Making Friends With the Voice of Fear

‘’I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’’

Nelson Mandela

Fear is such a complex topic and comes cloaked and disguised in many different forms. Fear can either move us forward or paralyse us completely; it can motivate us to keep on going, or lead us to giving up completely.

Over the years of personal healing and growth, I have learned that the only way to triumph over fear is to become friends with it. There have been numerous occasions in which I doubted my own capabilities and if I had allowed myself to be paralysed by my own fears, I would not have grown and developed into the woman I am today and would not have had the same opportunities that have presented themselves to me over the years. I have had to look into the eyes of fear herself and become intimately familiar with her in order to find my path to freedom and living my life with joy and purpose.

I have learned that the only way to ease our fears and to be truly happy is to acknowledge fear, to experience the emotion and look deeply at its source. Instead of trying to escape from our fear, we can become aware of it and start to transform it through the practice of living fully in the present moment and in so doing, I learned to trust the Universe; as I made this shift, the energetic flow of abundant resources and people began to flow to me.

If you are growing and stepping up in your life, fear will be your personal travel companion on your transformational journey. Your voice of doubt will rear its ugly head and tell you that you’re not good enough or smart enough. That it’s too risky, that you will fail. Fear stops you in your tracks and keeps you stuck in the uncertainty of the ‘what ifs’ as long as you keep hiding away from it. In order to move on, learn to recognise the voice of your inner critic, the voice of fear. It taps you on the shoulder in many guises: ‘What if I fail? I might get overwhelmed; I don’t know how to start; I doubt I can do it; I will be outside my comfort zone; what if it gets difficult?’

Steps to Making Fear your Friend:

  1. Invite your fear into your awareness, without judgement. Gently acknowledge its presence. This in itself can offer a lot of relief. Treat it with kindness, with compassion
  2. Embrace your fear and look deeply into its source. Understanding the root causes of your fears and anxieties will help you let go of them. Is your fear coming from something that is happening right now? Or is it an old fear, a fear from your childhood that you have kept locked up and hidden inside yourself?
  3. To soothe your fear(s) talk to it. If your fear stems from your childhood, talk to your inner child which may still be deeply wounded and waiting for you to come back to him/ her; take the time to go back, to recognise the presence of the wounded child in you and talk to him/her to help him/her heal.
  4. Practice mindfulness; present moment awareness allows us to face our fears and know that by connecting with our true nature, our higher selves, we can look deeply into our fear and free ourselves from its grip. Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realise that right now, we are ok. Right now, today, I am still alive, my eyes can still see the beautiful, cloudy, London sky and I have many things I can still treasure and enjoy.

Learn to see fear for what it is, pushing through it gently. Befriending it and getting to know it is a precious gift you give to yourself. Never let your life be defined by fear. Instead, show compassion and gently let it pass over and through you. Be still and welcome it and see what unfolds when you allow this to happen.

I will leave you to contemplate a wonderful poem from the Sufi mystic, Rumi:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Sending you all much love and light,

Patrizia x

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