Theun mares how to handle fear in these uncertain times fear can be an unwelcome and debilitating companion
HOW TO HANDLE FEAR
In these uncertain times fear can be an unwelcome and debilitating companion. Here are some tips to enable you to handle fear and make it work for you, instead of allowing it bring you down.
HOW TO HANDLE FEAR
So many events in the world today are shaking the foundations of our lives and uprooting our sense of security and permanence. Fuelled by sensationalist media coverage, it’s easy to allow these events to build a whirlpool of fear and then to be sucked into feeling powerless.
However, we can learn the steps to help us cope when we are confronted with uncertainty and turmoil, so that we no longer succumb to feeling disempowered and helpless when external events hit us.
The most empowering step is to learn how to handle our fear. It is not possible to avoid fear entirely, and neither is this desirable, because fear is an integral part of life. Look around in the world, and see if you can find anyone who is not subject to fear. All of life evolves through the medium of fear. Fear is an expression of the instinct to self-preservation, and, as such, we can learn to channel it.
We tend to fear what is unknown to us, which is why most people prefer to stay within the confines of their comfort zones, rather than face change. One only has to see how many stay stuck in the same job or the same relationship, even though they have lost all interest in that job or relationship, simply because they are too frightened to step out on their own.
What differentiates people, however, and makes such a difference in their life, is whether or not they have learned to handle their fear constructively, so that it does not debilitate them. Becoming debilitated by fear is very common, and the effects are the same for everyone. When you are in the clutches of fear, you are drained of your strength, and you feel totally weak and powerless.
Below are some steps that are vital in handling fear:
1/. Acknowledge it.
The very first step is to acknowledge our fear, instead of trying to brush it aside. Many people feel bad about admitting to their fear, believing that fear is a sign of weakness. Even from an early age, we are generally told not to be afraid, and so we end up suppressing our fear, hoping that if we deny it, it will go away.
However, denial and suppression can never make the fear go away – they simply result in the fear eating us away from the inside.
It is not possible to be objective when our vision is clouded. Fear tends to distort our perception of what is really going on. Therefore the second step is to detach from our fear, as detachment brings objectivity.
The first step in detaching from fear is to acknowledge its existence, as we mentioned above. We continue detaching by asking questions. This helps us to gain even more objectivity or clarity.
Clarity helps us to plan our next moves. It also helps ensure that when we are feeling fearful, we do not either react inappropriately, or else simply give up, through submitting to our fear.
In seeking clarity we ask ourselves questions, such as; “Why am I feeling afraid?” “Are there perhaps other reasons that I am not acknowledging?” “Is there any factual basis for my reasons, or are they based on suspicions?” “What more do I need to do to ensure that I am getting a full and objective picture of the situation and my fears?”
Very often, we get so caught up in our problems that an outside perspective can prove invaluable. Also, people see things differently, and different angles can help too with gaining an objective picture.
However, remember that the goal is to gain new perspectives, not to get other people to tell us what to do. In the end, all our decisions have to be our own, based on our own knowledge and judgement.
3/. Take Action.
Once you have started, keep going. The momentum of your action will propel you forward. This is a vital step we need to start as soon as possible.
Through taking action and moving forward we gain confidence and belief in ourself. It is only through taking action that we develop the ability to see our way clearly again.
Most of us know, for example, what it is like to be out of work, and how debilitating this can be. Most of us have also seen how, by taking action, one step at a time, and every day, in our search for work, we can feel better about ourselves and keep our fear at bay. The result is that our spirits rise, we feel more confident and we can respond better to opportunities that come our way.
4/. Look for the advantage.
Instead of just pushing it aside, use the fear positively to become wide awake, fully alert to opportunities, and to keep asking; “What’s really going on here?” Rather than allowing the fear to debilitate you, use it as a spur to become more creative.
If we are terrified of public speaking and we have to make a speech, we can use our fear to be hyper-alert to every aspect of our performance – our words, intonation, delivery, mannerisms. In short, we can use our fear to project an image of competence and self-confidence.
Finally, we need to look for the advantage in whatever is causing us to feel fear. Once we learn to get fear into its proper perspective, and can handle it, it is easier for us to see how fear can become a useful catalyst for change in our lives.
Remember fear can drive us forward to become bigger and better, wiser and more tolerant, more awake and therefore more responsive. Often we experience extreme fear when we are faced with the sort of crisis that leads to a major life change. Through learning how to handle our fear, we can become alert enough to use the opportunity that the crisis brings to become creative and to seize opportunities that we never knew existed.
Many have used the traumatic experience of losing their job as a springboard into a totally new and successful career. Although their initial experience may have been filled with fear, they focussed on the opportunities that they could gain, took the risk of branching into the unknown, and just kept going.
Through learning to handle our fear, our life starts taking on a new dimension of excitement, as we readily embrace innovation and change. Every step we take brings us more self-confidence. Soon we find that we have enough belief in our abilities to create for ourselves a life filled with success and meaning. For in the end, the biggest limitation that prevents us from achieving our dreams, is our fear.
Toltec-legacy is Theun’s online Teaching facility. This new website comprises a substantial public section, with a lot of useful resource material. However, at the heart of the website is a unique and vast teaching facility that includes, not only all of the material in Th?un’s books, but also articles and experiences from apprentices who have been working with the teachings in their daily lives, guidance given by Th?un to participants in his retreats, as well as a very substantial volume of guidance he has given over the past 8 years to a group of people all over the world, working intensely with him on an e-forum.
As one might expect from Th?un, in addition to the substantial material and guidance, the new website is absolutely stunning in its beauty and presentation. It leads the visitor though a true experience comprising rich and deeply symbolic graphics, as well as a live musical score that has been specifically created for us.
As you know, Th?un’s work is intensely practical, and the new website will offer the sincere seeker of knowledge the opportunity of learning to work with the Toltec teachings in the context of their daily lives, and also to receive ongoing feedback and guidance. It is especially appropriate to these times when more and more people are being thrown onto their own resources, and are searching for a new forward. Will they choose for victimhood, or will they choose for a new way of being?
The new website is at www.toltec-legacy.com I hope you enjoy it!