In my role as a life coach, I constantly witness fear rearing its offensive head in the lives of my clients. Regardless of the reasons why an individual seeks out my services, fear will invariably be the obstacle standing between the person and his or her desires and happiness. Whether it is the need to feel better, improve relationships, pursue a dream, or connect with greater purpose and meaning, eventually we discover that fear is at the core of the issue.
Fear can be a tricky opponent to overcome as it has the uncanny ability to camouflage in order to remain hidden. While at times it is out in the open, more often than not it is quite deceitful, disguising itself as judgment, control, apathy, indecisiveness, isolation, busyness and self-sabotage.
To see the role that fear may be playing in your life, start by asking:
1. What is something that I want to change or improve on that has been difficult to achieve?
Ex: I want to be able to express my feelings more clearly to my significant other. I want to start working on my book idea, but I can’t seem to get motivated.
Follow it up with:
2. What might be a negative effect of doing or achieving what I say I want?
For instance, if I expressed my feelings, I might be rejected or ridiculed. If my book is a success, I might have to forgo the comfort of my life as I know it. The answer to your question will start to reveal the true nature of the fear you have associated with the area that you want to change.
This thought process may sound a bit absurd to some. Why would I not want what I want, right? Well, the unconscious mind is a powerful thing! So if your initial response to a negative side effect was nothing, dig a little deeper. Play along and you will eventually discover that there is a perceived negative result attached to manifesting your wish. If it were not the case, this unfulfilled desire would not be an issue.
Merriam-Webster defines offend as “to cause difficulty, discomfort or injury” and “to transgress the moral or divine law.” Fear that goes unchecked will always produce these effects. It will cause emotional, mental, spiritual and even physical pain. It will lead us to ignore or violate the nature of the true self which is centered in love and joy.
Nothing can come between us and the fulfillment of who we really are, reflected in the life we create, more than fear. Truly fear is the most offensive four-letter word.
Now for the good news. Fear has an Achilles Heel. It’s called courage and awareness. If we summon the strength to discover and challenge it, it loses its power.
Fear grows in the dark. Its shadows scare us into mediocrity and even paralysis, but if we shine the light of awareness on it, we might be relieved to find the proverbial Wizard of Oz standing behind the curtain or the courage to take the steps to overcome it. Most importantly, you might even discover that the most powerful weapon in rising above fear is already in you. It is another type of four-letter word starting with an L.
Can you guess what it is?