The Object of Fear
by Brian Germain
perception that results in the emotion we call fear can be any number of
things. Regardless of the context, when we begin to experience the emotion, our
focus immediately becomes the object of our fear. Rather than softening the
negativity of the emotion, this usually further reinforces its power over us by
making it more real.
It is true
that changes of circumstance will help us to calm down if they reduce our
perceived danger. Unfortunately, the changes necessary to alter our perceived
safety are often inaccessible when we are in a state of panic. Either the
solutions cannot be implemented at the time, or the panic itself prevents us
from finding and executing the answers to our concerns. So, rather than using our
intellect to solve the problem, our thinking merely increases the magnitude of
the emotional response. The problem is, the parts of the brain
that generate physical escalation are not soothed by mere thought.
has phobias. Depending on our past experiences, we each have developed
pattern-recognition for specific precursors that catapult us into an emotional
response. It is obviously true that we must shed the light of our awareness on
these triggers, but it is ultimately not these realizations that allow us to
fully transcend our neurotic tendencies toward over reaction in these contexts.
We cannot see solutions to our anxiety when we are fixating on the negative
emotion, and mulling over the helplessness of our predicament. The emotional
state of fear results in a completely different set of thoughts than the calmer
state of creation and epiphany. We see limitations and danger when we are in
the negative acceleration state, simply because we have become contracted in our
consciousness, and have let go of the possibility that we can solve our
problems. We have let go of the best-case scenario.
The simple brain structures that
comprise the limbic system speak only two words: escalation and de-escalation.
In order to alter the course of events within ourselves, we must address the
physical symptoms of fear: the uncontrolled speed and power kicked in by our
old brain. Thought doesn't accomplish this goal; only an alteration of our
physical behavior can do that.
of the content of our thinking minds, the limbic system is mostly unaffected by
cognition. This realization, originally postulated by visionary philosopher and
psychologist William James, is a radical shift from the natural tendency that
we all share in fearful moments. Believing that intellect will be our savior,
we try to think our way out of fear. As many of us have realized, this does not
way to turn the tides and alter the course toward emotional escalation and
choices that we wish we could take back is to speak the language of the old
brain. Simply put, we must slow down. This will send messages of de-escalation
to the old brain via physiological pathways. When the brain begins to cool off
and shift gears out of the panic mode, new possibilities come to light. We are
no longer driven by fear, and start down a completely different path of
to negotiate all objects of fear stems solely from our sober, sane and
controlled brain functions. This is the mindset that is lost when we are in
fear. Fear causes internal speed, and
inefficient thoughts and actions. In our panic state, we point out awareness
toward the world with negative expectations, assuming that we are in danger. It
is this mental state that draws us closer to danger, simply because we are no
longer considering the possibility that things are going to be OK.
things are not OK, and we are required to take action to improve the situation,
the negative mindset cannot create answers. Our solutions come from a
completely different realm of thought; a realm that we easily lose access to
when we are in a physically escalated state.
Slow is Fast.
of human experience is filled with real dangers, real objects of fear. The most
powerful tool to shift our relationship to the object of our fear from
paralysis to productive action is not action at all; not at first. Our first
response to fear must always be physical, one of deceleration of mind and body.
This will result in non-attachment to our fixed patterns of action that we
normally associate with such situations. Then and only then will we wake up
into the space in which we rediscover our clarity of thought so that we can act
consciously, without the compelling momentum of emotion and all it suggests in
terms of choices.
will only bring about what has thus far manifested in human experience:
violence, hatred, close-mindedness and the hoarding of resources. When we go
beyond our innate responses to fear, we create a new realm of possibility for
our world. This is how humanity will demonstrate its true prowess; not through
impulse and old patterns of behavior, but through intelligent appraisal, logic
and ultimately, compassionate action. It is only when we go beyond fear as a
motivation that we begin to transform our world.
heading into a brand new realm of possibility on this planet. We are beginning
to understand that fear takes away our power to create. It robs us of our
connection to authentic inspiration and motivated action. Fear distances us
from who we truly are, and it replaces us with a shallow imposter that is a
mere shadow of our true self.
Who are you when you are not held
back by fear? This is your true persona, and your ultimate destiny if you
decide, right now, to take on the path of fearlessness and expand into your
higher self. You have gifts that have been suppressed and hidden from the
world. It is time to get past your fear of failure, your fear of success, and
your fear of fear, and break the inertia of fear-induced laziness and step into
the light of who you really are.
Go in Peace,
Brian Germain, March 25, 2008