Emotion ManagementEmotional IntelligenceMindfulness

What Fear is Really Trying to Tell You

jumping fearless

Fear is trying to tell you something. Listen to it. It speaks to you for a reason. And if you’re wondering what that reason could be, then keep on reading.

Fear is an emotion many of us try to avoid due to the uncomfortable feelings it brings about in our body. We don’t like to feel or lean into fear, even though it is practically in our nature to feel and act on it. It acts as a safety net for us — typically, fear is known in the world of biology as our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) otherwise known as the “fight or flight” response. When our sympathetic nervous system is activated, our heart rate starts to race and we want to act immediately. This sense of urgency is needed when we are in a dangerous situation, but how often are we in something that is life or death? How often are we automatically leaning into fight or flight response when really, we are self imposing a fearful situation on ourselves? Now, there are several different things that come to peoples’ minds when they are in a place where they feel scared. Do any of these things sound familiar?

“I feel paralyzed.”

“I want to break down and cry.”

“I want to run away.”

“I’d rather step away and avoid this situation.”

“I don’t want to feel embarrassed.” 

“I’m scared.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

… and the list goes on. 

Let me be the one to tell you that it is completely valid to feel into these statements or to even have said them at one or more points in your life. There are normal moments in which fear is an emotion that makes sense for a situation, but there are other times when our minds and bodies are trying to tell us something else.

So, how can we know what fear is really trying to tell you? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself and contemplate on. 

  1. How does your body feel when the emotion of fear (or what you think is fear) arises? 
  2. If you are in a safe situation, what is the core issue in your life that is causing the fear? 
  3. What are the triggers in my life that cause these fearful moments to arise? 

Let me elaborate on these questions: 

  1. How does your body feel when the emotion of fear (or what you think is fear) arises? 
    1. This question raises up the difference between fear and intuition. I wrote a blog post about the difference here. http://erilm.com/honor-your-intuition-in-business/ Sometimes people are confused as to whether or not they are feeling an intuitive pull away from danger or if they are fearful of something that makes them nervous and uncomfortable. Here’s an excerpt in my other blog post I have linked above:

      “Intuition is present time. When relying on your intuitive guidance, you are in the here and now. When you notice the energy that comes from your intuitive guidance, you feel light, open, expansive and good.

      In comparison, fear, most commonly in its form of ego-based fear (irrational fear), is in the here and now but differs in what it tells your mind. It likes to trick you into believing that you’re in full control of your life, often causing stress and not allowing the universe any space to work its magic. Fear loves familiarity, structure and safety. When you think of how your body feels when you’re in fear, you feel a tightening in the body, as if you’re closing yourself off to the world.”

      When you learn how to decipher the difference between the two feelings, it can help you better understand where fear is coming from in your life.
    2. If you are in a safe situation, what is the core issue in your life that is causing the fear? 

      Again, fear is an automated emotion that comes with certain bodily sensations that feel very common to intuitive pulls toward safety. But when you are safe, what emotions are you trying to avoid? Or what circumstances are you trying to stay away from? 

      Sometimes, our fear is rooted in insecurities we have that prevent us from wanting to be seen, judged or heard. And once we begin to name those emotions, feelings, and circumstances that we are actually afraid of, then we are in a better position to take steps toward moving through and overcoming our fears.
    3. What are the triggers in my life that cause these fearful moments to arise? 

      This is an important question to ask ourselves as well, because often times, we are not asked this nor do we really want to think about it. When we name our triggers, we take back our power. We begin to enter a space where our triggers are known, therefore we can choose to be mindful when they come up and be patient with ourselves when fear arises. This is typically a question to think about when it comes to trauma, since triggering content, messaging or interactions can happen or be exposed to us without us even expecting it. 

When you ask yourself these questions, you are choosing to better understand your emotions, and more importantly, better understand your fear. 

Fear is one of those emotions that people use as an easy excuse to avoid something that makes them feel uncomfortable, such as growth or change. It’s also an emotion that people find themselves limited by when they allow fear to control the decision making in their lives. Although I’m not telling you emotions are something you can control 24/7, you CAN control your reaction and interpretation of the emotion. You CAN control your response to the emotion, as your actions of what you do next give good indicators for where things in your life could head toward. 

I hope that you can include these questions and this blog post in your emotional tool belt when trying to better understand your fear. Now tell me, what tools are you thinking of incorporating when dealing with fear from this point on? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to schedule a Clarity Call with me to discuss a fear that may be preventing you from moving forward. 

With all my love,

Eril M | Eril on Earth 

fearful person standing on high grond

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