It is the stories that you tell yourself about what worries you, what concerns you, what makes you anxious – i.e. what you fear – that get in your way.
It is fear that stops you doing what you want to do, being who you want to be. And that fear is created and grows through our ‘inner stories’, our ‘self-stories’.
Why do you get so easily distracted from what you know to be important? What is it that makes trivial things so important? What makes the simplest task or question scary?
It is not other people, things, circumstances, your past that block you – it is your relationship to these things in this present moment that is your obstacle. And the biggest of these obstacles is your worry, your concerns – your fears …
So much of our fear and the problems it creates for relationships in all spheres of our life result from the stories we tell ourselves about who we are … and what other people might be thinking about us (a clue – most people are too busy worrying about themselves to spend time thinking about you!).
Our fears are rooted in the deep instinct we share with all creatures for defence and survival in the face of immediate danger. But, for us, dangerous threats relate not only to immediate, life-threatening circumstances (sometimes called ‘Fear of Tiger!”). Most of us will have a default position of reacting to perceived threats to our broader security, our possessions, our sense of who we are and our settled view of the world (what is real/not real. Right/wrong etc.)as if they were life-threatening issues rather than manageable challenges that require adaptation and change.
Instead of seeing the danger for what it is and responding to it with an appropriate level on energy and action, we begin to tell ourselves a story about it – to project forward with a fearful ‘hallucination’ about the dreadful impact ‘it’ may have! We over-estimate the problem, and this triggers a whole series of events in our bodies, which we may be familiar with as the ‘Flight or fight’, or ‘Flight, fight, freeze’ reaction. This prepares us for energetic physical action – even when the trigger is just something someone said around the dinner table, or in a meeting, or on the phone! We stand in the catastrophic story we tell ourselves, frozen into inaction by the semi- (or even total) fearful fantasies we create …
By understanding this, we can more easily separate from the physical and emotional elements of our fearful reaction and create some ‘space’ to focus on what the core of the problem is – to see it in the broader context of our present and future life.
Think about what you think about most of the time … or should that be ‘who’ you think about …?
Learn how to choose freedom from many of your ‘worry stories’ and to “Put fear back in its box!” in the short video attached to this blog.