Hello. I just wanted to share with you a realization I had recently. Namely, that fear is a misinterpretation of a heightened sense of energy. It is your mind labeling the felt experience in a disempowering way, through rationalization and faulty logic.
When you enter into a situation that makes you feel afraid, you can choose to interpret the situation in a different way.
Have you noticed that what you fear and desire most are oftentimes the same thing? Have you noticed that your fear of your desire is blocking you from attaining it by preventing you from taking the necessary actions?
When you enter into those situations that inspire fear/desire (which is really just heightened energy), it is your mind’s interpretation of that sensation that determines how you will experience it.
If you can disidentify from your mind’s labeling, and you have enough presence to realize that the story your mind constructs around a certain feeling is an arbitrary bundle of thoughts that determines how you frame the situation, you can then a.) Feel the feelings that arise without attaching the labels to them that make you interpret them as fear. AND b.) assign new (although still arbitrary) labels concerning that feeling of heightened energy.
Another way to interpret this heightened energy is excitement. And once you can re-label an event that arouses this heightened energy in you as excitement, you can do things you could not have done before because of the disempowering story you were telling yourself.
For most people, anytime an experience evokes a heightened sensation within them, they choose to label it in a negative way, and then they seek to escape the feeling through whatever techniques they use to numb themselves. They have no capacity to feel that heightened energy without immediately attaching a disempowering label to it that keeps them stuck in the same pattern of behavior.
For instance, a rather petty example in my life has to do with talking to girls. Anytime the situation came up in the past, I would experience this rush of energy in my body and interpret it as fear. This interpretation would prevent me from talking to girls. The feelings evoked, combined with the stories I’d tell myself in my head, would paralyze me. And I would therefore seek escape from this feeling (by not talking to the girl). And paradoxically, talking to girls (which inspired so much fear) was also something that I desired to do. Now, when that same situation arises, those same feelings come up. The difference is that not only can I allow those feelings to be there without assigning a label to them, but I can also interpret them in a way that makes me feel excited.
Obviously, I still have situations that inspire fear in me (death, for example. Along with many other things). But I think that this “method” can be applied to more serious situations.
Why is it that when people are in life threatening situations, many times they are not afraid? Instead, they are imbued with a sort of super-human energy that would have otherwise gone into fueling fear and paralysis (in which case they would die). Ponder that, and apply it to less serious situations
If you can apply this to the smaller fears in your life, you can work your way up to the bigger ones.
The key is getting used to being able to hold heightened states of energy without labeling them. Once you can do this, you can assign new and beneficial labels to the experience.
“Why is it that when people are in life threatening situations, many times they are not afraid?”
Because the thing about fear is that it’s not a reaction to a situation itself, it’s your mind analyzing the possibilities and outcomes; simply put, it is uncertainty. But this ability to analyze is the very thing that can push you past your fears, because it’s also the very thing you utilize when you are forced to face them. You just need to learn to shift the focus. Everything falls into place once decisions are made. Accept that as the reality and many fears will naturally subside.
I think fear is more of an interpretation of a certain feeling evoked within the body. The reason some people don’t experience fear in life threatening situations is because they stop analyzing, and just act. The mechanisms within the body that would normally be interpreted by your mind as fear becomes an enhanced degree of adrenaline and energy that helps you to overcome the situation. The situation is so overwhelming and so unbelievable that the mind cannot interpret it.
In a less serious situation that normally produces fear, the same mechanism occurs. It’s just that in these situations, we can afford to analyze the situation and interpret this heightened feeling of adrenaline and energy as fear or anxiety, instead of enhanced aliveness.
It’s more about shifting focus away from analyzing, and more towards the feeling itself. Once you are able to do this, you can then choose to interpret/analyze the feeling in a different way.
The first step is being able to hold this increased energy in your awareness, without feeling the need to label it or escape from it, which is so easy to do (especially these days).
Fear is the edge of the limitations your have create your mind. You stand at the edge of your perceived limitations and peer into the darkness of the unknown. What you are really peering into are all the unknown possibilities. It’s a scary place, but consider just at that moment what could be possible if I step over the edge, if I don’t like it I can just step back?
Your guided writing is a good one in a moment of retrospect. “…<font color=”#283235″>heightened energy is excitement,” Energy is a waveform and fear is the trough (or non-existent at all). The trough is decreased energy. With decreased energy there is less will power, less focus, less attention, less clarity. Flatlined is a steady walk on a sidewalk. The transitional phases are not always conscious ones, solitary ones, desirable, and/or prepared for. I was reading a list of fears yesterday and today I came across your post. Fear has come a long way by interpretation and although from reading is mostly “in the mind;” I think fear is still used for instilling and partitioning the mind. Fear is not some ideological belief (archaic definition). I think fear is a container. Which is why I enjoyed reading your post because you added an interpretation that fear is heightened energy. Heightened energy is different from /Flight or Flight/ and /Adrenaline/ rushes. </font>