One of the biggest barriers we face in living the life we want is fear.
Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of commitment, and fear of loss are just a few of the many fears we experience.
If you want financial freedom, a more fulfilling life, loving relationships, a rewarding career, or any other desired outcome in your life, you must be able to identify and challenge any fear that prevents you from moving forward.
1. Challenge your fears!
Have you ever allowed fear to keep you from achieving or even trying to achieve that which you already know you want? I know I have.
Within each experience of loss, rejection, failure, or hurt, lies the opportunity to confront and challenge the fears and self-limiting beliefs you hold.
When you become aware of your feelings, rather than subconsciously acting on them, you allow yourself to gain clarity. Clarity brings forth compassion instead of judgment, and allows the energy of your heart to flow.
With clarity also comes personal power and freedom of choice. You can choose either to take control of your fears or to allow your fears to control you.
When you can honestly identify the fears that hold you back, you have taken the first step in controlling them.
Unfortunately, most people either deny their fears, or run away from them, so they don’t have to face them. They miss out on the opportunity to learn, grow and attract the things they really want in their lives. Instead they get caught up in a pattern of procrastination, self-sabotage, and destructive behavior.
Answer the following questions as honestly as possible.
Which fear has the most control over you in your life today?
Perhaps you are afraid of rejection, commitment, responsibility, loss, change, confrontation, or not measuring up?
What behaviors and/or habits have you developed as a means to protect yourself from this fear?
Who would you be without that fear? What would you be doing differently? And isn’t that what you really want?
Understanding and identifying the fears and consequent behaviors that hold you back is the first step in setting yourself free and living life to the fullest.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
2. Identify your beliefs
Energy in motion creates emotion! The energy needed to move forward and fully engage in the process of your life comes from your emotional state. People who successfully manage their emotional state are masters of their own destiny!
Most people experience fear as a negative emotion. Fear blocks the energy they need to follow through on their goals and create positive changes in their life.
Others use the “fear factor” as a powerful motivator to break through (mental) barriers. For example, what if you could actually make yourself afraid of missing out on the best opportunity in your life?
When fear controls you life, it creates strong emotional and physical reactions. I frequently hear clients say things like I choked, I froze, or I felt paralyzed, when talking about their fears. The reason we choke, freeze, or feel paralyzed in the face of fear is because we get stuck in a single and limited perspective about the meaning of the fear that controls us.
Once you have identified the fear which has the most control over you in your life, I challenge you to examine the limiting beliefs you hold about that fear.
Let’s assume that the core fear controlling you is the fear of failure. In order to elicit the negative and limiting beliefs that support your fear of failure, ask yourself the following questions: What does it mean to fail? What does it mean to be a failure?
Do you believe failure is only a temporary setback and an opportunity for growth? Or do you believe that failure means the possibility of being judged by others as being not capable, or not being good enough, or … ?
The beliefs you hold about failure and success directly affect your emotional state and will greatly influence your behavior. Your behavior will influence the results you get. When your results change, your life will change!
When you change your perspective and inner (mental) representation about the fears that hold you back you will build the self-confidence and trust needed to move forward and fully engage in the process of your life.
3. Free yourself from fear!
A client expressed her fear of being hurt in personal relationships. I asked her the following question: Who would you be without that fear?” She responded, “A more confident person who is open to new possibilities and willing to take chances.” Next I asked her, “What would be the opposite of the fear of being hurt?” Her response was: “The freedom to love and be loved.” “And isn’t that what you really want?” I asked.
Could it be that simple? I believe it can!
The moment you focus on what you really want, instead of what you don’t want, you can use your mental energy to move you forward instead of wasting it by thinking about the stuff you no longer want in your life.
What are some of the inner resources and/or strengths that you need to have more of in order to create the results you desire, free yourself from fear, and become the person you really want to be?
Some examples of inner resources could be: Confidence, trust, commitment, creativity, flexibility, honesty, patience, etc …
What do you have to believe about yourself in order to become more resourceful? What new and empowering beliefs would you need to adopt?
Positive and supportive beliefs will put you in a position to expect the best possible outcome. When you change your beliefs, you will change your expectations. When your expectations change, your attitude and consequent behavior changes! Think of someone who could be a mentor to you. This person could be a friend, a parent, a spiritual leader, an author, co-worker, or anyone else who represents those inner resources and qualities that you seek.
What do they believe?
What would he or she advise you regarding your fears and limiting beliefs?
Realize that there is a causal relationship between the beliefs you hold about reality and the real events which seem to be just happening to you! You live out the beliefs you hold and therefore you will seek the evidence to support them!
Ultimately, you are responsible for the changes you make in your life. The good news is that you already have the inner qualities and resources you need the make the changes you want. Choose freedom over fear!