Fear, to overcome fear, is something that each person has to deal with, so remember that you are not alone when you battle against this archenemy of us all.
"Having courage does not mean we do not feel fear; it means we do not let the feeling of fear stop us".
So how does one overcome fear?
If we take a look at the nature of life itself, we can gain much understanding about fear and how fear works. If we look at the animal kingdom, it is clear that mostly all creatures big and small have something to fear. Many animals are part of a food chain and are therefore hunted by some other animal that is usually bigger and faster than they are. Therefore most animals live in a constant state of being on the look out for a possible predator. Even if they might seem quite content one moment, in an instant of being frightened they can snap into fight or flight mode, either attempting to fight off their attacker of try to escape it’s grasp.
This observation is not intended to be morose or morbid, but is an important factor to consider regarding the true nature of the material world that we exist in.
Fortunately for us humans, we do not fall into such a harsh environment as most animals do, yet we have many potential dangers and scenarios both big and small in our day to day lives, which we may or may not perceive as something to fear.
In order to function we trust something, or at least trust that we will be ok and then we are able to take the next step and the next, and the next. For example when we drive in a car, we trust that the car will start, the wheels are all there and the car will drive us safely. A more extreme example might be someone who practices an extreme sport like sky-diving: They need to have a lot of trust and even faith (Faith having a bigger connotation that trust) that their parachute will function properly and they will land safely.
In our complex social lives we may have fears that people will judge us and make fun of us. The fact is that we are all spirits with big hearts and even if there may be judgements of each other, these are coming from our ego thoughts and it is not what is truly in our hearts. Our spirits, our souls are filled with an abundance of love, and this love is filled with trust and faith.
Trust and faith in ourselves, in each other and in the greater energies of the universe, and if you are ok with it if I call this energy, this love in it’s highest form God, then one could say that having trust and faith in love, in God would give each one of us the strength and power from the universe to overcome any fear which we may encounter in life.
I once heard a quote that said: “Courage does
not mean you do not have fear. It means you do not let the fear stop you”. It
is a good thing to contemplate. You see we all have fears…it is just what you
do with it that can differ so much. And in there lies the key to overcome fear.
In short: The way to overcome fear is trust and faith.
And the way to approach fear is firstly to not let it stop you and secondly to face it head on. What is fear anyway? It is but a projection of our minds, a false belief of something, even if the fear stems from a real life experience from the past, it is still held in place as a false belief. So, if and when you are ready to face any fear, in trust and faith and with a prayer in your heart that you will tap into your strength and have the courage that you need, in trust and faith that you will be ok, jump through the fear. And you will be ok every time.
So how do we overcome fear? Well firstly a few words about tools:
Any successful person has tools to help them master their thing in life. For example a good trades person or a dentist will not only have the best tools that they can get, but they will learn how to best use their tools. Similarly intellectual professions have intellectual tools and systems that they use to practice their professions. And the last example for now: top athletes and sports people almost always have the best gear, which can be said to be tools, which help them. I apologize for the extended use of examples here, but this is to emphasize the importance of tools and aids which help us in achieving our goals and dreams and to overcome fear if needed.
The method I will describe here is the method that I use and I find very effective for myself and have observed the same potency for others. There are of course many ways do get the same result, so the importance is to find ways that work best for your self.
The practice of breaking down the fear:
The method in which I practice facing fear is through a form of meditation – by going within myself, in a prayerful mood and focused within, then gradually imagining myself in a typical fearful situation and then just facing it and seeing what happens. As I keep facing the fear, it subsides and loses its grip.
Before starting, I decide the time period that I want to practice for. Typically I would suggest starting with between five and fifteen minutes and in subsequent meditations building to thirty minutes or more if you can. Music can be a great support, companion and which can help to guide one through the fear, so I suggest you find some suitable music and have it ready before you begin. Listening on a headset might create more of an insular feeling, but find what works for you. What is important is that you will not get disturbed by anyone while doing your meditation, so you will need to create privacy. It will also be helpful to have everything you might need like a writing pad and pen or pencil, some Kleenex (tissues), a hand towel and dimmed lighting. When you have your space arranged with everything you may need and you are ready, start by playing your music play-list, close your eyes, go inside of your self, connect to a prayerful feeling or a sense of trust and faith, and start going.
Imagine yourself in a scenario in life where the fear affects you. Without forcing anything just sit there and face it inside of yourself. If at any time it feels too much you can take your hand towel and cover your throat and mouth with moderate pressure, so as to protect your throat and mute the sound, then have a good deep scream into your towel and through the fear. Stay with it, stay strong and focused. Keep going if you feel ok to and if not then stop your endeavor and begin to calm yourself.
No matter how long you practice for, towards the end of your meditation, perhaps the last five to ten minutes, cease your active endeavor of facing fear and start calming. Become as calm as you practically can. Feel yourself and know that you are ok. When you are done open your eyes and come back to the present moment. The main thing to remember is that you will be perfectly fine on the other side and you can bail out at any moment if things get too intense for you at that particular time. You can always try again another time.
In this practice to overcome fear you are actually dealing directly with the fear, which is bothering you in your life and can make great progress very rapidly.
Good luck! and I invite you to write to me if you like to add something or have more questions.