Fear is one of our greatest enemies. We all have fears: of public speaking, of dying, of pain, of relinquishing control, of experiencing our feelings and of living fully. In addition, an elevated sense of self-importance increases the frequency of other fears: of failure, of unmet desires, of rejection, and of losing prized possessions. Becoming conscious of these fears requires considerable self-reflection. Many fears are held in our subconscious. We are, therefore, not aware of how they negatively impact our lives.
True fear triggers responses that protect us, actions that can save our lives. Illusory fear, which exists only in our thoughts and imagination, often goes by the acronym False Evidence Appearing Real. Both true and false fears can be useful if we understand the reason for their existence.
False fear shows up as worry, anxiety, stress and thoughts about what could go wrong in the future. When you connect with your Higher Self and soul, fearful thoughts fade away. You gain confidence that your decisions are aligned with love, truth and the unity of all that exists. The soul’s guidance might not correspond to society’s rules but rather to your soul’s mission and intent. As I explain in my book Know Your Soul: Bring Joy to Your Life, both the Higher Self and soul can be trusted to do what is needed to acquire greater self-knowledge, accomplish a specific task and contribute to life.
We may view life’s circumstances as unpleasant or fearful. That is because we don’t see the whole picture or have the ability to connect cause and effect. In fact, there are no accidents or mistakes and therefore no reasons to fear. Life is a joyful experience once we trust and surrender to our soul’s guidance and direction.
Your small self — your ego — is frequently frightened, reacting unconsciously to things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. Our ego defends us against feeling painful childhood experiences. We need to replace this immature voice with the more mature voice of our higher self and soul. The Higher Self is closer to the human personality and we connect to it more easily. The soul is focused on the big picture; it is accessible as we evolve. When sense of self derives exclusively from the ego — a split-off particle of the total consciousness — the personality is unable to let go and trust higher powers. This split-off part must be integrated with its source; otherwise, it withers and dies. You can’t embrace a fearless state when your sense of being comes exclusively from your small self’s urges and instincts.
When fear arises, acknowledge it but don’t become engaged. It will pass like every other emotion. Fears arise from thoughts and beliefs we mistakenly assume to be true. Expanding on Dr. Lisa Rankin’s book, The Fear Cure, these misconceptions include:
• Uncertainty is precarious and to be avoided.
• It is impossible to accept the loss of cherished friends, family or possessions.
• It is a dangerous world; control must be maintained.
• I am separate from others, isolated and alone.
These fearful assumptions are merely thoughts that your small self adopts as true. In contrast, these ideas inspire courage:
• Uncertainty offers opportunities for a wider range of exciting experiences.
• Loss is natural and often leads to growth.
• We are all interconnected, interdependent and indivisible.
• The universe is meaningful, purposeful and trustworthy.
In truth, we live in a friendly, benevolent cosmos; fearless living is our birthright.