Identify Your Fears
Learning how to identify your fears is usually more difficult than it sounds. That is because they are often unconscious. And whatever is unknown has the capacity to hold power over you. Whatever remains hidden from your consciousness makes it just about impossible to change.
If you have done some personal reflection, meditation or growth work, you may already have had the opportunity to identify your fears. That's the good news.The bad news is, it takes a lot of work to change sabotaging negative beliefs of which fear is a major player.
An obvious clue to what your fears may be, lies in what is lacking in your life no matter how hard you have tried to achieve it. For example if you are stiving for a successful small business and getting nowhere, are you afraid of success? What would the consequences be for you if you became successful? What might you lose by gaining success?
Some Common Sabotaging Fear-Based Beliefs...
- If I earn a lot of money, how will I know I'm really loved?
- If I succeed in business, will my partner be jealous and leave me?
- I'll never lose weight so there is no point in even trying.
- I just don't have what it takes to get through university.
- I'm just not attractive enough to find a loving partner.
- This job is the best I can hope for considering my lack of qualifications.
- I'll never earn enough money to pay off a mortgage. I'm stuck renting forever.
Conscious Willpower Vs Subconscious Progams
Tensions between conscious willpower and subconscious programs can result in serious neurological disorders. For me, a powerful image of why we should not challenge the subconscious comes from the movie Shine. In the movie, based on a true story, Australian concert pianist David Helfgott defies his father by going off to London to study music. Helfgott’s father, a survivor of the Holocaust, programmed his son’s subconscious mind with the belief that the world was unsafe, that if he “stood out” it might be life threatening. His father insisted he would be safe only if he stayed close to his family. In spite of his father’s relentless programming, Helfgott knew that he was a world-class pianist who needed to break from his father to realize his dream.
In London, Helfgott played the notoriously difficult Third Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff in a competition. The film shows the conflict between his conscious mind wanting success and his subconscious mind concerned that being visible, being internationally recognized, was life-threatening. As he labors through the concerto, sweat pouring from his brow, Helfgott’s conscious mind fights to stay in control, while his subconscious mind, fearful of winning, tries to take control of his body. Helfgott consciously forces himself to maintain control through the concerto until he plays the last note. He then passes out, overcome by the energy it took to battle his subconscious programming. For that “victory” over the subconscious, he pays a high price: when he comes to, he is insane.
Most of us engage in less dramatic battles with our subconscious mind as we try to undo the programming we received as children. Witness our ability to continually seek out jobs that we fail at, or remain in jobs we hate, because we don’t “deserve” a better life.
Lipton Ph.D., Bruce H. (2008-09-15). The Biology of Belief (p. 141). Hay House. Kindle Edition.