But fear of actual danger is not the fear I am talking about. The fear I am talking about is sneaky and secretive; it flits around in the shadows of our mind subtly or not so subtly driving our behaviors, decisions and performance. It disguises itself as anger, resistance, irritation, procrastination, restlessness, tiredness, sickness etc.
This kind of fear is usually connected to the core beliefs we have about ourselves. Core beliefs are formed early in life, sit below our conscious awareness and not only influence how we experience the world, but also drive our reactions and habits of behaviors.
Most core beliefs fall into some version of the following:
· Fear that we are not good enough, are unworthy or flawed
· Fear of rejection or being abandoned in some way
· Fear of failure
· Fear of success
These fears arise unnoticed then impact our thinking keeping us trapped in limiting patterns of behavior. The secret life of fear diminishes the quality of our existence.
Uncovering and shifting these beliefs does take some courage but is deeply rewarding. Clues to look for are people or places that ‘trigger’ (cause strong emotional reaction) us or patterns of behavior that we do not like or want but we keep repeating.
The first step is noticing and becoming compassionately curious about what fears are lurking in the shadows and how they show up. There are many practices such as mindfulness, meditation and journaling that can support this process. In a sense it is ‘self-study’. Self-study to uncover unconscious beliefs and assumptions is a powerful path to change. Therapy, coaching, and workshops can support and accelerate self-study to help you shift and change these beliefs. The reward is a higher quality of consciousness which cannot help but create a higher quality of reality.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” Rumi