How to Stop Living in Fear

When you begin your quest to live a life full of adventure and joy it’s very likely your ego will start freaking out. That’s because the ego’s first priority is to protect you from the world, which it sees as threatening, separate from itself, and scary.

Living a life that you truly love challenges you to:

Open your heart
Be vulnerable
Make mistakes

According to your ego, these are probably the top three most foolish and naïve things you could ever do.

This type of cynicism is the first go-to strategy of the ego to get you to stop trying to push outside of your comfort zone. But what happens when you’ve shifted your core energy into love and optimism and that argument doesn’t work on you anymore?

The ego has to come up with a sneakier plan.

That’s when the blindfold comes out.

Sometimes, when we’re afraid to try something new or stretch our creative abilities, the ego slyly tiptoes in and limits our vision. Instead of the infinite kaleidoscope of possibilities and opportunities that are always available to us, the ego convinces us that there are really only a couple of options open and both choices will demand an unpleasant compromise.

This is the kind of mindset we see in action when an artist says that he could choose to follow his passion, but then he wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. Or a writer says she wishes she had more time to write, but then she would be taking herself away from her family.

The ego believes that wealth, time, love, nourishment, self-care, and happiness are all limited resources that are valuable and scarce. It will always try to persuade you that you can’t have it all, and as a matter of fact, you can only have abundance in one area if you go without in another.

The ego is a master bullshitter. If you listen to it long enough, you will begin to doubt yourself and the universe.

You know those four-year-old kids you meet who won’t stop asking why? to everything you say? Those kids are onto something.

Because the only way to clear the smokescreen of the ego is to constantly question everything.

The next time you envision yourself doing or having something completely awesome and then catch yourself thinking: “But I couldn’t do that” or “That wouldn’t happen”, ask yourself:

Why not?

And when the ego jumps in with its oh-so-sensible reasons, keep asking questions. Ask yourself:

But what if I did do it?

What if it did happen?

What would that be like?

It’s time to fight back. If you let your ego run the show forever, you’re never going to end up doing any of the things you really, really want to do in this life. You’ll have too many practical reasons why you should stay exactly where you are.

If you want more inspiration to help you move into a more abundant life, you might be want to check out these posts:

What Every Writer Should Know
What You Were Born to Do
9 Things Writers Don’t Talk About
Avoiding Roadblocks to Creativity: The Eat Sleep Write Interview

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6 Comments

  • Reply Phillip McCollum 9 December, 2013 at 10:16 am

    The ego knows all our sore spots. It’s a worse enemy than any one person might be in real life. Good reminder!

  • Reply Setsu 9 December, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Hell yes, and high-five.

  • Reply Kim Smith 9 December, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    This is so timely for me, Lauren, just as I’m trying to summon the courage to write my truth. Scary stuff. What if people think I’m stupid? What if I make a mistake? What if they don’t like me? What if, what if, what if…? I’m almost over this stupid neuroticism though. I can feel it all getting ready to explode out of me. Look out world, here I come.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 10 December, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Your comment got me so excited Kim! Look out world, here we come. YES! I love the energy of that statement!

  • Reply hilarycustancegreen 10 December, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you. This is spot on for me too. My head and heart are in constant battle, with the head edging it nearly every time. I am working on it.

  • Reply Chris Creed 11 December, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Your ego is a Master Bullshitter. Laughed out loud! Great post and a timely read for me. Thank you 🙂

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