“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali
We all know fear is a core emotion designed to make us aware of real or imagined threats.
What is less known is that fear is an emotion consisting of specific components without which it cannot exist.
Just like water ceases to exist if you remove one of the atoms in the H2O-molecule, fear can’t exist without the following three components:
- A future
- An imagined, unwanted scenario
- An unwillingness to face the unwanted scenario
Remove one component and fear disappears.
Try this exercise to see how it can work.
Envision something that scares you and see what happens to your fear if you:
- Wholeheartedly immerse yourself in the present moment
- Don’t imagine an unwanted scenario (if you can’t drop it, try visualizing a wanted scenario instead; worrying is just a misuse of your imagination)
- Become totally willing to face the unwanted scenario
Notice how all three components are within your conscious control.
In fact, it’s helpful to look at fear as an activity that you are doing.
You are creating an imagined future, you are creating an unwanted scenario and you are creating an unwillingness to face the unwanted scenario.
So, next time you catch yourself in the habit of “doing fear,” see it as an opportunity to do some spiritual weightlifting (no membership required, the gym comes to you).
Remove one component and you’ll collapse fear like a house of cards.
And as fear falls away you’ll automatically become more capable, happy and free.
“People say we got it made. Don’t they know we’re so afraid?” – John Lennon