Like everything else in life, fear can either be a friend or a foe. I've spent most of my life placing my fear on the side of foe, even going so far as to fearing the actual fear itself by trying to run from it through suppression or just plain old avoidance. Of course none of these coping mechanisms ever got me as far as I wanted to be in my spiritual journey. How could they when the fear was literally blocking me from moving forward in my life? How could I progress when I couldn't even acknowledge to myself that I was afraid? Fear, at its core, always occurs as the result of some kind of resistance to the natural flow of life. Fear can stop a person dead in their tracks, if they allow it to. Fear can fill the mind with all kinds of doubt and uncertainty, leaving a person stuck and unable to make conscious choices that line up with the truth of how they really prefer to feel and live their lives. But, like I said earlier, fear can either be a friend or a foe.

In fact, some people use their fear as their motivation, or better yet, as their excitement! Not coincidentally, this is something that I've been actively working on myself these days. The fear of "putting myself out there" and embracing my personal power and my passions has been a constant battle of mine that I've been trying to overcome for years. Suffice to say, I have both good days and bad days. Sometimes even bad months! And yet, of course, no experience is ever truly "bad" considering it always ends up adding to our spiritual expansion in one way or another. But even still, during those times when I do approach my fear from a positive perspective, I feel so much lighter and empowered. Because, instead of allowing the fear to completely take me under and into unconsciousness, and into so much worry about the unknown, I instead allow it to be used as a catalyst for my personal growth and spiritual transformation. I allow the fear to become a useful tool instead of an annoying hindrance.

Here are a few tips to help you start turning your fear into emotional freedom too. And remember, fear is a natural part of this humanly world that we live in. We all get fearful sometimes. Its what you do with the fear that matters the most.

Fear is your friend : turning the discomfort of fear into spiritual transformation

Feel the fear

Tap into how it would feel if you faced your fear(s) right now. Imagine the worst possible outcome happening. Tap into how you would feel about that outcome. You would probably feel something along the lines of sadness, anger, embarrassment, rejection, resentment etc. Either way, the resulting emotion will probably be a negative one. Now, just for the moment, really get content with feeling all of those feelings and emotions. I mean, you're only human anyway. You've probably felt these feelings a millions times before. So whats so different now when it comes to trying to face this fear? You've felt sadness before. You've been angry and embarrassed probably a thousand times, and yet, here you are. You're still alive. You haven't been diminished in anyway. So what can facing your fear really do to you that hasn't already been done?

Investigate the fear

Behind every fear is a belief. So every time you find yourself being afraid, ask yourself this: What must I be believing in right now in order to feel this way? In my case, my nearly lifelong struggle with social anxiety stemmed from a deeply rooted belief that I was unworthy and undeserving of love. Why are you afraid? When you start working on the belief behind the fear, only then can you truly allow yourself to be liberated from it. The good part is, you can choose to believe in whatever you want! Its completely up to you! So, as an example, instead of believing that you're unworthy, start to believe that you're worthy, and trust me, those fears will begin to drastically diminish.

Use the fear as your excitement

This is a big one and applying it can lead to rapid acceleration in your spiritual growth. For most of us, fear has a tendency to make us mentally run and hide. And that's because, for the most part, we tend to usually only focus on the possible negative outcomes of facing said fear. But what would happen if we started focusing on the positive outcomes of facing said fear? Just think back to a time when you faced a fear and then felt good about it in the end. I mean, who doesn't like the feeling of accomplishment that you get when you end up achieving something that otherwise made you afraid? It feels good! Really good! So tap into that excitement and go for it. Allow the excitement of "everything that could go right" to overwhelm your fears.

I can think back to my childhood when my dad signed me and my twin brother up for swimming lessons. I loved the water but I was too afraid of swimming in the deep end. I was also deathly afraid of jumping off of the diving board. I just stayed inside my safe little area of the pool where I could always feel the hard concrete ground beneath my feet. But my brother, on the other hand, he wasn't afraid. He would swim all around the deep end and jump off of the diving board as if it was a piece of cake! The pool was his playground and man did he have fun in it. I wanted that too. I wanted to feel that aliveness that he felt when he swam in the deep end or jumped off the diving board. I could see that aliveness in his eyes. But still, I was too afraid.

Until one day my excitement overwhelmed me. It no longer felt good to hold onto the fear and like a light switch, in that moment, I did it. I dived in head first off of the diving board, and you know what, it wasn't as bad as a I thought it would be! I didn't drown! In fact, I quickly realized that there was really no reason for me to be afraid in the first place. It was fun! It was exciting! And sooner or later I was jumping off of the high dive too!

So allow your fears to excite you. When you do this you'll be able to let go of what makes you afraid, with ease.

Make a plan to consciously face a fear

Sometimes we can put off facing our fears for years, even lifetimes! But don't let that be you. Make a plan to consciously face a fear. It could be once a week, twice a week, once a month, or anything in between. But whatever you do, do something! It doesn't have to be the thing that absolutely scares you the most either. For right now, it can be anything as long as you make a conscious decision to go ahead and do something that makes you anxious or afraid. Once you start facing small fears you'll begin to become more confident in yourself and in your resiliency to overcome any situation. After awhile, before you know it, you'll be facing big fears that you'd never thought you'd be able to overcome. So plan, start small, and stick to it! You'll become more and more fearless with time.

Embrace the fear : Allow it to help springboard you into your preferred life. 

The truth is, most of us are afraid of something. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Beliefs! They're extremely powerful! But guess what? So are you! And the main takeaway from all of this (hopefully non boring) reading is for you to realize that tremendous power within you, because the truth of the matter is that beliefs only have as much power as YOU give them! The same goes for fear! Yes, change is scary. Yes, doing something new can make you feel anxious. But it can also make you feel empowered and excited! It can also be just the catalyst that you need to help you expand in your spiritual journey.



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