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How Consciousness Can Help Overcome Fear

Without consciousness, we are “automatons driven by fear, greed and habit”, according to David Rock (neuroscientist). I have heard myself talking to so many patients and clients about this in the last few weeks. In truth, whatever we do is either motivated or inspired by avoiding fear or it is motivated by love. I find this a really useful check for myself, to constantly ascertain whether I am operating out of love or fear.

When we do fear avoidance behaviour, we shut ourselves down. If you think movement hurts you and you are afraid of pain and of making yourself worse, then you are likely to keep still. If you avoid pain and stay still, you will get worse, for certain. However, if you move gently and with mindfulness, you will stimulate the circulation and you will heal. Fear avoidance behaviour never works in the long term and it always brings on more of what we fear and are trying to avoid in the long term. Test it in your own life and experience.

People who fear scarcity, try to hold onto things and this always in the long term leads to pushing things away. I always say: if your hands are closed because you are trying to hold onto what you have, then your hands aren’t open to receive more. A closed fist bounces “more” off it. If you follow the wisdom of Victor Frankl, the great author who survived the unbearable experience of life in Auschwitz concentration camp in the Second World War, suggests that if we fear something, we should try to create the maximum amount of what we fear in our lives.

This is a fascinating approach. My son is in the middle of his matric exams right now and we have chatted at length about taking this approach to his fear of “failure”. Because he fears not doing brilliantly well in his exams, he has developed some health issues related to stress and feels tense. Although he is unlikely to actually fail, his mind is creating this tension in him and it is restricting his ability to do his best. We chatted about him letting go and making his exams a time for discovery and curiosity about what he actually does and doesn’t know. About allowing “failure” to be a possibility by relaxing and enjoying the exams. Knowing as we do, that the mind catastrophizes the things it feels threatened by and so not getting dream marks becomes converted into possible failure.

I ask you, what do you fear? What fear avoidance behaviour do you engage in? if it's not love driving you, it's fear. But we can't change our behaviour unless we understand it fully, so have a look!

I wish you a fearless week.

Warmest regards

Sue and the Body Brilliance Team,

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