(NaturalNews) As a former mental health counselor and practicing life coach for over 20 years, I've had a peculiar view of people. While so many appear confident and together on the outside, behind-the-scenes most people struggle with fears and conflicts that wreak havoc in their lives.
Helping others through their fears is an ongoing privilege, but nothing compares to working through my own deep-seated fears with the help of coaches and mentors. In fact, I believe fear is our greatest teacher. Nothing is so humbling as being afraid. It can paralyze the strongest man on earth and disrupt the most expertly laid plans. Fear can drive the most reasonable among us to the brink of insanity and, essentially, ruin your life on almost every level if you allow it.
Fear is powerful and should be respected
This is why healing approaches that promise to "eliminate fear" or "banish anxiety forever" are ludicrous. Eliminating these valuable emotions would require removal of sections of your brain. Yet, for a small fee, you can buy any number of self-help programs that claim to suck the fear right out of you and bullet proof your psyche for life.
I buy these programs all the time, not because I expect to be completely healed of all my fears; I just like to research the personal growth industry and keep up with the latest developments. I am consistently amazed at how carried away marketers tend to become with their claims.
The silliest scam I've ever tried...
...involved going to a practitioner who claimed he could suck a lifetime of negative emotions out of your body through his thumb. You lie down on his table, then, wham! He jams his thumb into your chest and sucks all the emotional pain from your body as if it were some sort of emotional liposuction. You are supposed to leave his office and never feel negative emotions again. I did feel relieved when I left, but only because I was freed from the thumb attack.
Excessive fear can be healed. You can learn to live with great emotional freedom, but the process begins with acceptance of the fear, not an attempt to psycho-surgically remove it. Accept that you are afraid, unconditionally. The first step - always - is to get your feet on the ground. Admit where you are and stop looking for a magic bullet. This is half the battle. Most fears begin to soften when they are accepted, as if sanity finally dawned upon us. Denying fear only makes it worse! So, stop it. If you are afraid of something, you are afraid. Simple. Sane.
Next, go one level deeper to begin to make some sense of it.
There are two kinds of fear: surface fear and deep fear
Deep fears are tied to long-held beliefs or emotionally traumatic events. Surface fears are caused by deep fears. Surface fears often make no sense, rationally. Deep fears always make sense. Surface fears make you feel crazy. Deep fears remind you of your vulnerability. Accepting your surface fear opens your mind to understanding your deep fear. Accepting your deep fear frees you from its grip.
Examples of surface fears that are tied to deep fears:
Jon was terrified of public speaking (surface fear). It drove him nuts because he was intelligent and articulate. He could think of no logical reason to be so afraid.
With some coaching and introspection, he discovered this fear was powerfully tied to multiple experiences of being laughed at on stage during primary school drama performances. He learned to fear public humiliation (deep fear). Suddenly, it all made sense to him. As he worked on healing his deeper fears, he freed his energy and could put his heart into public speaking with little more than common jitters prior to presenting.
Kim was passionate about natural health and aspired to start a health coaching practice. Every time she sat down to write for her website or create a business brochure, she filled with dread, as if she were all alone and about to drown. She reported an irrational fear of writing (surface fear).
Upon deeper reflection, Kim realized how often she was told over her lifetime not to branch out on her own. In fact, the family often criticized her crazy uncle who always had wild ideas, moving from one get-rich-quick scheme to the next. By starting her own business, going against the family tradition of traditional employment, Kim was terrified of being criticized and rejected, like her uncle (deep fear).
Again, deep fears always make sense when they are understood in context. When you tie your surface fear to a deeper fear that makes sense, it is very likely that you will find a productive way to deal with it. When things make sense, solutions are forthcoming.
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