Transforming Fear

Between politics, culture, and social unrest, life and the world we live can feel like it is run by fear—and sometimes these fears derail us. For every choice we face and obstacle we rub up against, it becomes easy to avoid and bury the voice that guides us and listen to the noise around us instead. According to renowned researcher, professor, author and podcaster, Brené Brown, fear can show up in many different ways. Anxiety, jealousy, greed, addiction, eating, drinking, drugs, and rage – are all examples of how fear can show up and/or be expressed. In an interview with Oprah, Brown stated, “I think a central question in this country has been, ‘What am I supposed to be afraid of and whose fault is it?…What am I supposed to fear and who is to blame?’ People buy into it because they feel fear and don’t have the language to attach what it is. The good news is, we’re at a tipping point. I think people are sick and tired of being afraid.” By focusing on and living in the present moment, cultivating a deep connection to Spirit, and learning to trust our own intuition, it is possible to challenge and transform fear. Read these tips on shifting and transforming fear, below.

Resist Avoidance

Think about what you’re fearing most—the biggest, scariest fear…and allow yourself to sit in the discomfort of whatever comes up. When we sit with, soften into, and face our fears instead of avoiding them, we allow ourselves to grieve, accept, and process. Dutch speaker, athlete and breathwork leader/guide, Wim Hof, recently stated, “Fear is a thing you can learn to handle. Go to the fear; face your fear; lean into the fear—and it won’t come to you.”

Change Your Pace

Slow down significantly. Structure a day or carve out part of a day where you can focus solely on yourself and your surroundings. Allow yourself to just be and do what feels best for you in this moment. Leave your cell phone and any other electronics or devices behind. This time is for you and you alone–nothing needs to be accomplished here.

Change Your Place

Switch up your surroundings. If possible, get away from your office or home space and place yourself somewhere new or less familiar. New places incite new perspectives and are less likely to pull us back into the haze of everyday tasks and routines. Give yourself space and quiet—and notice the beauty that arises.

Utilize Mindfulness

Consider meditation and mindfulness practices to recenter your breath and body, reconnect with Spirit, and come back to the present moment. Get to know your “monkey mind” and don’t be surprised or discouraged if you notice how busy your mind becomes when you begin to remove distractions. Try Wim Hof’s 10-minute guided breathwork exercise to focus and find release, or Sarah Blondin’s powerful heart-opening meditation, Fear Unmasked.

Find Your Center

It’s easier to reconnect with your truest self once you’ve quieted your mind and the noise around you. A helpful grounding and reconnective practice could be to place one hand over your heart and one hand over your belly as you sit in stillness. Focus on solely your breath. Try it and notice a deeper connection to self and Spirit.

See the Sacred and Find Magic in the Mundane

Notice and appreciate the immensity and sacredness of all things in existence, while at the same time, ack life’s simplicities and basic needs. Find magic in the mundane need to eat, wash the dishes, sweep the floors, clean the counters, etc.. Is there something beautiful in the day-to-day that you perhaps didn’t see or notice before?

Let Go

Let go of old patterns, others’ expectations, current routines and to-do lists. Let go of all the external minutia. Detach. Float. Trust that Spirit is here to guide you and know that once we’ve faced and processed our biggest fears—there is nothing to be afraid of. Be free and live fully in your power and light.

Know that transforming fear isn’t as easy as “1-2-3”. It can be challenging, messy, and imperfect—as can any large shift or life change, and that’s ok. We’re all afraid, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also be brave. We need to attend to fears and feelings, or risk spending all of our time managing problematic behaviors. If all we do is manage behaviors without digging underneath to deal with the fears and feelings that are driving those behaviors, we won’t see change. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – and the personal growth we experience as a result of this transformation, is worth it.