When you leave your house for vacation, or even for the day, you lock your doors and windows. Maybe you set an alarm. You lock your car when you get out of it, secure your bike to a rack, you keep your valuables in a safe, your money in a bank. We all take steps and put practices in place to keep our physical belongings safe from those who might steal them. It seems so obvious, why even point it out? It’s a fact of life and it’s a fact of life because the alternative would be to just let someone take your stuff. We would never consciously allow anyone to steal from us. Yet we allow our fears to steal from us all the time.
Fear robs us of our joy, our peace, and our dreams. It stops us in our tracks, it holds us back, it keeps us from speaking up, it keeps us from acting, it blinds us. And it works in ways to keep us small. It coaxes us into allowing it to steal one of our most precious possessions: our potential.
Think of a time when you had an idea; you had a goal or a dream. You set out to bring it to fruition but then something stopped you. Maybe it was something you strongly felt you needed to do, but when the time came, you just didn’t do it.
What were the circumstances? What were your thoughts? Take a moment and really think about it. I guarantee if you follow the trail deep enough you will find that what stopped you in those moments was fear. Nothing more.
We would like to make our inaction about other things, using excuses involving bad timing, other people, or less than optimal circumstances. The cause of inaction almost every time is fear. This may be hard to hear but I encourage you to see it as a relief. If your fear is the only thing holding you back and sabotaging your growth, that means that all of the power to change it is in your hands right now.
How can you take immediate action? It begins with shifting your Consciousness.
Kabbalistically, we all have dormant forces within us, both positive and negative, and these forces are awakened depending on our consciousness. Fear and all other negative emotions come from the negative side. Kabbalah teaches that all of us are composed of pure Light, and our greatest strengths and qualities arise from the positive side. In order for there to be a positive side, a negative side must also exist. Without this duality, we would have no way to experience growth or realize our potential. However, when we become too mired, often unconsciously, in the negative side, we hinder our full experience of life.
When we bring consciousness to our fears we are able to make new, proactive choices. When we think a positive thought or we focus on something positive, we awaken those dormant forces of positivity within us.
Every single thought, word, and action is a manifestation of one of the two forces and positivity will outweigh the negativity if we feed it. Whichever side you feed grows.
Let’s put this into practice using the example of someone who wants to write a memoir. The idea has been circling their brain for months, maybe even years, but every time they make plans to write some pages they find themselves distracted. Maybe they do get a few pages out but decide that those pages are terrible and start over. Maybe they have actually finished the 200-page manuscript and it’s been gathering dust. Their thoughts look like this:
I can’t do this successfully.
I’m not even a writer.
Who is going to care about my story?
I don’t know the first thing about getting published.
I’ll work on it tomorrow.
These thoughts are all fear-based and identifying them as fear and nothing more is the first, most powerful, step. From here, we can take the negative thoughts and bringing our consciousness to them, can infuse them with positivity and then, positive action.
I can do this.
I’ll take a writing class to hone my skills.
Even if my story helps one person it will be worth it.
I could self-publish.
I only have thirty available minutes today, but I’ll use them to write.
Notice how the second set of thoughts feel different. They are all simple but the energy in them is positive and affirming. Whatever your goal is, whatever you have on your to-do list, whatever it is that you need to do but can’t find a way to do, try this exercise.
Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman and philosopher, stated it perfectly: “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”
Fear does not serve us. It doesn’t come from logic, and it isn’t based in reality. It masquerades as so many different things and lays waste to so many of our ambitions. It literally robs you of your joy. Luckily, its only source of life is YOU. The moment you catch a thought and call it out as fear, that fear has already begun to unravel. You have become your own security system, finding the fear and sounding the alarm.
Thought into Action
What fears are robbing you? Write down a few projects or goals you have yet to accomplish and then write down the thoughts that arise when you bring them into your mind. Are they fearful? If so, shine the light on them, turn them around, and see where you can start taking action!