Without a doubt, the biggest regret in my life is having spent so much of it afraid. We were not born this way. Of course, we are hard-wired with a natural fear response that is dedicated to increasing our chances of survival. This is instinctive in both humans and animals. However, the majority of what most of us fear is not adaptive to our survival. Instead, it robs us of so much of what our lives could be.
We fear the loss of a partner, financial challenges, public criticism, and abandonment and rejection by whatever Higher Power we ascribe too. These fears are not innate but are the product of learning. Either through messages we internalized or painful experiences we endured we began to expand our fear repertoire.
Love deactivates the fear response
The opposite of fear is love. The number one thing that blocks receiving love from oneself and others is shame. Shame tells us we are unworthy of that love. Fear and shame go together like peanut butter and jelly. You cannot fully overcome your fears without simultaneously conquering shame. Attempting to defeat fear with unresolved shame will only lead to further shame.
Neuroscience informs us that when we have the subjective experience of feeling loved it shuts down the fear circuitry in our brain. The reason it does this is due to the fact it activates our attachment system. Furthermore, when we feel safe it opens up or play and exploration actions systems. Look how carefree and curious a child is when they feel safe.
You are worthy of the life you desire
The journey out of fear is one towards love. As you battle your fears today, continue to focus on love, whether from others, yourself, or your Higher Power. Whenever unhealthy fear arises for me, I ask myself, "Why do I not believe I am that loveable?" Then I work through whatever shame is impeding my ability to internalize the love the Universe and others are sending me.
Remember, as I've discussed in previous posts, the brian does not understand negation: "Don't be afraid." You need to focus on where you want to go and develop an image of that goal and work towards connecting emotion to it. If you cannot achieve this goal, there are emotional memories blocking you that can be cleared in a variety of ways. Work with someone to resolve these so you can liberate yourself from the fear and shame attached to them.
Go out today and believe you are worthy of the life you desire and that God, The Universe, or whatever Higher Power you believe in has your back and is cheering you on.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.