Written by Paula O’Sullivan
Looking back on my life so far, I can see that most of the important decisions I had made in the past were led by fear. Whether it was, relationships…I must get married… or I’ll be left on the shelf… I must have kids… or I may get too old… I must buy a house now… before prices go up…. I must put up with that behaviour… or I’ll be left on my own…I must not apply for that job or course… I may not be smart enough….my life was full of must and shoulds… and all for the wrong reasons…. fear of something is not a good basis to make decisions on… and looking back now… even though I can be grateful for the hard lessons fear has taught me… I can see that my life is very different now…. and I’m much happier and can make wiser choices and decisions, because I’m free of fear.
I’m sharing this with you now, just in case you are like me as I was then, maybe it’ll save you some unnecessary heartache, and yes I know we must all walk our own paths, but if my insights help you in any way then I’ll feel good inside, my effort has been worthwhile.
So how do we become free from fear? I mean it’s all around us, we are being bombarded with worse case scenarios everywhere we look, television, newspapers, radio, even most conversations overheard, contain fear, and it’s so easy to become overwhelmed in it all and to allow it to affect us in so many ways.
Well my understanding of fear is this: We picture something and then we picture ourselves not being able to cope, not being able to handle the situation, we see ourselves, weak and powerless and a victim…. as losers not winners…. and when we do this, fear grips us tightly and won’t let go !
To become free of fear we need to start putting pictures into our minds of ourselves coping, being strong, imagining the best possible outcomes, the best possible situations, and yes sometimes thinking ahead, and saying to ourselves, ‘well if this happens I will see myself coping in this or that way’, and putting strong pictures in our minds of being a great survivor, knowing that we will handle anything that happens. Very few decisions are actually life or death decisions. And while some things happen that make us feel uncomfortable, it’s usually not the end of the world, even though it may temporarily seem like that! If we take the time, we can reason most things out and take the phrase ‘wouldn’t it be awful if?’ out of our conversations and replace it with the phrase ‘wouldn’t it be brilliant if?’ instead. Because sometimes we are just not content enough that something has gone wrong, we have to develop that fear even more by saying to ourselves ‘ and what if this happens, and what if that happens too ?’ And we make the pictures more vivid in our minds and they become worse than the reality, and we find it more difficult to deal with, as these brighter pictures evoke stronger feelings of fear, which make it appear more real. And so putting the better solution pictures into your mind will work in a similar way over time only they will evoke powerful feelings of inner strength and courage which will make you feel really good., so I just wanted to make you aware that you have a choice of what pictures you can to play in your mind and how they can effect you.
I’m reminded of this quote “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” – Winston Churchill
If you can see yourself coping, if you can see yourself surviving in your minds eye, then you are already half way there, and you too can be free from fear!