5 Ways to Overcome Your Fears

woman leaping to another rock

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.

5 Tips to Become More Giving

angel holding a person's hand

Forgive me that I surmise most people are selfish most of the time. After all, who is really 100% giving without having a hidden agenda. This agenda might even be hidden from themselves. Athony De Mello’s book Awareness drives this point home well throughout the classic.

Saying that, are there ways to becoming a more giving person? Yes, and similar to most worthy endeavors, it takes discipline and practice. Can we change our hearts? Well, we can change our actions, which can lead to a change of heart. Lets discuss five ways we can improve this department of our lives.

1. Wake up and remind yourself of a purpose. Do you know a purpose in life? What about helping others somehow? What if you could leave this Earth knowing that you were supportive and giving towards family, friends, and others? I have to check-in during the morning through prayer or meditation to remind myself why I’m alive. I ask God to help me direct my thoughts and actions towards helping others. Since I believe in an all-loving God, never punishing, I can rest in the faith I am being assisted in my desire to do the right thing throughout today.

2. You don’t have to always give BIG stuff. You can practice giving little things. By the way, what may seem little in the moment can have a lasting, transformative effect on someone. If you pay someone a compliment, such as, “I appreciate how you are supportive of me”, that person may never forget that compliment and it may allow him or her to open their hearts and support others in their life. This is the rippling effect of our spiritual universe. There is always more than meets the eye.

3. Make tithing a part of your life. Tithing, or charitable giving, is a philosophy adhered to for thousands of years by different religions and spiritual aspirants. You might be amazed what happens to your financial life when you start regularly giving a certain percentage of your income to others. People swear they have become more abundant financially by initiating this process of giving. After all, money is just another form of energy. If you give it in a loving way, the universe pays you back in spades. The Universe, or God, is a process of love.

4. Give more in the work place. How much do you give at your job? You can examine or even ask your supervisor what tasks you perform that are most important. Maybe you can start giving more in the areas that are really important to your organization. Again, you will initiate a loving response in the form of more self-confidence and probably promotions.

5. Pay attention to people around you. Instead of getting absorbed in your phone or computer when you’re in a crowd, why not pay attention to your fellow human beings and see if anyone is hurting? Is there a way you can start a conversation with someone who looks depressed? Can you pay them a compliment? You may be the bright spot of their day and you’ll be filled with gratitude once you realize you are helping someone. It’s amazing how little we pay attention to others around us. Always try to remember that EVERYONE wants to be loved. It is universal. Knowing this, figure out a way to love or become giving towards someone today.

These are five tips that can help get the process initiated towards a more giving experience. Everyone benefits in a more giving world, but unfortunately we are often consumed by our own fears and we succumb to selfish behaviors. Just remember, you are not alone. Everyone struggles with selfishness at times and this is why it takes practice to enact steps such as these on a consistent basis.

In addition, even if we don’t feel totally giving in our hearts, we can still take the action of giving and our heart will eventually come around. Sometimes action, not thought, must come before we can authentically change on a lasting basis. It is important to consider a morning routine such as prayer or meditation before we start the day because we often wake up grouchy or selfish by default. This morning sanctuary of space allows us to calibrate towards a benevolent intention.

Going Into the Space of No Mind

buddhist monk meditating on mountainWhen considering a state of extreme bliss or enlightenment, one obviously wants to know the pathway towards such a state. How can we grab bliss or enlightenment? Is it something that can be understood or is it as Jesus suggested, “a peace that passeth all understanding”? I’ll discuss possible pathways towards bliss and enlightenment while considering past spiritual teachers and philosophies, which have brought us to this point in history.

Can Positive Thinking Achieve the Goal?

In the past, many metaphysical teachers such as Emmet Fox, Joel Goldstein, Louise Hay, and others have stressed the amazing power of positive thinking and the boundless possibilities when this disciplined method is employed. As wonderful and potent as directed positive thinking may be, it may not accomplish what we desire the most.

For example, looking in the mirror and stating, “I am beautiful, healthy, strong, young, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy,” can be transformative and produce new levels of self confidence and self love. This is a wonderful result, but not the ultimate freedom of bliss.

I surmise that most of us want authentic peace as much as any other goal during our lifetime. After all, billions are spent on psychotherapy and other modalities in search of that elusive, peaceful existence.

What thoughts could I think to achieve peace or bliss? One could suggest thinking serene thoughts and subjects that induce joyous emotions. This can work on the emotional level and supercharging yourself with emotional joy can produce powerful results in work and even physical healing. Knowing this from personal experience, I also realize these achievements were temporary and fleeting when considering the entire timetable of one’s lifetime and human history.

What could be more sustainable and possibly long lasting when considering these higher spiritual states?

Entering No Mind

Some Buddhist writings and other Easter religions have sometimes described states of deep meditation as a space of “no mind”. This is related to moments of inner stillness in which the thought stream actually ceases to exist. Is this really possible?

I’ve also attended meditation classes where a teacher says it is impossible to completely shut off the monkey mind so we learn to detach from our thoughts and become a “witness” as they stream by our consciousness as if one was witnessing a movie. This is a helpful and healthy method of living and meditating, but it is not accurate to claim thoughts cannot cease to occur.

We can enter a state of no mind with patience while meditating. For some, it may not occur soon enough, but I assure you with patient practice you can experience a timeless state of no mind. This is a state of bliss and it defies explanation that can be achieved using language. This is why Jesus said, “a peace that passeth all understanding”. After all, how can you accurately describe a state of no thought? It is paradoxical to think a state of no thought could achieve such felicity because our society is so outer-directed towards goals, which can only be recognized by the five senses.

I recently heard a reading reference stated that looking outward at anything is a dream, but looking inwards is reality. This is a powerful statement and I believe it brings us closer to the truth of reality. Therefore, inner spaces of no thought are sanctuaries and God consciousness. We can’t grab God, we can’t find God, but God simply is. God can be found in no thought or absolute stillness.

One way to start achieving no mind is by intensely following your natural breathing cycle while sitting in meditation. Once you notice you’re thinking, just bring it back to the feeling of air moving in and out of your nose as you breathe comfortably. This disciplined focus will result in moments of no thought, which automatically results in healing energy being released throughout your body and mind. You don’t have to “do” anything. You are only resting in absolute stillness, which is a space of no thought.

After experiencing these periods of no thought, you will realize how seldom you experience real bliss and total relaxation. Obviously, the longer we can sit in these periods of no thought, the more our life will unfold with natural ease and patience.

I am grateful for experiencing these periods at times, but strive for more consistency like most of us.