fear and what scares you


What are you scared of?

Have you passed up a great opportunity because of your fears? Do you avoid people or situations? Have you woken up at 3 in the morning in a panic over something?

Take control of your fear the next time it pops up. Focus on the nerves and discomfort, don’t avoid it any longer! The exercise of confrontation will get easier as you practice it. The beauty of being human is the ability to be in touch with your instincts and explore your vulnerabilities.

Fear is a brain based product. The brain is a powerful tool but at its most primitive, is built to see both good and very scary possibilities, to ensure our survival. For millions of years the brain has kept us from falling off a cliff, getting eaten by a dinosaur, or clubbed over the head by some macho caveman. Although we don’t need the brain for many of these life or death situations any longer, it is still working diligently in cautious survival mode.

Face your fear and ask yourself questions your brain would understand, like:

  • What am I thinking about right now that makes me tense?
  • Where in my body am I feeling it?
  • What word or emotion would describe what is scaring me?

Answer yourself honestly and use those words or pictures to go deeper. Let the answers play out like a movie in your mind. It may get intense, but hang in there, you’re almost done.

Next, ask that truly brilliant brain this, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” When it obliges with an answer, ask it to show you something even worse.

Okay, you might feel like crap now or you might be laughing at the ridiculous imagery. Step back and take a look at your brain’s response. Can that scenario really happen to you? Doesn’t the mental scene seem highly overblown, dramatic or impossible?

A fearful brain works in extremes and is like dealing with an exhausted toddler, “No one wants to play with me EVER!” Or “I NEVER get to have that!”

You are more than your mind. And your life is not all black and white. It’s time to call your heart in to calm the extreme feelings and replace them with forgiveness and self-love. Take the time to show your brain evidence of moments and events in your life that prove the opposite of the fear.

Thank your brain for the survival mode panic and tell it, “Step aside, I got this!” Close your eyes, look down at your heart and take a deep breath. Have faith that things will be better, because they will be.

Why? Because you just released a fear that holds you back. Congrats and repeat as needed!


  1. Melissa Franklin

    Dear Cynthia,
    As an intellectually centered woman who is often ruled by my brain, i never looked at fear in this way. I really enjoy your comparison of the brain to a toddler in a tantrum. LOL! I tried your technique on some smaller hangups and I am feeling better, thank you for sharing!

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