We Were Not Born to Suffer

Overcoming fear is something anyone can learn with guidance.  The problem most of us have is clinging to our worries because we have made them a part of who we are.

What does that mean?

It means that we base everything we do in life on our fears so much that we can’t let them go.  It makes hard choices for us. We allow those concerns to determine what we can and can not do, what we deem safe or risky, or whether or not we are ready for a change in our lives in the form of love, careers, or academics.

Overcoming fear requires being ready to face them.  If you want to let go of fear, but are not prepared to take it head-on then more than likely you’ll experience a failed attempt.

So, how do I become ready to face my fears and overcome them?

Self-awareness and mindfulness are two compelling ways to address fear.  Being aware of what you are afraid of, and why, can help you tremendously in removing fear altogether.  Forcing yourself to be mindful keeps you from focusing on the future or the past, where most of our concerns tend to come from.  The Way of Meditation has an article that I like to refer to often during the ‘dominating fear’ segment of my coaching program.

Awareness is seeing the discovery of mindfulness.  We do not have to dispose of or keep the contents of our mind.  The precision of mindfulness could be left as it is because it has its own environment, its own space.  We do not have to make decisions to throw it away or keep it as a treasure.  thus awareness is another step toward the choicelessness in situations.

Becoming acquainted with your fear is another powerful method working alongside awareness and mindfulness.  Read a book that’s about your fear, talk to someone about it, use a therapist or a life coach who specializes in conquering fear. There is so much material available on all topics.  Reading about your fear can open new opportunities on how to face it and crush it.  Reading inspirational, motivational, and self-development books can help as well. Sometimes meeting something alone is the most fearful thing of all. If you need additional help, someone to guide you, or you work better with a structured program to follow, then a therapist or life coach is an excellent option.  More often than not, the idea of talking to someone can be a little scary too, especially friends and family.  We all have been guilty at least once of holding something in because we didn’t want someone to look at us differently because of how we feel.  We don’t want to see their reaction to what we tell them.  How do trained professionals differ from the average person?  There are no judgements, assumptions, or biases.  Life coaches approach your unique situation with fresh eyes and optimism.  You are encouraged to tell your account of life as you know it, and help is provided in finding all the hidden truths in that story. Life coaches are there to shed light on things not so easily seen or understood.

Counteractions can help in the meantime while on the journey to managing your fears or while searching for a coach or mentor.  Keeping a positive mind is hard to do at times even for the most skilled. Sometimes we need to feel and understand the negative thoughts we are having to address other issues and stay in constant awareness of ourselves.  Thinking positively can be done in the form of flipping a negative thought to a positive one or in choosing to focus on gratitude.  If you are afraid of standing before colleagues to deliver a presentation, instead focus on ending the presentation successfully, gaining the praise of your peers. If you are afraid of the first day of a new job, instead be grateful for the opportunity of a fresh start, new co-workers, and the possibility of making new connections. You’ll be surprised at how just a little manipulation to a negative thought can go such a long way in your mindset as a whole.

Releasing control is something I’ve struggled with myself yet, now, I embody it throughout my life daily.  I control what I can and quickly release the need to control what I can’t.  I have been a creature of habit and found so much peace in consistency, but I had to learn to change things up a bit to survive life’s eclecticism.  You can do this too! Everything seems hard until we dive in.  Seeing fantastic results is motivation to keep going.  The initial jump is the scariest.

Ask yourself what you have to lose by addressing your fears and refusing to let them run your life and make choices for you.  If everything you have to lose is something negative that life would be so much better without, then what are you waiting for?  Take a bold step and face your fears head-on. Only YOU can change your life.

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love.  When we are afraid, we pull back from life.  When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.  We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.  If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.  Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.     -John Lennon

From “You Were Not Born to Suffer” by Blake D. Bauer

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Image retrieved from Deviant Art https://www.deviantart.com/your-heart-is-pure

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