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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body, and Soul > Articles

The Nature of Fear: Understanding Fear and its True Purpose
by Santi Meunier

We have all known fear. For some of us fear is a constant companion, the underlying force in our lives that keeps us feeling "stuck" or "safe" as the case may be. Sometimes it has saved us from entering into a dangerous situation. Other times it may have prevented us from pursuing something that could have been a life-changing opportunity. Fear can keep us from boarding airplanes, from falling in love, from asking for a raise, and perhaps the saddest of all, from fulfilling our true purpose here in this lifetime.

Fear insinuates itself into our emotional fiber, so the more power we give to it the more it demands. It speaks to us constantly, a catastrophic song about one thing or another, and we continue to listen.

What is this thing "fear" that lords over us, calling the shots and robbing us of our peace of mind? Who or what is it that speaks? Is it us? Are we the voice of fear? It can certainly feel like that sometimes.

Before we can begin to free ourselves from the grip of fear and its negative effects, we need to understand the true nature of fear. In the beginning, we were given instincts to help us survive. We had a heightened sense of our environment so that we could nourish ourselves and procreate. As time went on we became more dependent upon machines and technology for our quality of life and survival. As a result, our instincts and senses diminished and our mental processes strengthened. As we became more and more identified with our minds as our source of supply and safety, our thoughts and emotions carried more weight. Fear shifted its focus from our instinctual nature to our emotional nature.

It is the imbalance of our emotions that create toxic levels of fear. We strengthen what we focus on. The more attention we give to fear the stronger it gets. The key to overcoming the debilitating affects of fear is to bring our emotional, instinctual and spiritual natures into balance and harmony.

Thankfully, there is another way to experience life that leads to a new freedom and happiness If you are sick and tired of being afraid, here are 3 simple steps to begin to free yourself from fear.

  • Identify the fear
    What am I afraid of and why?
    It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
    Write or speak your fear. Bring it out into the open-expose it.
    Example: I am afraid of asking for a raise.
    Why? "I don't think my boss likes me."

  • Disassemble the fear
    Make a plan of action that is in direct opposition to your fear.
    Instead of reacting to what we fear, form an action that is based on what we desire.

    Example: I want a raise. It does not matter how my boss feels about me. What matters is: Am I willing to act on my desire regardless of how fearful it may be?

    If the answer is yes, congratulations, your freedom has begun. Go do it and see how your attitude about fear begins to change.

    If the answer is no, then we have to break the fear down into manageable parts until we reach the desired result.

    Example:

    1. Write an inventory of your job performance over the last year highlighting your strengths and what you have accomplished as a result of them.
    2. Review your weaknesses and what you have done to minimize their affects or to overcome them. Make it impressive. Allow yourself to feel good about what you have done.
    3. Pray for the courage, take a deep breath, and then send it to your boss.
    4. When your boss responds favorably to your evaluation, ask for a raise.

  • Change your relationship with fear
    Why does fear have such a powerful hold over us?

    It has power only if we give it power. You can withdraw it at anytime. Make a declaration that you are in charge of your life, not your fear. You may have fear, but you are not fear. As creative beings we are constantly re-creating ourselves. Unfortunately, many people create what they fear instead of what they want. You do have a choice. When you change your relationship with fear from slave to master, your life begins to change. Action is the key. We must act on what we desire for our highest good and well-being regardless of how afraid we may be.

    The more we take positive action, the less we fear.

Fear does not have to dominate our lives. Take positive action regardless of how fearful you may be. Not only will your life improve and your fears lessen, but your reputation with yourself will soar.

Santi MeunierAbout the Author:
Dr. Santi Meunier is an author and speaker, recognized for her unique style and her ground-breaking strategies for personal and professional growth. Her program, Practical Spirituality for Fearless Living has helped thousands to enrich their lives and realize their dreams. For more information visit www.SantiMeunier.com.

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