In his book, Power through Constructive Thinking, Emmet Fox speaks of the “Bogeyman Downstairs”. This is an accurate metaphor representing 99% of our fears. In other words, the imagined fear doesn’t exist in reality. The issue at hand is how to remember this when fear strikes and it strikes often for most of us if we are honest with ourselves. There is a way out by forming more accurate perceptions of reality. The Great Reality is always within, but it’ s often covered up by a lot of B.S. I’ll discuss five simple methods below to overcome these false fears.
Remember Your Past Fears
Try to remember that your fears in the past rarely manifested. What were you afraid of yesterday? Is there a workplace issues that recently frightened you? Did it come true? Were you afraid of something concerning your children or parents? Are they o.k. now? Was your fear true? What about current events and politics? Did something in the news frighten you, which was proven to be false or overblown? Can you start to realize in your heart that most of your imagined fears never came true in the first place? This is a powerful exercise that can begin to place you on the highway of freedom.
Do It Anyway
What if you just chose to take action even if you’re afraid? You’ve heard people talk about walking through their fears and this is a transformative habit to instill once we realize that fear will try and keep us from beginning new projects, forming new attitudes and relationships throughout our lives. Just accept the fact that fear exists and it’s a bogeyman that always tries to prevent you from achieving your best. This fear will always rear its ugly head initially when accepting a new challenge or venture. Be ready for it and do it anyway.
Get the Fear on Paper
Write it down. Personally, I’m beginning to write everything down including my plan for the day, fears, etc. I simply cannot figure out things most of the time when trying to meander my way through a cacophony of thoughts and perceptions. Getting it on paper removes a certain weight and sets it upon a different shade of light. Try not to fool yourself into thinking you can make accurate decisions without analyzing it on paper at times. You will be surprised at the clarity produced just through the act of writing. Many time management experts have preached this method for years and it still holds true today.
Discuss Your Fear with Another Person
Similar to writing down your fears and analyzing them on paper, discussing your fear honestly with another person is a sure way to overcome it most of the time. There is a miracle that occurs just by offloading your worry or fear onto another person who immediately sees it a little differently. You are often surprised when another person shared their thoughts on your fear and you suddenly have a break-through and realize you don’t perceive things accurately. I remember being offended initially when I shared a health problem with a couple of friends because I didn’t feel they displayed a strong reaction to my predicament. It occurred to me later that it’s possible they knew in their hearts that my health issue wasn’t all that serious, but it was very dramatized in my own mind. They gave me a lighter perspective and it helped me tremendously to realize they were viewing it from a more accurate perspective. I wasn’t going to die from this issue so why dramatize it! Is it any wonder that mental health therapists are in strong demand?
You Are Not Your Mind
The Buddhists speak of detachment often and this philosophy touches upon the wisdom of thought detachment. When detaching from our thoughts, we can view them as a different entity than our deeper, true selves. “Oh, look there are thoughts of fear and failure going through my mind right now. I’ve seen this show before…” How about, “there are some real thoughts of resentment traveling through me right now, but I don’t have to act on those thoughts…”. This is the process of becoming more integrated with our true selves and watching the outer chaos as a fan watches a sports game. We don’t have to participate in the drama or craziness. Instead just notice it and continually let it go. Notice it, and let it go….For the rest of our lives we can practice this process.