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By Erin Blaskie

 

Fear is something that we are all faced with every single day of our lives. Whether it is a small manifestation of fear or something anxiety-inducing, experiencing it on a regular basis is a common occurrence.

According to Wikipedia, fear is:

An emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior. Fear may occur in response to a specific stimulus happening, which is perceived as risk to health or life, status, power, security or anything held valuable.

One of the easiest ways to transform fear is to define it and flip it.

Defining It: In order to understand why we’re afraid of whatever it is we’re afraid of, we need to give the fear a name and get to know what it truly looks like if it were to manifest in our lives.

Think about it this way – how many times have you been afraid of something in your life only to find out that it wasn’t as scary as you thought it might be? We’re often more afraid of the things we’ve never experienced than we are of what we have experienced. Give your fears a name and they become less scary.

Flipping It: Flipping your fears is a practice whereby you identify the fear, and perhaps the repercussions of the fear, and then you flip each piece of that into something positive. You seek out the silver lining in each of the worst-case-scenarios so that you are armed with the upside should you ever need it.

When we know that we’ll be okay no matter what and we understand that the worst-case-scenario is nothing we can’t come back from, we can begin to replace fear with bravery. We can take steps that we may have been otherwise afraid to take.

 

The “I’m Okay Because…” Practice

The “I’m okay because…” practice is something that you can use to transform your fears, identify the silver lining (even in the face of worst-case-scenarios) and shine some light on the darkest parts of our thought patterns.

Although many people don’t relish the thought of going down the path of negative thinking, sometimes doing so can do one of two things:

1)      It can soften us into the places where we currently hold fear to show us that we will be okay even if our worst fears come true or;

2)      It will help us identify where the fear truly lives.

Here’s how it works. Think about what you are afraid of and move into the worst case scenario from that first point of fear. I’ll give you an example to illustrate what it looks like.

I’m afraid that I won’t make enough money in my business.
If I don’t, I won’t be able to pay my team.
I will have to let them go and work solo again.
I may have to get a job.
I might have to sell my house.
I may need to move back in with family.
I won’t be able to afford anything.
It’ll be a long journey back.

As you move through each stage of the worst-case-scenario, ask yourself the following question:

Am I okay?

Here is what your additional thought process may look like when you’re asking yourself, “Am I okay?”

I’m afraid that I won’t make enough money in my business.
[I’m okay – I’ll be able to make exactly what I need]

If I don’t, I won’t be able to pay my team.
[I’m okay – I’ll pay them on my credit card before I pay myself]

I will have to let them go and work solo again.
[I’m okay – I’ve been there before and I can survive in that scenario again]

I may have to get a job.
[I’m okay – I’ll be able to use the skills from my self-employment for another company]

I might have to sell my house.
[I’m okay – I can rent]

I may need to move back in with family.
[I’m okay – my family is supportive and we’ll get through it together]

I won’t be able to afford anything.
[I’m okay – I don’t need much to survive]

It’ll be a long journey back.
[I’m okay – the journey is half the fun and I’ll expand beyond where I am now]

As you can see, the “I’m okay” part becomes a practice of flipping the fear into something softer. The chance to say, “So, that situation will be terrible but if the worst case scenario still has a silver lining… I’m going to be okay.”

Re-read your initial worst-case-scenario. Feel into each line that you write with your entire body, check in with how you feel and ask yourself (or journal out) the answers to the following questions:

  • What sort of reaction am I experiencing emotionally and physically?
  • Where did I begin to feel anxiety?
  • Where did I think that I would experience anxiety but didn’t?
  • Was my brain able to start the process of seeing a silver-lining or was I only seeing bleakness?

This should become a regular practice that you use anytime you feel fear. The more you practice the art of “flipping” your fears from bleak isolation to being supported by a silver lining, the less likely it will be that a fear will be devastating, consuming or overwhelming.

To help you with this practice, I’ve created a PDF downloadable worksheet (my gift to you!) that I put together in my home studio. Feel free to print it out as many times as you like and use it to transform your fears anytime you need to do so.

I’d love to hear from you! What practice(s) have you found particularly useful as it relates to transforming fear? Leave it in the comments below, tag me on Twitter @ErinBlaskie, or leave me a message on my Facebook page.

Erin Blaskie is a woman involved in a passionate love affair with life. Erin writes on her blog at www.ErinBlaskie.com about emotional intelligence, vulnerability, manifestation, personal growth and more.

Erin is also the co-founder of a digital marketing agency, Next Dev Media, and spends a lot of her time immersed in marketing strategies for her clients. She has also been listed by Forbes as an inspiring female founder to follow.

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