If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you will know how much I love working with the Intuition. Some people are more accustomed to the term ‘gut instinct’. This makes sense, because our intuition is a very primal tool that we have available to us.
It is also a very accurate tool. The quickest most effective way to see the intuition work its magic is to take immediate action when you feel it. Your gut instinct rarely leads you down the wrong path – and you can learn to hone your intuition so that you really listen when it’s trying to tell you something.
For most people, it is natural that Fear can get the best of you and hold you back. Fear can keep us from moving into true and full healing, even though we’ve prepared, studied, and feel ready to move on to a new and different path in our lives.
Perhaps your instinct tells you that you’ve done everything you can to see the changes you wish to see, but there’s a tiny seed of fear holding you back from acting on that intuition. Fears may be born of false evidence, like someone telling you your ideas won’t work. Please remember – no one apart from you has any knowledge as to whether or not something you are working toward will go in your favor.
Take the time to analyze whether or not your fears are real, and learn how to decipher between true fear and a gut instinct. If you feel confused about whether it is fear or intuition, analyze the reality of the scenario.
Are you feeling within your body the “fight or flight” sensation? If you are not sure, take note of whether or not there is a rush of adrenaline, your heart is pounding, or if you are starting to sweat. Is your mind trying to wrangle itself around the emotions you are experiencing?
Getting to Know the Fight/Flight, Freeze/Fawn Responses
What most people don’t know, is that there is more to trauma response than just fight or flight. There is fight, flight or freeze. The freeze response can often be found in trauma survivors that have a large mistrust for others, and close themselves off to the outside world. Those with an ingrained freeze response tend towards disassociation, and ‘spacing out’. Making decisions can feel like simply too much to handle.
Now, let’s really blow your mind – there is more than just the fight, flight, freeze response. There is also the ‘fawn’ response. Those trauma survivors that tend toward a fawn response are ‘people pleasers’. Finding a strong self-esteem can be a struggle in these circumstances, and people with a strong fawn response will avoid conflict at all costs.
This means they will bend their personal expression to the will of others when deemed necessary, while having a hard time saying ‘No’. If you wish to read more on the fight/flight and freeze/fawn responses, check out this article from The Mighty.
Attempting to hide your feelings – or run from them – will not help you resolve your emotions. If it is trauma you are contending with at the core of your emotions, doing the work to excavate these emotions will help to heal you more than you can imagine. Digging into deep emotions can be very scary, and this is often what signals our fears to kick in. I promise you, healing is always worth the work it requires! The only way out, is through.
If your intuition is guiding you forward, heed its wisdom and muster the courage to face and deal with any perceived negative outcomes. Until you become adept at working with your intuition, you may confuse your gut instincts with your fears.
This is not difficult to do, because very often the symptoms are similar. When confronted with false evidence (which may appear real to you; FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real), you may ignore your intuition and fall into negative thoughts of fear and failure.
Consider the following points the next time you are unsure whether your feelings are based on intuition or rational fear:
1. Many times, a fear is irrational and draining on the emotions.
2. Your intuition will convey information to you with calm emotion and rational thought.
3. Your intuition is based on fact, even though you may not consciously comprehend the facts at the time. Fear tends to be irrational and brings forth self-doubt.
If you suspect a feeling to be a fear talking, rather than your intuition, try to transform the fear into a calm thought process by taking action. “Do it afraid – courage will come later.”
How to Face Your Fear & Regain Control of Your Life
The truth of the matter is, we all have fears. Some of us fear death, some fear solitude, and others fear socializing and public spaces. If you can imagine it, there’s someone somewhere fearful of it! Fear is perfectly normal. Our fear protects us and keeps us out of harm’s way. If our fears grow too strong though (such as in post-trauma situations) fear can hinder and keep us from experiencing new joys.
If your fear starts to limit you in any way, you may wish to dissolve that fear. You don’t need to let it hold you back. For example, do you have a fear of spiders that keeps you from activities such as camping or other outdoor pursuits?
How about socializing and getting to know new people? Do you feel prepared to push yourself beyond your comfort zones and take people up on offers of social invitation? If your fears keep you from enjoying new opportunities and experiences, then you may need to take action to regain control and stop your fears from paralyzing you. Living in a bubble is not much fun! What do you need to do to fully live your life rather than letting it pass you by?
Here are a few tips to help you try to get over your fear:
- The first step is to identify your fears. Grab your favorite journal and pen, and begin writing down all the things you’re afraid of (that you’re aware of). Don’t focus on how long or short your list is, and pay no heed as to whether or not these fears seem irrational to you. The list and any adjacent notes are only for you. This is you time, and your opportunity to move past your fears and get your power back.
- The next step is to uncover the source of your fears. If you already know what that is, go ahead and jot that down. If you don’t know what the source is, take the time to try and recall it. Perhaps a fear of water stems from a near drowning incident when you were young, for example.
- Do you feel you may have blocked these memories? If so, this may be due to the pain associated with the original incident. Tune in to your self deeply, and see if it feels good and right to see a counselor or a therapist. Sometimes seeing someone can help you to uncover the source of any fears. There are forms of treatment that some therapists offer that may be helpful too, such as EFT (emotional freedom technique), or hypnosis.
Once you have made your way through the above process, you can really get to work! This means it’s time to put in the effort to vanquish and dissipate the fears. As I’ve mentioned, it is so important to be gentle with yourself. As with all things requiring healing, it will take time to clear the fears just as it took time for them to manifest. Remember to listen to your intuition, and follow your gut instincts for your next steps. Please see my post on how to strengthen your intuition.
Always Begin Conquering Fear with Small Steps
In this technological age, when we get almost anything we want upon demand, it can be easy to forget that some things we really want take time. Do your best to prepare for carving out the time in your daily life so you can take things in small steps. The rewards will be much more fruitful when each step is worked to its fullest potential.
The Small Steps You Take Depend on What the Fear Is
1. If your fear happens to be attending social events (or being in social situations in general), start with just one. Make a promise to yourself that you will get there. Try not to thinks about it too much, lest you talk yourself out of it. Do as many stress reducing and relaxing activities for yourself as you can prior to the event. Consider starting off with events that include smaller groups. Once that starts to feel okay, consider transitioning into trying out larger group gatherings. The idea here is to show yourself that with some intention and focus, you are more than able to move beyond your fears.
2. Plan to get together more often with friends you already feel comfortable with. Take a chance on opening up conversations you wouldn’t normally kick off. If it feels right to you, consider telling your friends that you are working on moving past your fears in social situations. Perhaps they can help you out by drawing you into conversations in ways – or on subjects – that you wouldn’t normally contribute.
3. If being around dogs is your fear, try going to your local SPCA and see if they will allow you to spend time with some dogs. Generally, if visits with animals are allowed, then employees must also be present. Knowing that you won’t be alone – and in the company of a professional – may help ease your tension. If you have a friend with a dog, you may want to ask for their support and see if you can spend some time with the dog and your friend. Even if dogs are not a fear to someone, large dogs can be frightening. Consider starting off with visits with smaller dogs – they tend to bark more, but are not as intimidating for most people.
4. Fear of water is not as uncommon as you may think. Open bodies of water are more intimidating than swimming pools for sure. Start by making more frequent visits to your local public swimming pool. Most facilities offer private coaching sessions too, so this would be a great option for starting off slowly. Moving on to taking led classes is a natural next step, as you are still in the presence of a professional keeping an eye on you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you will be taking on swimming laps solo, or visiting the lake or ocean for a dip!
Once you begin really diving in (pun intended!) to overcome your fears, you will open up your life to so many new and exciting opportunities. By taking action, you are taking back control of your own life.
Meditation for Fight-or-Flight Response
Coming back to talking about the “Fight-or-Flight” response, we can respect that it serves a very practical purpose. Today however, this response is activated often and for long periods of time in many people. Yoga, t’ai chi, regular exercise, meditation, and breath work are all excellent choices for relieving stress. You will know that your parasympathetic nervous system has kicked in (ie: you have moved beyond fight-or-flight) when you begin yawning, sighing, sneezing, sleepiness, coughing, or crying.
Our bodies do not like to hold on to stress – no surprise there! Stress creates tension, discomfort and pain. It is our minds that have a tendency to hold on to stress. Allow your body to shake the stress out if that feels like what you want to do. Laughing, shouting, jumping, dancing or whatever your body naturally wants to do in order to release what it does not need to hold on to are all very beneficial. Try not to place any judgment upon this release … this expression.
Imagine now that your stress accumulates more and more, into a crescendo, until it rises way up above you to form a cloud. Begin to imagine this cloud transforming into a storm. This is entirely your creation now, so imagine anything about the storm that you would like to. What does the wind sound like? What does it feel like? What other sounds are there? What color is the sky, how thick are the clouds? How low to the ground are they? Is there lightning? How much lightning, and what kind?
When you are ready, experience all the sensations of a storm unleashing above you. Release your doubts, and feel a cleansing rain pouring down upon you. Feel your entire being be filled with the love, light and power of pure Spirit.
Imagine the sun coming out to warm and dry you. Allow the renewing energy of the sun to fill you and surround you. Know that it is with you, always.
Remember to return to this feeling of renewal and empowerment whenever you need to.
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