My biggest fear is becoming financially destitute and then being unable to care for my children.
What about you? What is your greatest fear? How do you cope?
The rational side of me can say a thousand times, “it will never happen.” I can remind myself a million times that things have always worked out for me in the past. But when fear arrives it can grip me like a boa constrictor.
This typically happens when a big bill shows up in the mail that I wasn’t expecting. Or a big tax bill is looming.
That’s the thing about fear, is that it can take hold of your mind and not let go. It can progress from fear to panic, to doom. Unless you cut it off, it can spiral out of control. Over time what you begin to fear is fear. It’s called fear of fear. I think this is why President Roosevelt famously said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
What I Learned from David Hawkins
A few years ago I discovered David Hawkins in his book Power vs. Force and later his many lectures posted on youtube. What he had to say really, really helped. I want to share what I learned with you. He created a protocol to handle fear.
You can listen to Oprah’s Interview of David Hawkins here.
Step 1: Bring Awareness to the Body
In order to circumvent the spiraling of fear, you need to get out of the world of thought. It is the process of thinking that is creating fear. The mind will create catastrophic scenarios, each one worse than the next. To stop this process is actually quite simple.
Notice where fear shows up in your body. For me, fear shows as a pit in the stomach and tightness in my chest. Bring your attention to where in your body fear is manifesting.
Step 2: Let Go of Resisting
In the word of David Hawkins, “Stop calling it fear. You experience a particular set of symptoms. If you completely let go of resisting the symptoms will go away.”
Once you realize that fear is at worst only a set of physical symptoms you realize that these symptoms are manageable. Consequently, you are no longer afraid of being afraid because you know that at worst fear is a set of physical symptoms that you can handle. Get it?
In this book Power vs Force he writes:
“Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focuse on letting out the energy behind it.
The first step is to allow yourself to have the feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condeming it, or moralizing about it. It means to drop all judgement and to see that it is just a feeling.”Hawkins David R. Power vs. Force
This advice may seem counter-intuitive. You may be asking why should I accept it? The answer is simple. By resisting the feeling you are perpetuating it.
I am not saying that you should make efforts to resolve the situation that is causing the fear. Perhaps you are afraid of losing your job or afraid of losing a loved one. Certainly, do what you can.
But what do you do when fear grips you at 3AM when there is nothing to do but lay in bed unable to sleep? It is in these moments when accepting the feeling gives me something to do that actually helps.
How can you accept something so painful?
The Power of Love.
Have you ever loved a crying child? On the one hand, it’s not a pleasant experience. A baby’s cry is one of the most grating sounds ever. And yet you know the baby is helpless and beyond giving the baby food, sleep, and clean diapers, the only thing to do is give the baby love.
Can we not do this to our own self that is racked with fear? When its 3 AM and I”m racked with fear I surrender to the feeling and in my mind’s eye I hold myself with love. I forgive myself for the human frailty of being afraid and love myself anyway.
Fear and Being an Entrepreneur
My personal feeling is that all entrepreneurs have faced fear. The moment a person realizes that they no longer want to be an employee and no longer work for someone else and venture out on their own they a beginning a process that will require them to face their own fears.
For most people, fear keeps them from pursuing their dreams. Entrepreneurs are people who have overcome their personal fears, summoned their courage and started the journey.