How to fear less?
Ever tried to contain a wild horse?
Ehh, not exactly the most peaceful of experiences.
Fear works in many similar ways.
If you constrict under fear, lots of damage can be done. Not only can it paralyze you completely, but it actually (and this has happened before) can take you completely out of the game of life. It can rip you off the field and keep you in the stands watching everyone else participating.
That’s not the life you want to live…
Experientially avoiding your emotions is a surefire way to create a mental prison that will do far more damage than good.
What ends up happening?
One of the worst things that can possibly happen…
You become numb and disconnected from your emotions.
It happens to all of us from time to time when we go through some pretty bad experiences, but we must always return back to center.
If we don’t, and we stay in this numb state, it prevents us from connecting with others and most importantly, ourselves.
How can you start to work with fear instead of run from it, cast it away, or try to block it out completely?
One of the best tips I have on this is to see how much space you can give the emotion.
Ok this is going to take a minute for some context.
Most people, when experiencing negative emotions (I would throw fear under that umbrella) will try to do something with it because it’s “icky.” They want to manipulate it, throw it away, run from it, bury it and do anything they possibly can with it besides truly experience it.
And that’s where the magic is…
How can you experience this emotion without letting it completely overwhelm you?
How can you give this emotion enough space to play, acknowledge that it is indeed happening…
And here’s the second piece of magic…
Can you ask yourself, “What else is here in this moment?”
“What else is here?”
You are far more complicated and amazing to simply have one emotion define you completely. If you really take the time to get curious about what you are experiencing and start asking questions, you’ll come to find that there may be a slew of other emotions at play as well.
There of course may be fear, but there may be doubt…which may lead to desire…which may lead to feelings of loneliness…love…you never really know until you follow the trail behind fear.
But you have to give the emotion the space first to play.
Then, you can start searching for what else is there in that moment. What you will come to find is that “a piece of you is in fear.”
Just a piece.
And there are many many pieces to your pie.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project