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How Fear Holds You Back

All of our thoughts and fears are actually just tricks that our mind is playing on us to protect us from pain. All of these fears can really all be boiled down to one big one: The fear of death. What would life be like without that? Everything would change. Learn more about conquering your fears in I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World.

If you’re scared to die, then really, that just means you have a thought that you’re in resistance to— the thought of death. We think of the fear of death as more real than any other fear we experience, but at this point, since we don’t know what happens when you die, the fear of death is really just like any other thought we’ve created and attached meaning to. It’s like being afraid of a dark hallway in an old hotel. Because you don’t know what’s at the end of that hallway, your mind comes up with a bunch of horrible possibilities to keep you out of potential danger, but there could be a huge trampoline with a cotton-candy version of Jennifer Aniston on it waiting for you with all the Taco Time you need at the end of it, for all you know. If you’re in resistance to the idea your mind has created of death, you’re fighting against it and adding stress to your life . . . which ironically will speed up your death.

As we know, our minds falsely link all types of meanings to things that happen in our lives to keep us safe. When I was a kid, I was bitten by a dog when I was walking down a street in Seattle. It sucked. Twenty years later, when I walked down that same street again, my mind brought up all this fear and anxiety because it believed that what happened before was going to happen again. So it falsely linked the pain of being attacked by a dog to that street.

This is how our minds work. If you get in a relationship with someone who cheats on you, your mind might think, “Every relationship will end this same way, so now I have to put this guard up and be suspicious of anyone I’m in a relationship with.” Your mind doesn’t understand that it’s taking the trauma it experienced once and thinking that it will happen over and over again. So you’re trying to save your life all the time because your mind has falsely linked everything together.

When you start to observe those types of fears long enough and realize that they are just illusions, you start to see all of it from this limitless, loving space that truly has no fear of anything.

Remember, you hold all of the power.


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