This is a guest post by Justin Mazza of the award winning personal growth blog Mazzastick.com.
Fear is a reaction to something that you believe to be true. You don’t have a feeling about anything unless you have a belief or a definition about the situation or experience that you are having.
It’s the reaction to your definition or belief that you “bought into” that causes your fears in the first place.
In the beginning
You are born. You learn to crawl, stand up, walk and eventually speak all on your own. Slowly you are indoctrinated into the customs of your society. You are told to sit still, to be quiet, to say please and thank you and to apologize when you are wrong.
You are placed in school, given a label and ultimately put in a box — limitations set for you. You didn’t like being in the box as most children don’t, but when you tried to get out, a friend, teacher, coach or parent gently — and sometimes not so gently —coaxed you back in.
They wanted you to stay in the box like them because if you became courageous enough and broke out of the box, it would force them to look at themselves, to acknowledge their own lack of courage and limiting beliefs.
And so you committed to living a dull, predictable and utterly boring existence.
This is what living a life of fear is like. You live in a box and become too afraid to break free of its constraints. The sad truth is that this is how the majority of people live their lives everyday. I say “sad” because they do not get to experience this World in a way that would be fun and exciting for them.
Caution vs. Fear
Living a fearless life does not mean living a life in which caution is never exercised. I want to make that clear before you read any more of this post.
Just remember that caution and fear are not the same thing. I seldom feel intense fear anymore but I am cautious. Just because I live a life that isn’t fear based does not mean that I don’t use caution when crossing the street or driving down an unfamiliar road for example.
Caution is not fear. It is simply the announcement of a clear choice to avoid outcomes which do not please you, and which do not represent who you are and who you choose to be.
Fear comes in various magnitudes. Deep fear — the kind that we can feel in the pit of our stomach, the kind that leaves our chest cold, the kind that stops our heart and generates huge amounts of energy. On the other hand, what I call “shallow” fear — the little fears of day-to-day life that really don’t run very deep (“Oh, I’ll never find a parking space”) rarely have any important or lasting effect and, indeed, often prove unfounded.
Letting Fear Stop You
I knew that fear was a key part in my life that kept me from taking action.
My fear was based upon insecurity and doubt. There were many things that I wanted to experience in life such as traveling out of the country or learning how to scuba dive, ( which I eventually learned how to do at the Cayman Islands).
I even had a fear of love at one time. Yes, I was afraid of being in love with another. It took me many years to learn to let go of this fear of love and to get to the root cause of it. Fear of abandonment.
I always believed that life is about growing and expanding yourself. But I often times would experience hesitation (fear) when trying something new.
I soon realized that this was my mind/ego’ attempt to keep me safe. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to move forward. It was my unexamined subconscious beliefs that were holding me back from creating a different reality. Beliefs that I could die, get hurt, embarrass myself or my family and so on.
If you want to start enjoying your life instead of fearing it, you have to take some risks and get outside of your comfort zone (your box).
Life begins outside your comfort zone.
We all have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. The Conscious mind is the “you” that is aware of what is going on around you. The subconscious mind is what causes your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe in oxygen and your basic daily habits.
If you truly want to get beyond your limiting beliefs about life and what you are capable of then you have to change your subconscious blueprint. The best way to do this is to tap into your subconscious mind and make the changes from there. If you try to make changes using only your conscious mind it won’t last because as soon as you are distracted your old conditioned habits will take over.
Justin Mazza is the owner and author of the award winning personal growth blog Mazzastick.com. He invites you to have a look at his latest eBook and audio program: Overcoming Fear: Sticking it to What’s Holding You Back.