Man sitting in fear

Adapted from Time in a Bottle: Mastering the Experience of Time by Howard Falco.

Fear is one of the most debilitating, negative feelings you can experience. It’s the single biggest reason for anxiety and disharmony in the world. Understanding fear’s purpose and where it stems from is a huge part of taking control over it.

When you peel all the layers of the onion back on fear, you find that at the heart of it, fear is a message to you that your survival is in some way at risk. Survival in this case means the way in which you wish to experience your existence. So the fear of someone buying the company you work for really means, “Will they keep me on as an employee?” Fear of going to the doctor means, “Will there be something wrong with me?” Fear of meeting someone new on a date could mean, “Will they reject me?”

The point of this is that fear is based on a projection of what could happen that is threatening to your survival. It’s designed by the ego to keep you unchanged and in a space of what is “known” or “survivable” based on past history, no matter how much pain the situation has been causing you. If you fear that a change to your situation will be worse than your current situation, you will not take any creative action.

A more dramatic example of this is a person who has an addiction that is destroying their life, their romantic relationships, their financial situation or their career and their health. No matter how bad the destruction is, however, if the addict fears being worse off without the alcohol, drugs, etc., they will stay unmoved in terms of their choices and behaviours.

Change is the dirty word here. Fear often fills in the space that opens up when change is on the horizon. Over many years of transformation, the mind has found a way to protect itself from the idea or perceived threat of annihilation. This innate process where the mind is overprotective can become very dominating in your life and be a big reason that you may be unable to take the necessary steps you desire. Time then draws out as a result. You are left frustrated, impatient, and possibly feeling hopeless.

When looking at those who accomplish what they want in life we see a pattern emerge. People who succeed at their dreams do not let fear get in the way of their creative progress. The key is they do not focus on what CAN’T be done but rather only see what CAN be done. While it makes sense to be rational and clear about the inherent risks in moving forward with any creative endeavour, those who believe in themselves and the process of creativity will not let fear slow time down for them. They move boldly ahead with the creative actions necessary to build the conditions needed for their dreams to become reality. They don’t think they will survive, they know they will.

A huge key in the process of mastering time is being able to recognize fear when it enters your mind and then being able to distinguish the truth from the lie it may tell you. By consciously stopping to recognize how a particular thought is holding you back, you put yourself in an empowered state to make a new choice about who you are and what you choose to believe in. This is a tipping point in life. Will is a huge part of this. You can read this book about time and how it can affect your journey all day long, but until you are done watching the days of life go by without declaring a new identity and then taking the action to demonstrate this renewed self, not much will change in your reality.

Nothing will change much until you are done being trapped by your fears about moving forward with your life in some new way. Again, creation takes place in the present moment. If you are projecting a fearful future you are not creating now. There is great power in presence!

In the next twenty-four hours, you could take any of the actions listed below. If any of the following actions are related to your particular situation in life, watch carefully to see how the mind and body react to the idea. Watch the rationalizations, feelings, denials and general projections of destruction that might pop into your mind upon the suggestion of these actions.

In the next 24 hours, you could easily:

» Print your résumé and send it to five different companies
» Sign up for an online dating service and e-mail a few people with matching interests
» Call your estranged in-laws, friends, children, wife, or husband and offer to start things anew
» Start writing the script or book you’ve wanted to write
» Have the much-needed “heart to heart” conversation with your significant other
» Put on your sweats and sneakers and go for a nice long run
» Empty your refrigerator and pantry of all the unhealthy food and restock it with healthy choices
» Set new rules of expected behaviour and respect from your children
» Plan a spontaneous romantic evening with your significant other
» Develop a financial plan and budget that you will absolutely stick with
» Plan the vacation you have been dreaming about
» Start the paperwork for the business you’ve wanted to create
» Decide you are changing your attitude about fear and choose to live fearlessly and freely!

The examples above are just a few of the millions of action-based choices that you can make when you no longer let FEAR stop you. The choices above are what get the ball rolling and what begin to break the chains of TIME. What keeps the ball rolling is something much deeper in you that knows that what you dream about achieving can become real.

It’s important to understand that taking action for the sake of taking action and proving you are overcoming your fear is absolutely worthless without a true will to accomplish the stated intention behind it. Time will find another way to be a part of your journey with this attitude. Another fear-based projection or situation will be manufactured in your life to delay the creation of the desire.

A dream without belief, will, and action will remain a dream.

So many of the fear-based reactions you feel are actually not based in fact. These are lies that you may have believed as true for many years. The question now is whether this way of thinking serves you and your current intentions. Do these beliefs about yourself or your world serve you and who you choose to be now? How strong of a will you have to stop “wasting” time will be evident in your next thought and action. Are you ready to end the painful experience of time that is created upon these old fears? Are you ready to enjoy something new? Only time will tell….

Howard Falco is a self-empowerment expert, author, speaker, spiritual teacher and mental game coach to college and professional athletes including those in the MLB and NHL. You can find Howard on Facebook at facebook.com/HowardFalco.IAM  or Twitter@Howard Falco. For more info, please visit HowardFalco.com.This article was adapted from Time in a Bottle: Mastering the Experience of Time by Howard Falco. Copyright © 2014 by Howard Falco. Published by Jeremy P. Tarcher, an imprint of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company. Buy the book>>
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