We don’t generally even like “thinking” about things that really scare us. Whatever your phobia is, just try to picture it happening. For me, it would be someone pushing me in a room with a big “scary” dog and then locking the door behind me. When I try to ‘think’ of that scenario – I immediately feel the resistance. You pull away from it and don’t want to even think it. Why? It is a make-believe me with a make-believe dog. What on *earth* could happen in my own mind? Nothing could ‘actually’ happen to me, right? Then why does part of our mind ( and practically our body) react to it so strongly? Maybe, on some level, we DO think that by thinking something we are attracting it to us, making it more inclined to happen.
Yet, our Ego mind doesn’t use this same concept in the reverse to actually HELP us. We also won’t let ourselves think of the BEST-case scenario. Thinking about something upcoming that could exceed our wildest dreams in every way, that we excelled in every way. Nope, not allowed to think that either, even though it IS something we want to attract to us. In that case, the mind thinks it is keeping us safe from *disappointment*. For instance, when building a new business or some other new challenge, the mind seems to actively keep us from envisioning it all just working out, because we might feel let down if we don’t get everything we dreamed of – so instead, we just hold ourselves back from ever trying or improving.
Yet in both of these situations where I experience fear, I know that the fear will do absolutely nothing to serve me in the situation. If I fear public speaking, that only tightens my voice in my throat (as if the body is literally trying to keep you silent by closing your throat off), makes me speak too quickly, or stumble over words. I KNOW I am perfectly capable of speaking to myself, so, why does this act scare me when surrounded by others – it has no effect on my mouth, lungs, or brain that allows me to carry out this magnificent feat! Thus, the fear does NOT provide anything, and actually CAUSES what I fear – e.g. to give the speech poorly.
In the situation of being locked in with a dog, turning to the door and screaming and pounding at it will not help the vibe I’m giving the dog. Turning and pressing my back against the door so hard that I’m practically willing my body to be sucked *through* the wall will not help either. Both of these only convey to the dog that I’m vulnerable and weak. Thus, fear is actually creating a situation in which there is something to fear – self fulfilling. If I stood with absolute authority, control and confidence, the dog would get a different vibe. *If* the dog were to attack, I’d be far more capable of defending myself if that were my stance. I could be alert in the same way I am for a game of ping pong. I’m not experiencing fear yet I am heightened to quickly respond to my surroundings.
Fear is the mind trying to KEEP YOU SAFE FROM that unknown thing. It assists us to ensure we think through things before making choices that will not serve our greater good. However, once our conscious mind has made the CHOICE to do something (like give a speech), or, if the CHOICE was never yours to begin with (like being locked in a room with a dog), then fear does not help at all. It’s not even neutral. Ironically, fear in these situations tends to actually CREATE the very thing you fear.
Thus, if we can begin to become aware of this – and start stepping away from it and seeing it happen, we can acknowledge the fear, thank it for what it is trying to achieve, but know that it is undermining you. It will only lead to the worst version of the situation. To have the best version of the situation, you realize that the fear itself is what would be creating that situation (without the fear I know I’ll have a good speech, without the fear I know I will convey assertiveness and the dog will leave me alone), thus you have a comforting relief in knowing it will be okay if you release the fear, and if you know it will be okay, then obviously you have nothing to fear, so thus don’t need to be fearful, and it recedes.