It is very important that we explore parts of ourselves that have been disconnected from us. Our fears are one such part.
As contradictory or clichéd as it may sound, we cannot conquer our fears without facing them. As such, the first step is to know even our deepest fears. This can only be done by exploring them.
For example, you may have a personality that is heavily drawn towards achieving or excelling in any endeavor in life. You may have spent much of your younger days chasing after the number one spot. But did you know that the fuel behind this mindset can be your fears?
Recognizing Your Fears
Meditation, that is experiencing stillness and focus, can be a breakthrough method of recognizing your fears.
For example, chasing achievements can be from multiple fears such as rejection, inadequacy, being unloved, body image, or not being accepted by society. Fears like these can push you to want to be the center of attention and to always fish for praises.
True, it sounds pretty dark. However, the process by which we release fears involves probing through this muck that is stored inside of us.
Swiss psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, Carl Jung, often talked about how there is a shadow for everyone. He said that this shadow is our unconscious – the parts of ourselves that we disowned.
We have to gather our courage to look at these parts that we don’t exactly like, or even admit that they are parts of ourselves. This is the only way to live from our True Selves.
There is an exercise that is more beneficial the more times you do it. Think of it as a lamp in a big room. It lights up what’s in front of us, and also makes the shadowy corners noticeable. Then all other practices like meditation and pranayama can be used to illuminate and focus on those shadows.
The Self-Reflection Exercise: Illuminating Your Fears
First off, take your journal and go to a new blank page. Give the title “My fears include:” and then just write. Let whatever comes to your mind be written on the paper. It can be anything from financial fears to fears of old age.
Then, turn to the following page and title it: “I am fearful of feeling:”. Once more, make a list of all the emotions you are scared of feeling such as feeling lonely, rejected, or stupid.
Now comes the third and final list: “Without any of these fears, I would feel:” This can be something many of us have never even thought about.
Imagine if you had the ability to always succeed in whatever you do. How would that change your personality? Write everything down. Feel the freedom, expansion, and confidence that you get when you leave behind these fears.
Now take the starting two lists and rip them into tiny pieces. With this act, set the intention that you have started moving into your True Self’s fearless and courageous place.
Store the third page safely in someplace where it is accessible, like on an altar or inside your journal.
The final step will be a commitment. Swear that you will take a step toward taking action fearlessly. Put something into action, it does not have to be something big.
But do it to begin making fearlessness a prominent presence in life. It can be researching the field you dream about studying or taking that first salsa class.
On another page, write this fresh commitment as well. Title it: “I now commit to:”