Subscribe now to Podcast of Prayer for Today
Are you actively choosing the patterns of fear?
That’s what I used to do.
The broken record in my head was “if only things were different, then I could feel happy, safe, healthy, prosperous, loved, good, and successful.”
That broken record was part of my habitual pattern.
I thought I was captive inside it – like being stuck in the spin cycle of a washing machine.
I was always trying to change things “out there,” in order to feel safe and happy.
It seemed like I was afraid because I couldn’t pay my bills.
I thought I was afraid because I didn’t know how to be successful.
I believed I was afraid because my relationships weren’t happy and fulfilling.
In truth, I was terrified that I would keep fooling myself into avoiding healing the cause of fear. And there is a way to stop the pattern. It took me a lot of time and effort to finally figure out how to stop getting trapped in these patterns and feeling like a spiritual failure.
Generally there are 3 choices that people make when they feel afraid:
When you feel that feeling of fear, whether it’s worry, anxiety, panic or sheer terror – which one do you go to first?
For many people, when they feel afraid they feel threatened and the immediate reaction is to begin to fight and that often looks like defense.
When I was trapped in the fear patterns, if someone attacked me first, I’d go into a defensive posture and defend my choices and actions – I was never wrong, I was always right. If that didn’t work, then I’d go into attack mode.
“The best defense is a good offense.”
Taking offense and taking that offensive posture seems to be a power position.
Taking offense is to be the attacker.
When I felt threatened, I would go right into attack mode as a way of defending myself. If I had a good attack then people would run away from me and then I could feel safe again, less threatened.
When I felt threatened my attacks in the forms of criticism, sarcasm, judgments, blame and shame would let the other person know that if they came any closer with their threatening behavior I would really take out the big guns to hurt them.
I pushed away a lot of good people who really didn’t deserve any kind of attack at all. I pushed away people who loved me. I sacrificed those relationships to feed my pain and I didn’t even know it.
Of course when some people feel threatened they run away. They take flight. It can look like withholding and withdrawing. It can look they’re unreachable or hiding.
Some people just freeze up when they feel threatened. Like a deer caught in headlights. They don’t see any acceptable or understandable option so they just stay stuck. Sometimes people are so fearful they stay stuck for many years, even decades.
I tried all of these – fight, flight, and freeze.
I was an expert at all of them.
For a long time I made fear my motivator.
In a sense, it was like the sick friend who bullies me into taking action to get me to break out of my self-destructive fear habits.
Ultimately, I realized I didn’t wish to live my life as a victim of a bully.
It was such a dark place.
The fear was always present.
It was pushing me every day, in every choice I made.
It was exhausting.
I never felt a sense of success.
Maybe I didn’t have to let fear be my motivation?
Maybe I could decide NOT to ALLOW fear be my motivation?
Maybe there was a better way?
I became willing to open my mind and my heart to a life without fear and the inspiration came.
Maybe there was another choice besides fight, flight and freeze.
Maybe there was a 4th option?
The guidance came – and I saw that in order to change the fear patterns, I had to be WILLING to follow it.
I found the 4th option.
Just knowing that the option was there wasn’t enough to make my life suddenly become better and easier. There were steps I had to take to move into a life where I wasn’t living in fear anymore. I’ll share the breakdown in tomorrow’s post.
If you’re living in fear, if fear is your motivator, my free class might be for you: 7 simple steps to interrupt the patterns of fear. Register here.
We’re waking up together and I’m so grateful for that! If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!