“OK Mindy, I did what you said yesterday, I felt fear, now what? I’m still afraid.” Step 2 is figuring out why you’re feeling fear in the first place. If you try to skip step 1 it will probably be harder to make progress (go back and read yesterday’s post if you haven’t yet).
All our emotions come from our thoughts. Did you get that? Every feeling you have is because of a thought you are thinking. So if you’re feeling fear, it’s because of a thought in your head. And thoughts are optional.
Take out a pen and paper and write down every single thing you can think of regarding whatever it is you’re afraid of. Really empty out your brain so there isn’t anything left.
Now look at your thoughts. Remember, you are not your thoughts. You are the watcher of your thoughts. Look at your thoughts with curiosity, not judgement. No matter what you’ve written down on that piece of paper, it doesn’t say anything about who you are. Step outside of it and just be curious.
I wonder why I’m thinking that?
Is it even true?
Can I find any evidence that’s it not true?
Is it possible the opposite is true?
Is it serving me to think it?
Who would I be if I didn’t think it?
So many of us think our fear is outside of us. That we can’t control it. That it comes whether we want it to or not. That we are powerless against it.
I have good news for you: you’re creating it.
Why is this good news? Because it gives you your power back. If you don’t want to be afraid anymore, you can choose different thoughts that don’t create that fear. Sometimes it takes time to rewire our brains, so be patient with yourself. You’ve probably been thinking these thoughts for a long time. And your brain wants to do everything the easiest way possible.
That means your brain is going to keep offering you those same thoughts because it wants to do things the same way you’ve always done them.
But you get to choose if you want to listen or not. You get to choose if you want to believe them or not. Just because your brain offers something, doesn’t mean you have to believe it.
I’m sure some of you think I’m crazy at this point. She wants me to just think something different? And then I won’t be afraid anymore? Seriously? Yes. It’s really that simple. Simple, but not necessarily easy. Practice thinking a new thought over and over and over again. Put it on sticky notes all over the place. Use courage to give your brain evidence to believe the new thought (see yesterday’s post).
And if you still need help, hire a coach. Sometimes it’s difficult to see our own thoughts because we’re so wrapped up in them. Having a coach help you navigate those waters will make all the difference in the world.