Fear is real when experienced, and the bodily sensations that accompany fear leave us stuck in debilitating responses and self-sabotaging attitudes towards life.
Our body will send messages either through a contraction felt in the pit of our stomach or a sense of trembling. We might also physically shake, get sweaty or even experience a fast heart–beat in our chest.
There are also other fears that are more discreet, and they do not surface until we get to understand the things we are trying to control or trying to avoid in our life. These types of fears are clever because they do not reveal themselves until we do some self-reflection.
Conflict: For many of us, the fear of conflict is enough to prevent us from being authentic to our own needs. We might not express or act on our desires, in full knowing that this could lead to some conflict.
Inherently children get nervous by conflict, as they are closer to understanding that “love” should be the natural base point for human beings. When a child experiences something other than love, they become afraid of conflict. As sub fears of this, we might also become afraid to speak up, afraid to be visible, afraid of attention, and even afraid to be ourselves!
Approval: Fear of disapproval is very strong amongst women in particular, and often comes from a childhood in which we recognised that our survival was based on the elders, teachers, parents, and authority-figures around us.
This fear is very subtle and affects us by stopping us from speaking against the status quo and often prevents us from being adventurous. As sub fears of this main branch we end up becoming afraid to make mistakes, afraid to take risks, afraid to rebel, afraid of criticism, afraid of rejection, afraid of humiliation, and we become afraid to be alienated.
Unknown: We are often afraid of the unknown too, as we are creatures of habit that tend to get attached to familiar circumstances. As life is constantly changing, this fear of the unknown can be very disorientating, since it will be constantly asking us to control our life to the extent we can, or avoid hidden perceived dangers.
The biggest fear under the umbrella of the unknown is the fear of death, and thus the fear to be ill, the fear to be hurt, the fear of threats, the fear of our physical survival needs not being met, fear to not have enough, fear to be poor and of course the fear to be alone.
Many of these fears are generational fears coming from our parents…for example, if a parent struggled with their education and wealth generation, their own fear of “not having enough” will be inadvertently imposed on the next generation. Or where a parent becomes sick at a young age, the fear of adversity can drive many decisions for their offspring.
Ego: We often have a fear to be a “nobody” and be seen as insignificant. This alone causes all our ego drama, and acts as a subtle fear that undermines the way we behave in our interactions with others.
As I have journeyed through my own exploration, the most surprising have been fears that I could not have imagined possible. Take for example the fear of success, because this leads to attention and if you have a fear to be visible, we would automatically become afraid of success.
Unbelievable as it might sound, we are also afraid of joy and our own light! Transforming these fears leads to our expansion and a dissolution of all the things that our ego thrives on by complaining. Thus ultimately there is a fear of our own greatness.
As Marianne Williamson famously quoted, it is our magnificence that scares us most! There are sub fears that hide under this main fear, such as the fear to trust ourselves, fear to shine, fear to be fully responsible for our lives, and fear of leadership.
Our Greatest Fear — Marianne Williamson
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
The advantages of transforming fears
Although fears appear very real, I have also seen that if we muster up some courage to face them “head on”, we can through heightened consciousness transform the fears irrevocably out of our life.
As the fears get transformed they turn into light. The same energy that was otherwise being utilized as fear and keeping us stuck in anxiety, and worry suddenly frees itself to give us wings for our creativity and our flight into the unknown sky of wonder and excitement!
I guess this in many ways explains why young children appear fearless, since the wonder and excitement is more their natural reset point, rather than the idea of a harsh and tough world in which they need to protect themselves.
Their innocence keeps them away from the destructive folly of fear, and they know how to play to their hearts content.
This is the ultimate benefit for adults, since eradication of fear reunites us with our innocence and we begin to cherish life in deeper ways than we have become accustomed to otherwise experience.
Situational or Personal- both types can be transformed.
Fears can be situational as well as personal. We could be afraid of heights or afraid of needles- situational, but also afraid to trust ourselves- personal.
Our personality may have an attitude that drives some of the fears, for example being afraid to surrender, and being afraid of “not” being in charge/control, are symptoms of a certain personality type. This type of person tends to be the boss in life, and thus has the deepest fears, since the need to control comes from a lack of trust in life.
Such a person becomes more free flowing with life and able to be more spontaneous as they transform their fears.
A more timid personality might be afraid of being rushed, afraid of being judged, afraid of being bullied. This type of person finds more of their internal strength by transforming their fears. They become more liberated to actually lead, and become more decisive and rooted in confidence as a result of dis-identifying from their fears.
Both situational fears and personal fears can be transformed in the same way, and every time a fear is individually transformed, our larger world becomes more inviting and pleasing.
The consequences of playing small, leads to an unfulfilled stressed out life. In order to be fulfilled, we are continuously being driven to use the challenges of our lives as opportunities to transform these fears, so that we might initiate changes that help us to have a renewed relationship with life.
I am forced to contemplate on an obvious question. Why is it, that instead of accepting the uncertainty of life, and the insecurity of knowing that everything changes, we fall into wanting to control the limited life that we recognize?
Why do we make attempts to “hold on” and stay attached to what is familiar? Why do we seek power, when we can never know what is yet to be revealed? The unknown is unknowable. Every moment is mysterious. So what is the fuss that we are all making?
It appears that it is the ego’s fear of joy and our “beyond measure power in just being ourselves” that seems to drive this undercurrent of dissatisfaction in us as human beings.
If we were to let go- and accepted the fear that “all we know is this present moment”, the future and associated worries about what will unfold, would automatically fall way. Ambition would disappear, and a simpler, more ordinary and effortless life would unfold, that knows to trust the new.
In the present moment, whatever the case, we would accept and respond to whatever flows. In the present we are ALWAYS fine, particularly if we have learnt how not to be identified with our emotions…and have adjusted to use the present moment to learn something about ourselves.
With meditation and other more profoundly deeper techniques we can maintain our peace in the present moment.
Our emotions are usually a reflection of imagined fears about the future…in the present, nothing is disturbing, if accompanied with a neutral observing response. It is “what it is”, and nothing more, and nothing less. If we trusted the moment, we would be calm and undisturbed, and grounded in our presence.
Our individual identity begins to lose power in such a scenario, and yet our “being” knows that we have limitless creativity to tackle the present moment in whatever way is necessary. This is how the real juice out of life is truly extracted.
Up to now my most meaningful moments of transformation have come with the assistance of Mada Eliza Dalian (a modern day mystic and an ancient soul), who has shared her ancient wisdom through her ingenious Dalian Method.
She has expedited my understanding and journey of heightened self-awareness, and broken my links with so many old fears that persisted to disrupt my old life.
Fortunately the Self Healing Dalian Method, her “at home gift” to humanity, is a profoundly effective tool at breaking the identifications with fear and emotions and at heightening our self-awareness.
The best part of all is that this liberating tool can be used on our own, at our own discretion, in the privacy of our own space. True empowerment!
Accessing our consciousness is the same as accessing our unconditional love. Transforming anything that is unconscious in our personality is our responsibility and a joy giving process.
I urge all of us to muster up a little courage to face our fears, and learn how to transform them. They hide many amazing gifts that we all deserve to see unfold.