Fear can be a powerful enemy, but also a powerful ally.
A few years ago, I wrote an article here on Dumb Little Man called 6 Deceptively Simple Ways to Conquer Fear.
I still use the tips in that article in my own life.
They work, but still, people have trouble living the life they want to live.
They don’t take action.
They don’t use the tools.
They are more comfortable dwelling and complaining than moving on. Through living life, I’ve found 6 more ways of overcoming fear.
There are more, but the rest is for you to find and use.
1. Let It Pass
Have you noticed that some thoughts you let pass, while others you cling to like a baby clings to his favorite toys?
Notice what happens when you let all thoughts pass by. Do not identify with them, or give them fuel. Do not even try to get rid of them or push them away. Let them pass, like water running down a beautiful mountain stream.
Thoughts come and go. Problems come and go. Life comes and goes.
This is one of my favorite ways of dissolving fear. Simply welcoming the fear and whatever comes with it.
You may want to push it away, and if you do, just welcome that, too. This is a common practice that I’ve seen used in many spiritual traditions, and also in methods like the Sedona Method.
How do you welcome something? You relax into your fear. You open your imaginary arms, and you allow whatever is to be. You cannot not allow it to be, because it is already there, so you might as well welcome it.
Instead of dwelling on the fear, ask how.
How can you move on with life despite this fear? How can you make this present moment more peaceful? (hint: welcome whatever stops you)
When you ask how, you come up with solutions, instead of excuses.
Experiencing fear does not mean you cannot take action. Everyone has bouts of fear, especially if they are doing something that matters.
Write down what you’re afraid of, and explore the topic. Just freewrite until your mind is completely clear.
Get every thought out of your head onto paper. If you run out of things to say, write “I don’t know what to say.”
If you hate being afraid, you write “I hate being afraid.” Write whatever is on your mind until you cannot write anymore. This may take 5 minutes, or it may take 60 minutes.
When most people are struck by fear, they try to push it away. Instead ask yourself: “What if it was okay to feel what I’m feeling?” Surrender to whatever you’re feeling, and allow it to be there.
This is similar to what we covered in points #1 and #2. The fear in its most primary sense is not fear, it is merely sensations in your body. When those sensations arise you label them as fear.
And then you have more thoughts about the label, which puts you in a tailspin toward self-destruction.
6. What If?
What if you let your fears control you?
What would your life look like in 5, 10, or 20 years?
What if you faced your fears and went after what you truly wanted?
How would that change your life?
Write down the answers to these questions, and you may save yourself a lot of regret down the line. In the end, fear is a part of our existence, just as joy is, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a passionate life.
It is not the world that causes you fear, but your reactions to it—your thoughts about what you think the world is.