Fear Is Not Our Natural State

How do you know when fear is in the room with you? A racing heartbeat, constricted breathing, and shaky hands might be a few of the obvious signs. But what about subtle fear? The kind of fear that doesn’t show up to save you from something, but instead creeps in quietly to sabotage your plans?

We know that type of fear by its alias:

Anxiety

When anxiety enters our mind it wraps its long, slimy tentacles around our perspective and distorts it. We concentrate on limits and obstacles, and we start to believe that the worried, nit-picky voice in our head makes perfect sense.

It’s like in the movies when the hero suddenly hears the voice of a loved one in pain calling out to them from the sinister forest. Don’t follow that voice! It’s a trick. It’s the voice of fear and illusion, and its only goal is to hem you up and get you off the path.

When you cultivate self-awareness you learn to identify the voice of fear quickly.

When you nourish your own creative consciousness you learn to dissolve fear as it arises within you.

So how do you spot fear the moment it shows up?

Pay attention to your thoughts.

Pay attention to your emotions.

Every time you think that you can’t do something because of this certain thing, or until that certain thing happens, fear is talking and you are listening. Every time you feel nervous and stressed about the future, fear is projecting you out of the present moment and you are letting it. Every time you pass judgment on someone else, fear is dimming your vision and you are agreeing to it.

The goal is not to make sure that these things never happen. They happen to all of us. We all worry that we can’t pursue our dream until we have enough money to do it, or get nervous about where we’ll be next year in our lives, or judge someone without thinking.

We all hear that voice crying out to us from the sinister forest, and in that first split second we all believe it really is a loved one who needs our help.

The goal is not for us to never be tricked again. Instead, the goal is to maintain conscious awareness to the best of our ability. The goal is to pay attention to our thoughts and emotions so that we recognize fear when it makes its trickster appearance.

The goal is to constantly work to shift ourselves out of fear and into our true creative essence as human beings.

It takes practice. A lot of practice. And sometimes you will feel like fear pulled your strings all day long and you never got out from under it. But that’s why the universe gives us new days. Each time the sun rises you get another chance.

So who’s calling the shots for you today? The beautiful, brilliant, creative shining being that is YOU?

Or fear?

You decide.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Mary M. Forbes 6 March, 2014 at 9:10 am

    A very good post. I know so many people who live in that state – that I call the generation of young adults – the ‘Fear Generation’. I wish there were more articles and concrete advice to help them. Thanks for even bringing the topic up.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 6 March, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Thanks for reading Mary, and I really appreciate your kind words 🙂

  • Reply Glynis Jolly 6 March, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I have General Anxiety Disorder. Worry, the overwhelm feeling, and even sometimes actual fear come barging in for no reason at all. At least this is what happens when I don’t take my meds. Because I hate having those feels, I do take the pills subscribed, and am able to nourish creativity leaving anxiety behind me in the dust. I like being bold and somewhat fearless. The fears I still have are usually understandable and they help me with hard decisions.

  • Reply Paul Sutton Reeves 6 March, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Very true, Lauren – fear plays a negative part in creativity. Fear of failure, fear of difference, fear of change – these are phenomena that result in the safe, tame books that constitute 99% of fiction.

  • Reply Kara 7 March, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Love, love, love this. Can I reblog it?

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 11 March, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Of course Kara! Please feel free to reblog whenever you want 🙂

  • Reply Kara 7 March, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Oh wait, I see the share button (Doh!!) Just wanted to put this out there. I talked about fear on my blog and this just reinforces the subject. Just wanted to be sure and give you full credit; don’t want to plagiarize.

  • Reply Drew 10 March, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I have struggled with anxiety issues for many years. It has, at times, gotten to the point where I think it’s voice is my own – I used to get them confused all the time.
    I have learned to listen more closely – if ‘what ifs’ or doubt or apprehension seem to rasp its edges, I know that my anxiety is kicking in. I have also looked for physiological symptoms as well. When I am tired, my anxiety worsens. When I am overwhelmed, my anxiety worsens. I have, in turn, looked for ways to combat those issues – from drinking ice cold water while writing, to ensuring rest before I begin, to making organizational charts/lists of things that need to be done. I am not OCD, not even by a long shot, but these simple tricks seem to help keep the beast at bay.

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