d rather feel instead. Practice and rehearse. Imagine and visualize.
Assert and declare. Practice over and over again. Correct, spaced repetition will make it a positive, automatic, reliable habit. You can change and eliminate being fearful. You can live with confidence.
Recognize, that your fear response was a signal. It is a signal to pay attention and notice what you can correct. Somewhere along the way, you over emphasized it and it got a little bit out of control.
Whatever We Repeat Again And Again Becomes Our Habits
Reign it back in and use the signal. There is nothing wrong with you or the signal. Learn to control and manage your thoughts. Keep them in check and keep them from spiraling out of control.
Again, this is a reminder. You practice before you need it so when you need it, it will be available. You rehearse just as an actor does so that opening night and beyond everything goes as rehearsed.
Imagine tough times and getting through them easily. Pick only one at a time. Find a comfortable place inside you. Feel it fully. That comfort and strength. Pick something that helps you remember it.
Start Building The Habits You Want By Repeating The Good Stuff
Look around and see something that reminds you of your strength. Remember, an internal picture or memory that keeps you feeling strong. Or pick a special sound or word that you can exclaim.
When you speak the sound or word it affects you. Like the military hoohaa! Or shift your body into a strong, confident position or stance. You can do all three too. Remember, fully what it feels like.
You can make the picture, exclaim the sound and have the positive, strong, resourceful feeling all at the same time too. One or all three is usually more than enough to easily go through these exercises.
The Past Is Gone – The Future Hasn’t Happened Yet …
Remember, fully what it feels like to be powerful and positive and take these feelings, keeping them strong the entire time, into some moment that would be rough for you. NOT the roughest!
Start mild and work your way up. Begin with lessor discomforts. Practice going through the mild times with confidence and calm, with whatever resourceful feeling you need. Keep these feelings.
Maintain the mental image and sound and feeling that you see, hear and feel. Re-live past mild times, at first, with resources and notice you survived and it feels good to go through them resourcefully.
… There Is Only Now – Claim It
Stop and fully appreciate that it feels good to go though an experience resourcefully. Take full inventory and appreciate the change. Notice it and own it. Validate it. Feel it fully. It is yours!
Something else you can do is Interrupt The Pattern. Stop the emotional flooding. The very instant you become aware of the signal. STOP, take a deep breath and do anything else physically.
De-rail the train of thought. Shift focus. Exclaim you ‘hoohaa’ words. Shift your physiology. Move your body differently. Skip, jump, dance, do anything that interrupts the thought processes. Immediately!
Your Future Is Created By What You Do Today – Not Tomorrow
Interrupt the physiological processes and change them. Lead them elsewhere. As you might point out things of interest to a child, to distract, lead your thoughts and feelings into new, different areas.
Catch it right at the beginning, as soon as you notice it. If you are standing in front of a car on a hillside and the brakes give out you can stop it easily if you are right next to it. Put your hand on it as it rolls.
Yup, as it begins to roll all you have to do is put your hand out. There is no momentum yet. If you were 10 or 20 feet down you would have to get out of the way but YOU can STOP it right when it starts.
Learn From The Past – Live In The Present – Create Your Future
This is how you prevent emotional flooding. You catch it in the earliest possible moment, shut it down and lead it elsewhere. As with anything, the more often you catch it the better you get at it.
Lastly, realize that fear is a signal. You want to be able to respond appropriately if there is a real reason to fight, freeze or flee. So you should ask with each fear you practice. Is it appropriate to feel this?
It could be. If so, it is worthwhile to know this. If it is not an appropriate fear, then go ahead and change it. The power to change is always within you. Find your resources and live from them.
Master The Past – Create The Future
Re-code old times with new feelings. Build a history of thinking, feeling and behaving as you prefer to do. Slowly, in time, graduate to more difficult times, saving the worst for very last. Important!
You learn to walk a tightrope on the ground first. Then raise it a few inches, then later a few feet at a time. Get good walking close to the ground before walking high up. You can master your fears!
Step by step, bit by bit. Realize, your fears, small or large, are old chronic, habits, that have gotten out of control. You can stop them, prevent them, and exercise power over them. You are in charge!
If You Believe You Can You Will If You Believe You Can’t You Won’t
Re-code the old ways and notice that you are able to do so. You can change the way you think and feel about past memories. Examine them and discover what lesson was hidden in these for you.
Perhaps, all this time you had missed the learning. Now go find it. Reflect on it and benefit from the positive messages you can find hidden. Know that is the past and you are able to feel differently.
You can feel positive about past times that limited you then, but no longer. You can now know that you have the resources and ability to change how you think and feel about them. You can do it now too.
If You Want To Change Your Life – You Must Change Your Mind
You can change less than glorious present moments into positive moments in this very same way and you can extract the lessons you need to learn right now. Being present in new ways is wonderful.
Plus, because you are able to change how you think and feel about what was a difficulty for you in the past, but no longer, it means you are able to move into the future with renewed confidence and vigor.
You can live free from what used to hold you back. You can see a bright new day ahead and feel all the wonderful feelings of living this way right now. Isn’t it wonderful to feel free? Of course it is!
Your Life Is A Reflection Of Your Thoughts – Think Only The Best
Spend time re-imagining yourself as confident and capable of living in new positive ways. See yourself, hear yourself and feel the incredible feelings. Imagine the YOU you want to be as already it!
In your mind imagine yourself doing all the positive things you want easily, having made these changes. Imagine a wonderful, new free future, right now. Not some day, but right here and now. Do it.
Live with the confidence and calm. Live in the delight and the joy that are yours already and that can be yours again and again. Relax, find all the many things to be grateful for. Practice these too.
Positivity Can Change Everything
Find more times to feel your best. Delight and enjoy your ability to evolve yourself. Make marvelous your moments and celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
Live wildly enthusiastically!
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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