The Fear Factor
There is the fear that keeps you alive, and then there is the fear that keeps you from living. Knowing the difference between the two could be the biggest key to unlocking your creativity and experiencing true freedom in your life.
Signs and symptoms that your fear keeps you from living:
You feel paralysed
You put off making the decision your soul knows it needs to make. Your intuition tells you it’s time to leave the toxic relationship, the dead end job or speak about the breach of integrity at work. But you’re fearful of the uncertainty.
The unknown is the gateway for possibility. Transmute your fear into excitement by remembering that the from the unknown, anything can happen.
You become a control freak
When you’re fearful, you feel the need to micromanage everything because you believe that the universe is a hostile place and if you want something done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself.
On the flip side of this fear is the faith that life wants to win, and that when you trust the process and lean into the flow, things work out better than you could have imagined.
When you’re afraid to take risks and go for what you really want, you convince yourself that what you’re currently experiencing in your relationships, work or dismal state of environmental affairs is as good as it gets. But settling isn’t realism. It’s a symptom that fear is diminishing your desires and keeping your hope hostage.
You say yes when you mean no
When your fear of disappointing others and being rejected for letting people down overrides what you really want, you pave the way for resentment and self-sacrificing behaviours to take root.
You’ll never be able to please everyone, so start by honouring your yes and be true to you. Your future self will thank you.
You say no when you mean yes
When you’re afraid to take risks (ie. start the new business, publish the blog post, have the important conversation), fear of failure, rejection or even fear of success, is running the show. Take leaps of faith and say yes when you yearn to.
So how do you cure fear? With curiosity and creativity.
In the face of uncertainty, fear is a normal and healthy response. We are wired to survive, and fear is a protective mechanism with an agenda to preserve and keep things the same. Equally true, is that we’re also wired to evolve and grow. We are created to create.
We can either be in a state of contraction or expansion; we can’t expand from a place of fear, and we cannot be creative when we’re operating from our fight/flight/freeze sympathetic nervous system. It keeps us locked into habitual ways of being, closing us off from all the possibilities life has to offer.
Practice presence by bringing awareness to your breath. When you feel consumed by fear take three deep breaths to create space to respond, rather than react.
Love can transmute fear almost instantly when you open your heart and allow yourself to feel gratitude. In the face of fear, focus on what’s going well or think of someone you love deeply. Widen your perspective to remember all that you have to be grateful for.
Meditation is a well-studied and scientifically-proven way to reduce fear, improve your health, ramp up your courage, and tune you into the frequency of real-life magic.
Question your Beliefs
Not everything you think is true. Every time you have a fearful thought, question it. What about it is true? What’s not true about that thought? When you question your thoughts you create a distance to start to witness your thoughts, which loosens fears grip on you. You can always choose to think in a new way.
Einstein said, "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." When you believe it's a hostile universe, life is scary. But when you trust that you are held, loved, safe, nurtured, and protected by a guiding intelligence that is all LOVE, you can relax.
Whether you ascribe to any specific religion or just consider yourself "spiritual but not religious," anything that facilitates your trust in a friendly universe helps you let go and surrender, making your desires and problems an offering to the Divine in whatever way feels authentic to you.
When we move from a place of creativity rather than reactivity, we free ourselves and expand. Creativity is the impulse to grow, to thrive and to flourish. Freedom happens when you meet the moment with presence, breath, and choose how to respond from a place of authenticity.