It wasn’t until last month when I started having problems at my restaurant job and had a moving conversation with my mother on the phone last month that I realized how much fear was controlling and ruling my life.
It was a conversation that turned me very introspective and gleaned the truth that “fear really had me by the neck.”
This fear was very subtle, career-related, based on past traumas and linked to limiting beliefs.
Me: “Oh my gosh mom, I’m not a fearless person after all. I’m full of fear and it’s not helping my case right now. It’s probably going to bring about exactly what I don’t want! Shit, I’m going to read that book about the Fear Cure!”
Momma Dearest: “Yes you do! It looks great and I’m going to read it too.”
In Lissa Rankin’s The Fear Cure, Fear is found out, defined, discerned, and used to find places in ourselves that need healing. Fear is said to be at the very core of all-things bad in our lives. It contributes to:
- disturbing dreams
- missed opportunities
- lost love
- diminished confidence
- and even illness!
“However, the type of fear that causes the above is defined as False Fear.”
False fear exists only in our imagination and results from the stories we tell ourselves about the things that happen in our lives. It’s when our body is stuck in the stress response when cortisol levels and heart rates are high-ready to help you in a fight-or-flight situation.
True Fear is the fear that can save you or your loved one’s life in a real threatening situation involving possible starvation, an attacker, or even a close call on the highway.
“Nowadays it’s rare that life or limb is genuinely threatened but our amygdala in the primordial brain can’t tell the difference.”
So it’s up to us to give ourselves a break and take the time to discern the fear and remind ourselves that it won’t be the death of us to give that presentation or bomb that interview. You’d do better without all that extra stress and lack of sleep anyway.
I found it fascinating that our culture shames the idea of fear but at the same time is totally fear-driven through press, policy, language, and advertising.
False fear is sneaky and wears many disguises. Stress, worry, and anxiety are also versions of fear.
Think about it. Lissa lays it out beautifully in the following passage:
“When we’re stressed at work, are we not actually just afraid? Afraid of making mistakes, of disappointing our bosses, of harming someone we’re responsible for helping, of being perceived as unprofessional, of speaking up for what we believe is right, of killing the patient/losing the bid/letting the deal slip through our fingers? Aren’t we afraid of getting passed up for the promotion, losing our relevance, getting demoted, being fired, and winding up unable to support the family? Aren’t we afraid to demand shorter hours? Aren’t we terrified others will discover that we’re vulnerable and imperfect, when we expend so much energy trying to prove we’re professional superheroes? Many of us wear work stress as the most acceptable badge of honor but we also liberally admit that relationships are stressful. Parents are stressed with the kids. Spouses are stressed by each other. We’re stressed out whether to get married or have kids or break up, and we’re really stressed when we’re hopelessly in love with someone who doesn’t love us back.”
There is so much to talk about but the biggest takeaway from the study was the realization that I had a pessimistic explanatory style that was fertile ground for negativity! I never thought I was pessimistic but I did the exercises and realized the truth and that the subconscious mind is wired to produce whatever you put in. Most people I know tend to catastrophize events in their mind and worry constantly.
Worry is essentially negative visualization. Whatever it is you consistently visualize and focus on will eventually manifest. That’s powerful stuff we need to constantly remind ourselves to give ourselves a break and enjoy the pleasure that comes from imagining all the love and prosperity you desire.
It doesn’t matter where on your journey you are, reading The Fear Cure is a must! Controlling fear and our thoughts is the best thing you can do to take control of your life and your decisions. Don’t let that love escape, miss the chance to make an impression or be afraid to ask for what you deserve. The risks are always worth it when you’re following your authentic self/gut/core/truth.
Next time you worry, ask yourself if it’s life threatening and where it’s coming from. It should be more soothing and less scary when you question it.