The Nature of Fear
Have you ever wanted to change your life but could not? No matter
what you do, you cannot seem to overcome your fear?
The Costs of Fear
Fear is a HUGE stumbling block for a lot of people. It is a huge
obstacle to your personal growth and greatly limits your ability to
achieve your fullest potentials in life.
Fear can prevent you from making positive changes in your life.
Sometimes even the smallest changes in life can seem like a big
struggle because of fear. Each time you try to change something,
anxiety and stress creep into your system, and you simply gave up.
You may want to change your job or buy a new car or house but the
thought of change, and the anxiety that accompanies it, soon
discouraged you from even trying. So you end up stuck in the same
situation and condition all your entire life.
Because of fear, you may not even be able to take small risks, such as
making new friends, joining a fitness club, start a relationship or just
being friendly with your neighbors. Fear can be extremely crippling.
Some people are unable to live an ordinary life because of fear.
Fear can also prevent you from breaking destructive habits. Despite
knowing the damage smoking is to your health, you may not find the
courage to stop. The same goes for your eating habits, drinking and
even the habit of procrastination. All these destructive habits are
symptoms of underlying fear that had not been resolved.
Fear is one factor that prevents most people from achieving their goals
in life. It is likely that it is the same for you. You may want to take a
course in public speaking or be a successful writer but fear becomes a
stumbling block and stops you on the track.
But fear is only crippling to our life if we allow it.
We do have a choice whether to allow fear in our life or not. Most
people do not know this fact and so they live their lives taking fear for
granted as part and parcel of life.
It may take a long time to eliminate all forms of fear in your life but at
the very least you can reduce most of them, and start to live a life of
joy and freedom, and feel a sense of liberation and bliss.
I am telling you this is possible because I have done it. I used to have
quite a number of big fears. One of them, the fear of people in uniform
and authority took me years to overcome. Another was the fear of
public speaking - the mother of all fears!
Today I am happy to share with you that I have overcome both these
fears. By this, I mean that I am at least now functional. There is still
fear within but in a manageable degree. Eliminating fear from your life
is a continuous life long process.
As I learned to understand fear, its nature and root cause, and how to
overcome it, I have collected quite a large armory of tools that can
effectively eliminate fear. Some of these, which I discovered later, are
so powerful and effective that they can literally remove your fear
I will be sharing more of these methods with you later.
Here is a simple exercise for you:
Write in less than 500 words whether you believe the universe you live
in is a benevolent universe or a hostile universe, and why you believe
so. Your answer may give you an insight into your belief system.
Later, you will realize that a large part of our fear is due to our belief
systems. We literally programmed fear into our lives without
consciously knowing that we are doing this to ourselves. The good
news is that once we become aware of it, we can do something
positive to change it.
The Many Faces of Fear
Fear comes in many forms.
In its mildest, you may experience it as mild unease or discomfort, a
feeling of heaviness in your heart area or funny feeling in the stomach.
It is vague and difficult to pin point or name.
At the other extreme end, fear can manifest as outright rage, such as
road rage, that can literally kill or cause one to kill. It may also present
as extreme fear, as when your life is threatened or calamity strikes.
Such fear is often seen in war zones or concentration camps, arising
from the fear of dying or the threat of being inflicted with physical,
emotional and mental pain.
In between these two extreme, there is a wide spectrum of
presentation of fear. Disappointment, frustration, irritable, anger,
sadness, shame, blame, regret, anxiety, depression, obsession,
compulsion, paranoia, phobia and destructive habits are all various
ways fear manifests itself. When you look deep within for the root
cause, you will find that they are symptomatic of our fear.
Even so called normal and socially acceptable behaviors and emotions
such as impatience, envy, jealousy, greed, procrastination, always in a
rush, non-tolerance, dogmatic, loneliness, the desire to belong or be
accepted, the need to be in control or to control and the need for
security are all fear in its many forms.
To understand how this is so, we need to look deep within ourselves
with openness and honesty. We need to have the courage to face up
to our own shadows and fear. Only then we will see it for what it really
The Root Cause of Fear
What causes fear?
Is there a root cause to all our fears?
Despite the many forms of fear, it can be gathered into 3 main groups:
1. Fear of insecurity
2. Fear of loneliness or non-acceptance
3. Fear of loss
Fear of Insecurity
Fear of insecurity manifests out of a need for safety. When our safety
or security is threatened or compromised, this fear arises. Safety here
refers not only to physical safety but also emotional and mental safety.
We take great pain to protect ourselves from emotional and mental
hurts and harms.
Fear of Loneliness
This fear includes also the fear of separation and arises out of our need
to be accepted and included. We fear being excluded, forsaken,
shunned, rejected, ostracized, ex-communicated or abandoned.
The sense of loneliness can be felt even when one is physically present
in the midst of a crowd of people. What we want is not merely physical
closeness but emotional and mental acceptance. This is one of the
reasons that drive us into forming relationships with others. We longed
for approval and acceptance.
Fear of Loss
This fear arises out of our need to hold on. We fear loss of our life, our
property, our family, our money, our reputation, our fame, our
freedom, and just about anything you can think of. We cling on to
things we like and run away from things we don't. This fear of loss is
the fear of loosing everything we considered dear and near to us.
In fact, we can even include our fear of loneliness and fear of
insecurity into this group. After all, fear of loneliness is just another
expression of fear of loss of acceptance and inclusiveness. Likewise,
fear of insecurity is another expression for our fear of loss of security
Thus, we can say that every fear is somehow a fear of loss of
Yet even these 3 basic fears can be traced back to a root cause, which
is the belief that we are merely physical being.
The more we hold on to this physicality, the more we fear, for there is
nothing that can be permanent or secure in this physicality. No
amount of money or properties we hoarded can save us from the
destruction of a tsunami or hurricane, for example. Our physical body
also must one day decay and die. Our physical life must come to an
end in death.
There can be no certainty and guarantee in this physicality, and it
drives us mad that our need for acceptance, security and control can
never truly be fulfilled.
The only way to reverse this fear is therefore only possible if we begin
to believe in our spirituality, that we are indeed spiritual beings.
Our spirituality offers us continuity, security, permanence, love and
completeness. Only when we operate from this perspective can we
begin to release our fear and embrace the love, peace and
completeness that have always been there.
Therefore, to eliminate the root cause of our fear, we need to change