“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~Anais Nin~

I took this week off from work and became “Mom” again as I sent my only son off to Kindergarten. Intellectually I was ready, but emotionally I was a wreck, crying every time I saw a baby or toddler boy. As usual, my little guy resisted the change yet by the end of his first day he beamed with joy and confidence.

Instinctively, I realized we all sense change coming and often resist it. The same goes for life, which can be like a giant wave of constant change moving faster than ever before. Fear is often behind our resistance to change. Fear is one of our most instinctive emotions with the main purpose of keeping us safe. But, throughout our lives our ego becomes over-zealous using fear against us to keep us confined to what’s safe and known - our past.

Fear becomes dysfunctional when you begin to see fear as real allowing it to direct your life. Over time, you begin to weave a web of fear-based reality around you. The more you give into fear, the stickier the web becomes. It holds you back from what you truly desire. If you repeatedly give in to fear, you become stuck and unable to move forward or recognize the difference between fear and reality.

The ego relentlessly uses fear against you. It can fill your mind with limiting beliefs that become like broken records, clouding your thinking. The web of fear extends past your mind sending messages to your brain and onto your body manifesting in a web of physical tension, pain and illness. Fear eats away at your nervous system eventually taking away your ability to relax and feel safe.

You can be strategically outsmarted by your ego. How does your ego know to turn up the fear volume when you’re taking a risk? One of the biggest risks you can take is to pursue your dreams or greatest desire. Fear senses you’re not only reaching beyond the known, but also pursuing what you really want. This will leave you twice as vulnerable. Your ego sends fear to your rescue, fighting against your efforts and attempting to bring you back to what’s safe and familiar. This dynamic keeps people so stuck in their lives they may even forget or give up on their dreams.

The bottom line is, fear is a toxin. polluting your mind, body and spirit. Fear stifles your expression damaging your physical well-being. So, here you are with the great wave of life inviting you to jump in and live beyond fear. You can jump in the wave and “go with the flow” or you can resist life by clinging to the past. (Hint: It’s much more fulfilling to jump in!)

Here are three important things to know before jumping in the wave of life:

1. Don’t Resist Fear. You’ve probably heard the saying, “What you resist- persists”? This is definitely the case with fear. Fear is an instinctive reaction to growth and change. In the right circumstances fear signals our brain to protect us from “real” harm. If you resist or push fear away, it will push back with a vengeance.
2. Don’t React to Fear. Reacting to fear in any way will feed it building an even stickier web. If you ignore or bury fear, at some point, it will resurface and most likely when it’s most inconvenient.
3. Don’t Judge Fear. Fear is committed to protecting you. If you judge fear as wrong it will feel more threatening, pulling out all the stops to hold you back and keep you safe.

Follow these five steps to cultivate a life beyond fear:

1. Observe Fear. First recognize fear is NOT real no matter how real it seems. Reach within or ask for the assistance of someone you trust, to help you see where you stop and fear begins. Observe fear by detecting its voice. Fear can disguise itself as your voice or the voice of an authority figure. Begin to hear fear as the broken record it is. Recognize it really is trying to keep you safe. As you begin to see fear and experience it separate from yourself, space will open up, allowing you to breathe easier and see things more clearly.

2. Feel Fear. Fear is usually associated with past physical or emotional pain. Instead of feeling and processing the pain, fear protects us from “going there”. Feeling your fear, is actually progress! The more you say yes to fear and welcome it; the grip of the web lessens. You’ve heard the saying, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” If you peel back the complicated web of fear to just fear, it not only lessens fear’s grip but also the drama in your life. Here’s an example of peeling back fear by following a chain of fear-based thoughts, “What if I lose my job?” “What if I lose my money?” “What if I lose everything?” Allow your mind to follow the chain of thoughts until there’s nothing left but fear itself. Acknowledge fear by saying, “I’m just afraid”. Feeling the fear and associated emotions as well as where fear exists within your body. Then, breathe deeply and let the fear go as you breathe out. See if you can continue to feel and let go of fear without snapping back to the web of complicated thoughts and drama.

3. Detach with Love. As you begin to see fear separate from yourself and feel it for what it is, a space will open up. It is crucial to fill this space with love first before moving on. The only way to truly live beyond fear is to detach from fear with love. This means recognizing you are not your fears and loving that part of yourself from which the fear originated. It could be childhood, a recent let down, a self saboteur or victim identity, low self esteem or insecurity. It’s not as important to know the source of your past hurt as it is to embrace who you’ve been in the past, who you are now and who you will become with love, compassion and kindness. Nothing dissolves the tangled and sticky web of fear more than love.

4. Movement and Expression. With a new foundation of love you can begin to live beyond fear with movement and expression. As you move your body and express yourself, you’ll break away any remnants of a physical web that may have attached itself to your body. Stretching, yoga, dance, free movement, exercise and deep conscious breathing will continue to loosen the grip of the web and make new space to live beyond fear. Allow your movement to come from love and expression (not an attempt to rid yourself of fear). As you breathe feel your breath move throughout your body allowing it to cleanse, clear and open the areas that feel closed, painful, tight, or stuck. Express yourself and get out of the house or office, mingle, network, share ideas, do something creative or take a risk. Get your energy moving!

5. Expansion and Commitment. As you move and express yourself, you’ll actually feel yourself expanding and your energy growing. You’ll begin to attract new people and new experiences. Further direct this new surge of energy by choosing a purpose or commitment. Ask yourself, “What do I want my life to be about when I get out of bed in the morning?” “What’s the one thing I really want to achieve?” “Is there a purpose or project I’m passionate about?” By expanding yourself and choosing what you’re committed to, you’ll have something bigger and more inviting than fear awaiting you every day. Whatever you do, stay committed and continue to take action, trusting you’re now weaving a new web of expression, joy and fulfillment.

Living beyond fear takes commitment. Once you get the hang of it you will experience a great sense of freedom, ease and fulfillment as well as a life beyond what you can currently imagine.

© Bring U to Life, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy’s natural gift is to listen beyond words as she guides women to thrive in every aspect of life from home, work, love, body and soul. She is an Author, Coach, Speaker and the Creator of Life Cultivation, a dynamic fusion of eastern and western practices. Life Cultivation transforms your personal or business life through one-on-one coaching, books, workshops and FREE online member program. Cindy founded Bring U to Life and Cindy Silbert to inspire and guide women worldwide to realize full self-expression and lasting fulfillment. Cindy’s gift is coupled with over 25 years of experience and education in business, marketing, transformation, and coaching. She currently resides in Del Mar, California with her husband and son. Her book, Chameleon Butterfly Dragonfly is available on Amazon.