Have you ever experienced self sabotage?
Think about that part of you that seems to behave as if it wants the opposite of what you want.
Let’s call this part of you fear.
Fear’s job is to protect you.
Fear learned strategies to keep you safe. Fear created a defense mechanism for each thing you were rejected, embarrassed, humiliated, or punished for as a child. You learned what earned rejection or validation.
Defense mechanisms come in many different forms but always some version of fight or flight. They worked to protect you from rejection while you were growing up and adjusting to your family and community.
Everything you are doing, including the things you don’t like about yourself, you do to keep yourself safe and loved.
The problem is that fear likes to hold on and often creates exactly what it is trying to avoid.
We hold on to strategies that aren’t working and continue unhealthy patterns because at one point they kept us safe.
Getting yourself on your side is about understanding where these parts of you are coming from, discovering what they want, and learning that you are not your fear.
Here are four steps to get your fear on your side.
Notice the part of you that is afraid of something.
Noticing the fear, and that it is not the truth of who you are, is the first step to embracing your fear as another part of you asking for love.
The more parts of yourself you embrace, the less you will feel you need fear. It may seem counterintuitive to embrace your fear but, after all, it only ever wants to help you.
What does that part of you want?
Ask your fear what it wants. When you communicate with your fear you connect with this part of you in a new way. By connecting with your fear you can begin to change it.
Getting yourself on your side is about teaching your fear to be flexible. You cannot eliminate fear but you can use it as a motivation and fuel in the direction of your choice.
Find another job for your fear.
Is there another way your fear can have what it wants (which is often for you to feel safe) that is in alignment with your goals now?
You can start to allow your fear to move you away from the things that don’t serve you by deciding what is most important to you. What are your current goals and why are they important to you?
Direct the energy towards what matters most to you.
You are the one deciding what there is to be afraid of based on what you value.
Maybe it serves you to fear dying with your song unsung.
Maybe it serves you to fear never being vulnerable with the people you care about.
Fighting your fear doesn’t work.
Decide what it serves you to focus on instead.
Decide what is most important to you.
When I am more afraid of never going for greatness than I am of trying and failing, only then will I be truly motivated to risk.
It can be such a relief to let go of the hatred and resistance we have to our own fear.
When we take our fear to be who we are, we create more reason to fear. Freedom from fear comes from recognizing that it is not you. Take back your power from it.