Since the August solar eclipse, there appears to be an increase in natural disasters around the world – from recent floods and earthquakes to hurricanes. And no matter where the occurrences take place, subconsciously we absorb the energy from our surroundings, the reports on the status of the areas affected, and our own personal connections to those impacted by these disasters. The fear is palpable. No matter who you are or where you are located, you may have felt fear on some level: fear of the unknown, fear of not being/doing enough, fear of something new, fear of losing everything, fear for your loved ones and not being able to communicate with them, etc.
So how can we move forward knowing that fear will show up in our lives? How can we transform fear into power? First, we must understand fear to be able to master it. All humans are born with two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned and can become obstacles that prevent us from attaining the very things we want and deserve in life. Fear is an emotion that can paralyze us and gets in between us, and where we want to go.
Most likely, you have heard the following acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. In most cases, fear is just our brain’s way of attempting to keep us safe. It is the millions of years old programming in our large brain that blows things out of proportion so we don’t take unnecessary risks and are able to live another day. Some fears are helpful. The one that tells us to avoid the dark alley short cut and use the longer, well-lit street route is good to listen to. The fear of taking Salsa lessons because you might mess up and feel silly is not so helpful. Those kinds of fears keep our lives small and make us feel powerless. While we are currently experiencing high levels of natural disasters, and have also experienced the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, there are still good things happening in spite of the human suffering and tragedies taking place. Brendon Burchard, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author and all around awesome soul, said in an email following his recent trip to Las Vegas: “We can choose to feel anger and perpetuate negativity and hate. Or we can choose to seek peace, to inspire others by remaining positive, to always live through love and service to a higher cause.” Witness more of his brilliance at: brendon.com. His email and some of my own feelings of powerlessness in regard to my own family in Puerto Rico inspired the following 10 suggestions on what you can do to turn fear into power and lead a purpose-driven, positive life:
1—Remind Yourself That You Are Okay: Are you breathing? If you are, then you are okay… You are alive and able to help yourself and others by directing your thoughts, words and actions.
2—Stay Present: We cannot affect what has already happened. Take inventory of what is happening now. Notice when fear shows up in the moment and address it.
3—Take Action: Humans are action oriented! Inaction makes us feel out of control and helpless. Do simple, small things like call someone to just say hello, show up for someone in the hospital, genuinely ask how you can help someone you know that’s having a rough time, write and send a hand-written card – it’s the little things that matter. Take David for example – a total stranger who shows up as the “ICU grandpa that cradles babies when their parents can’t”:
4—Give Up Your Need For Control: Manage what you can and use your personal power, resources, connections and voice to help others: volunteer somewhere/anywhere; talk to friends, co-workers, family members and help connect people to where they are needed; send money to your favorite charity; help re-build homes; commit a random act of love and kindness; etc.
5—Limit Your Exposure to Negative News: Do something physical that brings you joy to limit the constant stream of bad news. Just take a deep breath and turn the electronics off; Look into your dog’s eyes; pet your bunny rabbit; take a walk in the woods; dust off your roller blades and take a spin around the neighborhood; bounce on a trampoline; throw the football around; dig in the dirt and plant something beautiful; etc.
6—Get Out Of Your Head Using Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule: She says the moment you feel yourself hesitate doing something (perhaps because a fear has popped up), start counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. Do the thing you were thinking of. The rule is a proven, form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking (with fear in charge) and awaken your pre-frontal cortex – making change easy. The rule acts as a “starting ritual” that breaks bad habits and triggers positive new behavioral change. Check her out melrobbins.com/5-second-rule
7—Thank Fear: The programming in our brains is ancient. It helped us survive when we were cavemen and cavewomen, but now having constant fear is unhealthy and wastes way too much of our energy. Let fear know that you appreciate it trying to help, but that you’re not going out to face a saber tooth tiger, you’re just going to do something new, write a poem, or start that business you’ve been dreaming of.
8—Plan For The Worst And Expect The Best: Ask yourself, “If I do this, what’s the worst that can happen?” Then decide what steps you will take to mitigate any issues that may come up. After your plan is formed, take action and course correct if necessary. Give your plan lots of small steps instead of one large one. Fear has less of a chance to take hold if you’re “taking a walk down the street” compared to the final goal of “walking the entire Great Wall of China”.
9—Start And Keep A Success Journal: Review/remind yourself of past experiences. Think back to a time when you thought/feared things would turn out badly, but they actually worked out just fine or better than you anticipated. Remember and build on past successes. When you read through the journal, relive the wonderful way you felt when you conquered smaller fears. It will bolster you when you take on bigger fears.
10—Attend A Fire Power Seminars’ Firewalk: We use a mixture of presentation and activities to help you identify and understand your fears and experience some challenges that prepare you to walk on fire. When you face your fear and find the reason it’s there, you disempower it. As you cross a bed of 1,200°F hot coals, you’ll instantly feel the energy and power of the fire. This experience is a compelling tool designed to help you transform fear and inspire you to transcend the expectations of what you believe is possible, resulting in a deeper connection to your power within. You will learn that once you make a decision, you can release fear and do anything! Firewalking, the ultimate challenge, is ideal if you want to break through barriers and take your performance to the next level.
Fear is contagious if we allow it. But we have the option/power to bear witness, accept where others are and do what we can to keep from falling into and being paralyzed by fear. We all make choices every day that either disempower or empower us. Each time we make an empowering decision, we stoke our inner fire and get stronger!
If this has inspired you, we’d love for you to try some of the suggestions above and let us know what you did and how it worked for you! How did you convert fear into power? Do you have other ways that help when you face fears? If so, please make a comment below. Your experience may help someone else overcome fears that have been holding them back. It’s always a great time to come together and bring positive and inspirational words to others!