If you ask most people what they want from life, they’ll probably tell you they want to be happy and loved. Success, fame, and fortune might come up as well. But I think what we all ultimately yearn for is freedom: the freedom to be ourselves, especially in a world that’s constantly telling us not to; the freedom of inner peace and feeling at home, of being able to take that feeling with us everywhere we go.
For me, the one thing that gets in the way of feeling free is fear. Fear keeps us small and stuck in self-limiting beliefs that don’t serve us. Like most behaviors we want to change, the first step in overcoming fear is acknowledging it.
Tell yourself the truth.
One reason why it’s so difficult to release fear is because we have to be brutally honest with ourselves. We have to get real and look deep within to discover how fear has been holding us back. The key is to confront your fears rather than ignoring them.
For years, I ruminated on fear-based ideas that I wasn’t good enough. Am I pretty/smart/thin/accomplished enough? Will I make enough money this year to stay out of debt? Am I going to be able to have a child of my own?
I was constantly striving for something that doesn’t exist in a bubble — perfection — and it was making me sick. The stress and anxiety this story created crippled me at times with meltdowns and panic attacks.
Remember, you are not your ego.
My life shifted dramatically the moment I realized that my ego was just a silly, fear-based voice in my head that fed on my insecurities and liked to keep me in a state of worry and disempowerment. By identifying my ego for what it was, I’m now able to laugh at it and see the absurdity in my fearful thoughts.
Saying what my fears are out loud shows me just how ridiculous they are. They serve no purpose other than to make me feel small and unworthy.
Witness your fear.
Once you’re able to get real with yourself about what scares you, write it down and say it out loud to yourself, a friend, therapist, or support group. I promise that acknowledging your fears will lessen their power over you.
Laugh at your fear.
Your truth is your power. Your willingness to be honest with yourself and not take fear-based thoughts so seriously will set you free and send you on a much more pleasant path.
Write a new story.
The new story I’ve created for myself is that I’m good enough and worthy of everything my heart desires and more. Choose to see and create a new vision for yourself rooted in a place of peace and love. Release your fears rather than clinging to them. Learning through pleasure feels much better than learning from pain.
We live in uncertain times, and I understand why you might be fearful. The truth is there’s no place completely safe from fear, except within ourselves. Try to stay focused on what you can control: your thoughts. Connect to your own inner wisdom and intuition, and if you believe in a greater power, look to the universe for guidance and support.
While I’ve struggled for years with overcoming fearful thoughts and battling anxiety, I’ve discovered that what scared me most (not being good enough) has been my greatest opportunity for deep healing and personal growth. When fearful thoughts come up now, I trust that I am on the right path, and out my ego with a deep, hearty laugh.