All of the fear that you experience comes from tough moments from your past. There is nothing we can do to change what happened, but you can decide to move forward by truly accepting it. If you manage to do that, you can experience a broader perspective on life and open up your world. Learn more about how to change your relationship with yourself and those around you in I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World.
A great exercise that I do with the people I work with is to say any fear-based thought that’s coming up and then say “and I love that” right afterward. If you allow a thought to show up and consciously acknowledge it and give it love, you short-circuit the pattern of resistance that keeps those kinds of thoughts active. I do this all the time. If I’m going onstage or doing something that might bring up a thought like “I’m afraid they won’t like me,” I just turn it into “I’m afraid they won’t like me, and I love that.” This allows me to accept that thought and move beyond it, instead of fighting it and getting trapped underneath it.
It’s important that “and I love that” isn’t just empty words though. There’s a feeling in your body that happens when you actually become okay with a fearful thought. It’s a feeling of release from the limitation that thought is creating in you. Try this on your own: if there’s any thought that has been coming up for you recently that is causing you stress, say it out loud and then say, “and I love that.” If you can’t think of anything, say, “I can’t think of anything, and I love that.”
The first couple times you do it, you might feel like it’s inauthentic, or like you’re just trying to trick yourself, but this isn’t some positivity exercise where you try to convince yourself that everything is fine when it’s not. This is about accessing the part of yourself that truly loves every part of you. This is about embodying the knowing that everything actually is okay, and it’s only the fearful, scared-child part of you that is afraid in the first place. It’s about moving beyond the pictures that our minds show us and starting to access the infinite number of solutions to all of the challenges that life brings us.
One of the most important things to remember is that you control your life, not the other way around.