What is fear? One definition is "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined." And that's the key…"real" or "imagined".

What do you do when fear strikes? It can be in any situation, for example, when we want to follow our heart's desire. We know we may be taking huge risks as we hope and dream that everything will work out. But then the fears surface. Our mind instills in us the uncertainty of whether our decision is right or not. We begin to question our motive.

Are these fears real or are they unfounded? We need to determine where their source is so we have clarity about our situation…so we can make the wisest choice. If we follow our heart's desire, is our decision to do so in alignment with what Spirit wants for us? Is it part of our life journey? Everything we do carries us down the path of life. We may encounter obstacles or hitches in the road as we travel, and this is where our fears may come forth.

But, fears CAN be our ally. They can help us discern whether we have assessed our situation enough to identify the potential ramifications, good or bad. Would there be an adverse affect on any people involved or on the circumstances at hand? Or would the situation bring a level of personal growth to you and all those involved and improvement to the circumstances, even if it resulted in some level of emotional upheaval and turmoil?

Before we can get to this place, we need to ascertain that the fears either have a true valiant purpose or that they have arisen from unconscious patterns that are repeating themselves to protect us from impending harm that they anticipate, but which may have no basis for the present situation.

This is where turning inward is paramount in seeking the truth about our fears. Going inside and silencing our mind to allow Spirit to speak through us can help us find the answers we need.

Consider this exercise to identify the sources of your fears.

Deep breathing to prepare--The first step is to take several deep, deep full-body breaths. Close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply in through your nose. Feel it move from your groin, through your belly as it moves to your abdomen, filling your lungs, up through your heart and throat, to your brow and finally to your crown. Then release the breath, slowly, through your nose, feeling it move down the back of your head, down your spine through your tailbone. Repeat this several times.

Calling forth your fears--If you feel relaxed now and your mind is clear, you are ready to call forth the fear and identify its purpose. Simply ask the fear to reveal itself. Ask it to tell you why it has come forth. Listen to what it says. It may have very pragmatic reasons for having surfaced, ones that are clearly regarding the situation in the present moment. On the other hand, it may reveal some emotional response based on something from the past, in which your wish to fulfill your heart's desire has triggered some past experience within your psyche. (You might want to listen to my meditation called "Dancing with Your Skeletons." Email me if you are interested in it and I will send it to you.)

One example to elucidate this is a situation in which you may feel that you don't have enough time to accomplish all that is on your plate. You feel completely overwhelmed and often become paralyzed thinking about all there is to do. Is this fear justified or has it been triggered by something deep inside? It may be both. Perhaps you do have a lot to accomplish, but your emotional response may be exaggerated since it does come from something beyond the present moment, and typically when something is from an old pattern that has repeated itself over and over, the response can be exacerbated.

So what do you do at this point?

Putting your plan of action into place--Putting a plan of action into place can help you move through your discomfort and succeed in your endeavor. Identify the fear, indicate where you feel it's coming from, and list a series of steps you can do to overcome your fear.

To continue with the above example, if you truly do have much to accomplish, you might want to list out all you need do; then prioritize the tasks and determine if they really need to be done, and if so, do they have to be done by you or can you delegate them to someone? Are some tasks ones that you really don't need to do that you can simply remove from the list?

And as you are doing this, turn inward to communicate with your fear on a soul level, since there may also be some deeply rooted basis for that fear. Tell it that you appreciate its presence in your life, that you know it has served a purpose for your personal growth and that it's now free to go as it has fulfilled its duty. What you may find is that over time, your fear actually dissipates. No longer do you feel captive.

Seeking guidance from within to alleviate your fears is a glorious means to clear the way to manifest all that you desire in your life. And how magical does that feel when your life begins to flow naturally and effortlessly?

Author's Bio: 

Erica Tucci is a corporate manager, business owner, licensed massage therapist and a Reiki master/instructor, certified life coach, former ballet dancer and a pianist, the mother of two beautiful young men, first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an author of three books: Moms and Their Young Spirited Boys, Anything is Possible and Zesty Womanhood at 40 and Beyond: Second Act, New Role. Erica devotes her life to her writing and her great desire to help others, primarily women, to create the radiant lives they deserve. She has committed to reclaiming the Divine female within herself and wishes to help other women do the same. You can find out more about her at www.ericatucci.com.