17 Dec Fear-Driven Living
It is not uncommon in therapy to hear that people are living a fear-driven life. Our present culture perpetuates fear in the media through imagery, sensational headlines and terrifying news reports, in turn promoting a fear-driven society.
This fear tendency is actually very common and we can see it in ourselves almost every day. All our fears are rooted in the stories or social constructs that we choose to believe in. When we get stuck in negative stories, this tendency tends to perpetuate itself each time we allow it to manifest in us.
Most of our fear arises in the same way – subtle and unsuspecting. It starts with one fearful thought, which leads to another and another. Before you know it, it has taken on a life of its own. If we are not careful or have very poor self-awareness, this type of habit can literally create panic in us.
What is a fear-driven life?
It is a way of living where thoughts, decisions and actions are predominantly motivated by fear. This may be fear of death, fear of loneliness or abandonment, fear of poverty or fear of pain.
What is the impact of a fear-driven life?
The more fearful we are, the more we feel a need to gain control over life. This may present itself through trying to control our environment, the people in it and nature itself so as to avoid death, loneliness, poverty, uncomfortable feelings and pain of all kinds.
What do we know about fear?
The emotional and psychological response of fear can paralyze us into inaction. It can numb our emotions and thoughts, resulting in poor decisions and judgments. It impairs our insights. Any decision that is made out of fear tends to lead to more fear and isolation.
What can we do about fear-driven living?
The good news is that we can change this tendency simply by increasing our self-awareness through mindfulness. The sooner we note this tendency as it arises in us, the easier it is to stop it or replace it with a more positive and holistic approach to living. When we do this repeatedly, we eventually loosen the power that fear has over us.
Suggestions On How To Release Fear
“Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are.”
Acknowledge your fears.
We tend to spend a lot of time and effort distracting ourselves from our fears. Practice mindfulness and become self-aware. Allowing yourself to be in the present and taking note when fear arises makes it easier to stop it or replace it with something more positive and wholesome.
Confront your fear.
Get to know the depth of what needs to be healed and recognize where your fear is coming from. Next time you are making a fear-driven decision or taking a fear-driven action, take a few deep breaths and confront your fear by asking yourself: “what is it that is coming up for me? “what am I afraid of?” “why am I afraid of this?” This will help you to start breaking down unhelpful stories or beliefs. Confronting our fear is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, even when we know it is good for us.
Move away from control.
Make an effort to move away from control and manipulation and move towards strengthening the sense of knowing and trusting your inner truth.
Replace your fear.
When you recognize the presence of your fear, chose to replace it with a calming mantra or affirmation, such as: “I chose to fill myself with love” or “I chose to feel peace.” Stay committed to creating a new narrative for yourself.
Feed positive thoughts.
Remember that the thoughts that you feed are the ones that will remain with you. Next time you are grappling with a fear based thought and a positive and/or more truthful one remember to feed the thought you would like to believe.
Make falling in love with yourself a priority!
Your feelings of happiness and self-worth must come from within. You are only setting yourself up for upset and hurt if your self-worth and self-esteem are dependent on another person’s actions, thoughts and/or feelings.
Creating new stories and new beliefs take time and energy. So be patient and recognize that self-awareness is the first step towards releasing fear.
Live YOUR life!