If we are honest enough to break down all of our limiting beliefs, resentments, and character defects to the lowest common denominator, they can be summed up in one word: fear. Fear of taking risk. Fear of being wrong. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear that there is not enough to go around. Fear of not getting what we think we deserve.
Fear, at it’s core, is an instinct designed to keep us safe in situations of perceived danger. In certain situations, of course, fear might be appropriate, useful, and even critical. But we run into problems when we let this one emotion be the principal guiding force in our life. Fear is also an intense and unpleasant emotion, whether conscious or not, that is often caused by the anticipation of events that have not yet taken place, and might not ever take place. Living in fear is seductive and habit forming. It is as addictive as any drug, and much like drug addiction, it develops so subtly that it is well established before it becomes apparent. Once the grip of fear has ingrained itself so deeply in one’s life, it can be nearly impossible to even identify, let alone overcome.
What’s more, there is an insidious quality to fear that allows it to reproduce itself like a virus among friends, family, and even society. It gets passed from person to person and, as a result, has a gradual and cumulative effect. Because of this epidemic quality, fear can be leveraged in exploitative ways. Fear is used by the powerful to keep the masses manageable. We are assaulted daily with fearful suggestions. Our political leaders and the media do their best to convince us that we are doomed. We are supposed to worry about everything from the stock market collapsing to mass extinction from a meteor striking our planet. We watch television and read newspapers unaware of the damaging effect they can have on our subconscious mind when we unconsciously accept these messages without questioning them.
Much of the fear in our lives is an illusion. Whether it’s a lack of confidence in ourselves, or societally imposed panic, it is not beyond our personal power to overcome the controlling and insidious effects of anxiety, panic, uncertainty, etc. The foundational discovery to overcoming fear is to understand that there is only one true everlasting power; a healthy spirituality is an impediment to both addiction and fear. Faith in your personal spirituality and a willingness to identify your fears, with a non-judgemental sense of compassion towards yourself, will strip these illusions of their power. All of these “powerful” forces of negativity are fundamentally ego-based and temporary, whereas the creative power within you is limitless. Faith trumps fear every time.