F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real
Have you heard this expression before?
We experience fear because our reptilian brain is trying to warn us of danger. In the past, the purpose of fear was to keep us safe from physical threats, like sabre-toothed tigers. But today, our body is still kicking into that same 'fight or flight' mode even when the obstacles we face aren't life-threatening.
Much research on the subconscious shows that whatever gets suppressed gets eventually expressed. And so while all of these fears are still real, I want to invite you to the idea of aligning with fear, instead of demonizing it. My great mentor Tony Robbins says that “the more you resist something, the more it persists.”
What if that’s the truth with fear as well?
Yes, we know fear is often misleading, but what if ignoring it and denying it is just as dangerous as reacting to it. I believe that as long as we ignore the fear, that repressed pain will create mental blocks that restrain the access to our advanced mental faculties. Instead of running away from it, I think a more resourceful way to deal with it is to identify it, get to know it, face it, and release it.
One of my favourite quotes by Joseph Campbell says: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”
Below I outlined the 5-step process I go through whenever I need to embrace my fears and step into the ”cave” that holds “the treasure” I seek:
1) FIND THE CAVE
First, identify the limitation that has been preventing you from going to the next level. Then ask yourself: “What this limitation has been costing me? What has it cost my community, my loved ones, and my greater impact on the world?”
'Create a written declaration of the first step you’re going to take into the cave. Make sure to include a deadline to make it actionable and hold you accountable.
3) IDENTIFY THE TREASURE
The treasure is twofold: First it is the accomplishment of taking the first step into the cave — that takes strength. Next is how your life will be changed for the better because of stepping into the cave. Envision your life and the lives of those around you that will be enhanced once you master the thing that you are afraid of.
4) JUST DO IT
To have assurance that you can follow through, condition your subconscious by smiling and repeating, “I am excited”. Visualizing the best-case outcome. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what's real and what’s imagined. Your physiology shows similar responses to anxiety and excitement – so you may as well focus yourself to leverage latter. If you don’t program your mind, your mind will program you.
Pat yourself on the shoulder and say “I frickn’ rock!” This sends a signal to your brain to release positive hormones that will propel you to take even more actions.
So there – you have the map to the treasure. Will you use it?
Wherever you are on your journey of embracing your fears I am wishing you a wonderful day of awareness and turning these fears into the next level of your greatness.