Fear’s Dark Secret

By Steve Chandler

I learned a fascinating thing about fear: it has its own fear! If I move toward my fear, not away from it, it will start to lose its nerve.

If I am afraid of confronting a co-worker, I can confront him without at first confronting him. I can move toward him and ask questions. I allow him to pour his heart and soul out to me. If I am afraid of jumping out of an airplane, I can sneak up on it by jumping off a chair, then jumping off a roof, then jumping a few times off a tower, so that I’m doing it but not yet really doing it. When I feared public speaking I practiced my talk to one person, then to three people, then to a team meeting, then to the mirror 20 times, so I was doing it without doing it. If I’m afraid of dogs I can buy a puppy, which is not really a dog yet, and raise the puppy.

With fear, I need to outsmart the fear because fear gets embarrassed easily. When it has to live inside the infinite energy field of the human spirit, fear gets very embarrassed and feels inferior. My clients who have supposedly astonishing, horrible fears are often surprised to see that there are ways to approach their fear by moving toward it, not running away from it. Ways to completely embarrass the fear, make the fear look stupid, make the fear feel ridiculous, and have the fear just diminish little by little, and shrink down in utter shame into nothing. You have to practice this, and sometimes someone has to be there to help show you how capable you really truly are of doing that thing that you’re afraid to do.

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