Do you prefer Love or Fear…..?
Silly question, hey? Of course, the answer for us most is Love… Surely we prefer Love!
But why is it that often choose fear?
Often, and far too often, we talk to ourselves in a negative and fearful way, creating our own inner world of obstacles, blocks and challenges and we end up choosing fear…we believe we are unworthy, not enough, imperfect and this feels scary!
Yes, surely it would be love we choose.
That’s what we want right? That is what we like .. but we can find fear predominates.
Crazy hey? But why?
Why cause or self-inflict pain and the discomfort of fear..?
It is because we humans are WIRED FOR FEAR!! We see fear BEFORE anything else. It’s subconscious and innate.
We mistake it for danger, and we convince ourselves we shall feel safer, as a result of looking for it.
We sense it and screen for it EVEN WHEN THERE is NO DANGER.
The danger, in most of our western worlds, is long gone, no tiger to be seen.
We often seek it anyway.
You may call them the “worries” or the “what if’s” or we can feel it as anxiety, irritability, frustration or anger.
We can find ourselves procrastinating, avoiding, or resisting situations and opportunities that we know deep down we really WANT!
We may start to feel like a fraud or imposter or that someone may tell us we are not enough unless we check or avoid anything that feels like fear.
When we felt fear, we chose love?
When we find ourselves stuck, we let go?
We see fear as an opportunity to LOVE on ourselves, even more?
So, when we want something instead of fearing the worst, we actually love it instead for all it can teach us? We embrace the fear and do it anyway?
Embracing Fear is an active and intentional energy, that turns it [fear] on its head.
It says to the inner saboteur “Bring it ON! I am ready to learn from fear and I love the process!”
Just imagine a world where fear was part of a life well lived. Taking us out of our present life ‘comfort zone’ to find more life and more meaning!
Understanding the neurophysiology of the brain helps here.
When we perceive fear, we have the SAME reaction as for DANGER. Our heart rate rises and our adrenaline kicks in. Our cortisol rises and our muscles are ready to run! Our brains limbic system kicks off all sorts of chemicals for the FFF response from wiring deep in our brainstem.
Our memory centre the hippocampus gets involved too, recalling similar events, and layering more and more meaning to the response
“I am afraid so must be in danger, I must leave, hide, fight. I MUST STOP THIS!!”
What if, instead of this, our conscious brain gets involved, and as it is practiced over and over again, it repeats a statement to ALTER the filter it has, to provide another way to respond and instead we hear..
“I am safe, there is no danger, this is only fear, and I am choosing fear to learn and grow, BRING IT ON!!”
In the seminal text Feel the Fear and do it anyway Susan Jeffers suggests a phrase that goes a bit like this for whenever breaching fear and doing it anyway, she suggest we say to ourselves in moments of fear ”I’ll handle it”.
What she also suggests is that the fear will stay, as long as you grow!
No fear, no growth. No growth, no fear. It’s all part of a life well lived.
Fear is a good sign as it heralds growth!
FEAR = GROWTH
GROWTH = LIFE FULLY LIVED
A LIFE FULLY LIVED IS A LIFE LOVED
And that when we do just do it, we will and can find a way to handle it.
When We turn Fear to Love.
Then we learn and we grow. It creates results and we become more able and confident.
And in time we choose to “Love the Fear” because a life without fear is one that is limited, one of no growth and no confidence
From Barbara Fredrickson’s book Positivity, Love is the most complete of all the positive emotions we can have and is always there for us to access.
She explains that we literally can seek LOVE. Like a plant we can nurture it and let it predominate.
Positive emotions and negative coexist and if we keep the ratio at 3:1 she finds we are in a place of happiness.
Self-love is one of the most important loves of all as without ourselves, we are not existing, and when we do get around to love ourselves we can be at our best and thrive, and when are at our best, others gain more.
So back to self-talk and that inner voice… what’s your gremlin’s favourite negative phrase to you?
What does is say? Go on tell me..
Often it’s along the lines of “you idiot”, “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t do that”, “X may happen and I’ll look stupid” etc – write them down and I’ll come on to them later.
Now. Right now – let’s take this on this month of December, a month of love, peace, and joy for many and one where those who don’t have a place to be loved need it even more, and often a time where we need to love ourselves to manage the additional stress this season can bring and to enter the new year ready to embrace and grown from fear whilst loving ourselves and all that life has to teach us!
Because we can control how we respond 100%, this doesn’t need anyone else to achieve it, we can start with ourselves now.
Self-compassion has been found to reduce stress and increase quality of Life.
Self-compassion can be created in three main steps according to Neff 
- Mindfulness to be in the moment and present in our own lives now.
- Self-Kindness – both gentle and fierce – with acts of nurture, to pamper, and the acts to defend, with boundaries
- Common Humanity – be unto ourselves what we would be unto others – – self respect and care
So, let’s get on to Love and let it overcome Fear! At this time of the year this is such a great time to embrace not only the love to others but also to ourselves
The top three actions I would begin with to turn Fear to Love are:
1. Affirmations or if you prefer ‘statements to self’ that move us to positive action and self-belief
2. Acts of self-love and self-compassion and acts of Love and compassion to others
3. An attitude of Gratitude with gratitude journaling or acts of gratitude
These are fabulous tools to Reframe FEAR as a place to LOVE and GROW
Let’s affirm our self-love now
“I love myself whatever I do and whatever the outcome I am loved by me”
Let’s use Self talk to reprogramme our brain to see Fear as a way to Love
“When I feel fear I know this is the exact time to Love myself even more”
And until next year I am sending you all Love, Peace and Moments of Joy amongst the crazy festive time ahead!
Many Merry Festive Wishes to you all
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