Fear is a necessary component to life on the physical plane. Some common fears are heights, snakes, and water. These real fears serve an important purpose: to keep you safe. Your ancestors relied on the warning system of fright to protect them from falling off a cliff, getting bitten by a poisonous reptile, or drowning in a river. Your brain continues to use thousands of years of programmed fear to shield your body from harm.
But what happens when fear becomes psychological? Fear of inadequacy, of loneliness, of failure—these fears burrow into your psyche and can affect you a on a daily basis, sometimes even preventing you from living a meaningful life full of positive relationships and experiences. These psychological fears are unnecessary. The only purpose they serve is to damage your chances of living in light and love. It’s time to get those fears under control!
Psychological fear wears many masks you need to watch for, including anxiety, worry, depression, and embarrassment. Even fate can camouflage fear, as in, “I’ve had three bad dates, so it must be a sign I’m not meant to find love,” when really you’re afraid of vulnerability. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I often see the trickster of fear masquerade as logic. For example, my friend wanted to join a choir. The choir required an audition that she had prepared for and felt good about. But when the day arrived, she came up with a dozen logical reasons why it was impractical for her to join the group: the commute was too far, the choir would cost money, she was particularly busy at work, who would feed her kids those nights, etc., etc. But the real, honest reason was that she was scared of failing. The audition was emotionally risky, so fear donned the mask of common sense and convinced my friend it was a bad idea.
Fears and their guises take years to become buried in your mind and heart so you can’t expect them to disappear overnight. But here are five ways you can begin to slowly move out from under those dark clouds of fear and walk into the light.
1. Acknowledge Your Fears
As a former addict, I know that the first step to any recovery is awareness. Ignoring your fears will only make them worse and give them more power over your life. Admit to yourself what you are truly afraid of, whether it is being wrong, or being alone, or losing a loved one. Open up and identify the truth of your fear so you can start the healing process.
2. Uncover the Cause
Psychological fears always have a root source. The foundation of my friend’s fear of auditioning was a childhood in which she was expected to always be the best and was met with disappointment and even disapproval from her parents when she received less than an A+ or didn’t make the team. This had created in her an intense fear of failure, which also manifested as anxiety over trying new things or taking risks. Ask yourself, “What is the underlying cause of my fear? What is its origin?”
3. Express Yourself
Expressing your fears helps to release the grip they have on your psyche and helps you regain the power and energy they take from you. In my workshops and healing courses, I recommend journaling as a way to release negativity and liberate those pent-up emotions. Writing allows the scared pieces of you to be exposed to the light so they can start to mend. Talking through your fears can be incredibly beneficial as well. Whether it is a trusted friend or a professional listener like a religious counselor or trained therapist, speaking your fears aloud frees them from your mind and leaves room for peace.
4. Manage Stress
When you’re stressed, you become vulnerable to attack. Fear walks right through those open doors of exhaustion and strain and settles in your mind and body. Your chakras are especially susceptible to fear’s draining energy and can become blocked. Meditation is one of the best ways to manage your stress levels so you can keep those doors closed to fear and your chakras clear and unencumbered. Meditate every day, and I promise that your fears—along with some of those pesky fear-in-disguise feelings like anxiety and depression—will begin to decrease. Exercise, including walks and yoga, can also go a long way in lowering your stress levels and keeping you protected from the constant fight-or-flight response produced by psychological fears.
5. Practice Love
Love is the greatest power in the universe, and the best weapon against fear. Work on bringing more love into your life by spending more time with friends and family, volunteering for those less fortunate than yourself, and basking in the unconditional adoration of your pets. Connection to other living beings can alleviate feelings of isolation and improve the frequency and quality of love in your life. Don’t forget to practice self-love, too! Whatever form your fear takes, love is the one thing that will truly conquer it.