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How to Stop Letting Fear Win

January 11, 2021 8 min read

How to Stop Letting Fear Win

This is a guest post written by Haydn Dinsdale.

 

The "be, do, have" concept

If you have spent any time in the self development space you have almost certainly heard the term: Be, Do, Have.

It is a simple concept yet its profundity cannot be overstated.

The idea of Be, Do, Have suggests that to have the results you desire in life, you must do the deeds that need to be done - by first being the person who does such deeds.

Confused?

Stay with me (confusion is a pre-requisite for clarity).

Your experience of life is not reality itself, rather, it is an organised distraction of reality - a subjective experience felt only by you in a vast sea of more than 7 billion other organised distractions of Reality...

And this is only referring to the current number of human experiences taking place in this very moment!

It does not take into consideration the billions of people who have experienced life and since passed, nor does it factor in the incomprehensible number of realities experienced by living creatures of different forms.

Why do I say this?

Because when we get curious about how real reality is, we set the stage to challenge the truth of all of our beliefs.

Okay, but how does this tie into the Be, Do, Have model?

Because our beliefs fundamentally influence our being, i.e., who we Be.

And at the most basic level, who we be/who we believe we are, lays the foundations for (and largely drives) what we Do.

Subsequently, it is what we do is that creates the life that we Have (actions tend to create reactions).

 

Who we believe we are

For now, allow me to bring your awareness to a key part of a sentence above which you may not have given much consideration: who we believe we are.

This is a game-changer!

Why?

Because a belief is something that wedeem to be true.

A belief isn't necessarily something that is true, therefore, who we believe we are isn't necessarily the Truth about who we actually are.

Make sense?

Something that we as people are typically good at doing is buying into our own beliefs and treating them as truths - particularly beliefs pertaining to Self concept, i.e., "I am a hard-worker," "I am a party-girl," "I am a family-man," "I am a hopeless-romantic," "I am a gym-junkie," I am a neat-freak," "I am an indie-chick." "I am a data-nerd," and so on.

Andas important as having a sense-of-identity is for our sense-of-belonging, what tends to happen is as we build and strengthen the identity, we also build and strengthen a confine for the mind.

The very nature of an identity carries with it implicit rules and guidelines, thus influencing an individual to act in accordance with (their perception of) those implicit rules and guidelines, which is done in order to uphold the identity, i.e., being consistent and congruous so that our Social concept (how we believe others perceive us) and Self concept (how we perceive ourselves) match.

A quick thought experiment

Close your eyes for a few moments and bring to mind the image of a, "Nice Guy."

Once you've got it, open your eyes and answer the following questions:

What is his name?

What does he look like?

What type of clothes is he wearing?

What type of car does he drive?

How does he sit?

How does he speak?

How does he handle confrontation?

How does he spend his time?

Where would you find him on a Sunday afternoon?

Now bring to mind to image of a, "Bad Boy," and run through the same questions.

What did you notice?

Perhaps one wore a collared shirt and drove a Prius, and the other wore ripped denim and rode a Harley.

Whatever the difference between the two characters may have been for you is not of great importance.

What is worthy of note, however, are the rules and guidelines you automatically assigned to each concept (Nice Guy vs. Bad Boy).

 

The power of our subconscious mind

So, with that exercise fresh in your mind, ask yourself this question:

Am I unconsciously carrying out behaviours in order to maintain my identity?

If you didn't answer yes, I'll save you the trouble of thinking too hard about it - the answer is YES.

You see, people have very little problem acting in alignment with the labels that they believe they are, i.e., an athlete will train, a chef will cook, an artist will create, a drinker will drink, and so on.

On the other hand, people will face much more resistance (internally and externally) when it comes to acting out of alignment with the labels that they believe they are, i.e., a vegan would struggle to eat meat, a rebel would struggle to obey an authority figure, an atheist would struggle to pray to a god.

The fact of the matter is that we largely make our way through life in the passenger seat of a vehicle that is driven by the subconscious mind, and how the driver has been trained to think and act determines the quality of the ride.

Okay, so here are the two key points I want to make sure are fully understood before moving on to fear;

  • Who we believe we are, both consciously and unconsciously, informs what we do, which informs the life results/experience of reality that we have.
  • Who we believe we are, both consciously and unconsciously, informs what we don't OR won't do (based on the rules we have in place for the identity/character we play), which informs the life results/experience of reality that we have.

 

What is fear?

Let's take a look at the literal definition of fear.

Fear: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

There are two things to consider here;

  1. The meaning of the word, anticipation.
  2. The meaning of the word, danger.

To anticipate something is to see it as aprobable event, or in other words, to expect it.

To feel a sense of danger is to feel vulnerability or exposure to harm or risk.

The fear we feel is always anticipatory, meaning that it is felt about something in the future, either immediate or distant, that may or may not even come to be a reality.

The 'danger' we fear is seldom a physical pain, rather, it is an emotional pain which webelieve we'll feel if an undesirable outcome is realised.

Not sure what I mean?

Take a look at these common fears;

  • Fear of Judgment
  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Not Being Enough
  • Fear of Not Being Loved
  • Fear of Being Alone

None of these fears necessarily imply physical pain, if anything, non-physicality tends to serve asmore of a fear motivator, i.e., the threat (perceived danger) of not feeling loved or connected with another; feeling rejected by others.

What we fear isn't so much a thing as it is a feeling.

Isn't that interesting?

Allow me to offer an example.

A surface fear may be: losing a job and not knowing how else to make money.

A deeper fear may be: feeling rejected by the boss, feeling judged by friends, or feeling like a failure in comparison to a self-imposed expectation.

 

The root of all fears

Ah! Here is a pearl of wisdom for you...

The size of the fear is often enlarged by the size of self-judgement.

Our reluctance to realise our fears is increased when doing so would serve as confirmation for the negative or unsupportive beliefs we hold about ourselves.

In case you just skimmed over the last sentence, I highly recommend reading it again so that it has a chance to properly sink in.... read it slowly.

Did you make the connection to the first part of the article?

I hope so - I really did drill down on it.

If not, allow me to clarify.

Your Identity is who youbelieve you are.

Your Self-worth is what youbelieve you deserve (or what your Identity deserves).

And what you actually fear is experiencing an outer world that directly reflects what you believe the least desired parts of your inner world deserve... because then you'd have to feel a certain way about it (based on the rules you have in place for that Identity).

So, let's take a look at a surface fear to get a better understanding of how this works, I'll use the surface fear of public speaking to illustrate the point.

People don't tend to fear speaking when there is certainty of an outcome, particularly if they perceive the outcome to be pleasurable or desirable for them.

Think about it, when was the last time you tried to order a meal at your favourite restaurant but couldn't bring yourself to say anything to the person at the counter?

Probably never, right?

Why?

Because youknew that you could do it (you've most likely ordered food many times before), so there was an element of certainty (which is a core need) to it.

Also, your Self-worth was most likely not directly attached to whether or not your order could be accommodated.

If ordering a meal at a restaurant is essentially public speaking, then what specifically is it about public speaking that is so fear-inducing for some?

The fear of public speaking is typically a fear about being seen, judged and rejected for not being good enough in some way, i.e., smart enough, funny enough, articulate enough, respected enough, etc.

This begs the question - Enough for what?

When you ask this question you begin to uncover what the deeper fear is.

And what you invariably find is that beneath the Fear of Not Being Enough is the Fear of Not Being Loved (or Accepted).

Whoa... Heavy!

So, the subconscious sequence that leads to the surface fear of public speaking looks something like this;

  1. If I speak in front of all of those people I am going to be exposed (to danger)
  2. If I don't speak well enough - I will be judged
  3. If I don't speak well enough - I will be rejected
  4. If I don't speak well enough - I will be a failure
  5. If I'm a failure - I deserve to be judged
  6. If I'm a failure - I deserve to be rejected
  7. If I'm a failure - I don't deserve love or acceptance, or worse, I deserve to have love/acceptance taken away from me

If you have ever had something you deeply love taken away from you you'll understand that last one.

 

The surest way to overcome fear

Okay, let's wrap all of this up into a neat little package so that I can go surfing (seriously, the conditions are perfect right now) and you can take what you've learnt and use it in your life to stop letting fear win.

The surest way to overcome fear is to give yourself that which you seek (or that which you fear losing from others).

Love and Acceptance, baby!

Acceptance is the seed of the tree that is Love.

So, to support your journey of unconditional love, practice becoming aware of all of your judgements.

By becoming aware of that which you judge within yourself you begin setting the stage for Acceptance.

And when you truly unconditionally Accept yourself, then the Fear of Judgement ceases to exist.

Why?

Because Fear of Judgementis Self-judgement.