OUR FEAR OF FEAR
Hi and welcome back to the Art of Onward!! As our third part of the short series “Conquer Resistance”, we are looking at FEAR. Terrifying word, isn’t it? Read on, and let’s turn this around.
Over the past few months, I have been studying and learning about various ways to deal with pain in a healthy manner, how to build healthy patterns around pain, and that, read closely here now because this was a huge reveal for me -
Our unhealthy patterns where dealing with pain is concerned is more often than not
THE FEAR OF EXPERIENCING PAIN, not the actual pain itself. This means we think we are dealing with pain, but are in reality dealing with the process of AVOIDING the Experience of Pain. (Here, let me encourage you, the human spirit us much stronger when that moment comes than we give it credit for.)
As human beings, we have an innate dislike for pain. And why shouldn’t we? It hurts! It doesn’t feel good, it is PAINFUL.
Extremely straightforward, right? Still, a big reveal. We fall prey to thought tricks that ultimately incur more pain in the long term:
avoid love, because we’ve been hurt before, and our brain is telling us it will happen again, and we must avoid that excruciating pain by any means possible. So, the best way to effectively protect ourselves, is to AVOID. So we somehow choose to isolate that part of our hearts, and don’t fulfill that relationship aspect of our needs in this Human Experience, robbing ourselves of the potentially most fulfilling relationship on our lives. Why? Fear. We avoid pain and the potential of pain, and cause ourselves other types of pain in the process.
give up after disappointment. We’ve worked hard and to the best of our abilities on something we thought should turn out in a certain way, and it didn’t happen. We did everything we could think of, and it just didn’t work out. We are crushed, disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. So we give up, because our nervous system, again, is telling us to avoid those painful feelings at all costs. It is better to give up than to try again.
stay where we’re at, when we know we’d be healthier in a different situation. The fear of the unknown will keep us in locked in to status quo because of this mentality: “Better the Evil you know than the Evil you don’t.” This is NOT TRUE. You know the choices you need to make to nurture a healthier you, in a healthier place, for a healthier path toward your Onward.
A few others:
we don’t ask for help because we’re afraid of a NO response
we don’t accept help because we don’t trust the giver
we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable, keeping our emotional needs locked up and neglected, because we are afraid of what that looks like, or what people will think
In short, we don’t take that LEAP in to the ONWARD, because we’re afraid we’ll trip, stumble, fall, look stupid, feel stupid, fail, crash and burn, hurt someone else, feel lonely when we get there, disappoint ….. in short, that we will cause ourselves to feel PAIN.
We are WIRED to stay where we are, regardless of how unfulfilling or unpleasant it is. It is safe, because we’re there, and our neural patterns accept this acceptable.
We don’t want to stay stuck in the here and now though, do we? Because we’re ALSO wired to grow. What a confusing juxtaposition!
This one’s going to be about perspective. Journey this with me.
FEAR is very useful. It keeps our children safe, because we tell them not to cross the street without looking both ways. Educated FEAR keeps us from hurting ourselves physically: The last time I moved my foot this way I stubbed my toe and bruised it for days. The last time I touched the stovetop it burned me. That one time I didn’t put gas in my tank, I ran out of gas and couldn’t get to where I needed to be. That month I didn’t make enough money, I couldn’t pay my rent on time and ate canned tuna and rice for a week.
In these situations, FEAR IS USEFUL. Nothing at all to be afraid of. This is an EDUCATED FEAR.
RESISTANCE FEAR is different. As we explored above. It is a debilitating fear based on a neural response system we all have within us.
“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
Remember this rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” “The War of Art’ by Steve Pressfield.
BUT, let’s stop being afraid of this fear too! Here’s why:
RESISTANCE FEAR IS OUR FRIEND. Embrace it. Thank it. Listen to it. BUT DON’T OBEY IT.
It is an EXCITING SIGNAL that we must go in to the Onward that we are most afraid of. YES! There is nothing to be afraid of here! This fear is telling us if we do this, there will be growth, there will be change. Oh I know, the Neural Patterns are going NUTS right now, right?
It isn’t the pain that will kill us, it is the avoidance of pain.
It isn’t the fear that will keep us locked in our status quo of discontent, it is our choice to obey it.
Read that again. And then one more time.
“We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? We will lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.
But here’s the trick: We wind up in space, but not alone. Instead we are tapped in to an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consciousness, companionship. Yeah, we lose friends. But we find friends too, in places we never thought to look. And they’re better friends, truer friends. And we’re better and truer to them.” “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
As a result of my experience, I’d like to add this to Pressfield’s inspired words:
We may lose the friends, or family, for a slice. For a moment. But with our tapping in to wisdom, consciousness, companionship, and finding a better version of ourselves, those valuable relationships WILL RETURN, and they will be stronger and truer, and will match your soul’s purpose, strengthening you on your newly expanded level. Trust this process. The ones that matter most, will return. For anyone who does not, as long as you don’t push them toward that decision with emotional cruelty (cuz then that’s on you and your growth will be stunted until you repair the situation as soon as possible), their chapter in your life has come to a close. But like I just said, allow that close to be a gentle turning of the page. Otherwise your own growth will be inhibited. And we want that Onward to continue to progress with as few bumps and side steps as possible.
FEAR is our FRIEND. We don’t need to avoid it, don’t need to fear it. We do need to REDEFINE it.
Fear of Pain is our Enemy. The actual experience of pain (emotional) lasts around 90 seconds. If you go back to the posts on breathing exercises and self talk, you’ll get through that pain when it comes at you. I personally find a combination of both breathing and self talk to be most effective in those moments of emotional onslaught.
Anxiety and Stress are not Fear. They are the result of us obeying Fear. We will look closer at those, and have in previous posts, you can stroll through if you want to kick start your onward through those in addition to today’s post.