Fear likes to show up anytime we start to leave our comfy cozy familiar place in the world.
When we start to express our desires in the world (see my sankalpa post), sometimes our old tapes start to play that we aren’t good enough or that we don’t actually deserve what we want.
3 Ways Fear Robs Your Joy
- Fear tempts you to crawl back under the covers and stay status quo.
- Fear keeps you in situations that don’t serve you or don’t support your growth.
- Fear keeps you putting your dreams off into the future. “I can’t afford it right now,” “After the kids move out,” “As soon as the house is paid off,” “After the holidays are over,” the excuses are endless.
Chances are, it is the same excuse that shows up over and over when you have opportunities to grow. Succumbing to the excuses helps us avoid the fear. What if I told you that fear and excitement show up in our bodies physically the exact same way? Sweaty palms, rapid heart rate, our breathing becomes more shallow and our pupils dilate. What is the difference then between someone who stands at the base of a mountain terrified to take one small step up, and the person who charges at it wanting to conquer the challenge?
The difference between fear and excitement is your breathing. When you are afraid, you don’t breathe. You body contracts as if to protect you from the scary unknowns that may be lurking on the other side of the mountain. For our mountain climbing friend who is excited? He is breathing. He feels expansion in his body and mind about all of the possibilities that may be on the mountain for him to experience.
How to Shift Fear into Excitement
- I challenge you to shift your mindset when fear sets in.
- Breathe through it, and imagine all of the unknown possibilities that may be on the other side.
- Journal how your body responds to fear.
- Start exploring your go-to excuses in your journal.
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. ~ from the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” 14th century CE
By working through these excuses, they have less power over your life and your decision-making process.
I would love to hear how fear robs you of joy and how you overcome it in the comments below.