It is often said that human beings can allow their life to be defined by love or fear, and while one is often seen as destructive and the other is often seen as constructive, they both have a purpose. However, problems will arise when someone allows their life to be defined by fear.
Another approach would be to say that love is the answer, and how one’s life would be fine if they allowed love to be their guide as opposed to fear. Yet, although this can sound right, it doesn’t mean that it is always the best approach.
This would be the same as saying sitting down all the time is unhealthy, and that one should exercise everyday. Clearly, sitting down all day is not good for one’s health, but exercising everyday is not necessarily going to be the best option either.
From One Extreme to the Other
If one was an athlete, and needed to prepare for a competition, it might be important for them to train every day. But at the same time, they will also need to have time off in order to allow their body to heal.
It might not be easy for someone to realise this if they have spent their whole life avoiding exercise. Based on what they have been doing, it could seem like the right option to take.
In this case, one is going to be aware of how they might be setting themselves up to have physical problems in the long run. The signs may be there already, but all the time they believe that they only have two options; it is going to affect their ability to listen to their body.
Just as if one was to believe that there is either love or fear, it is going to stop them from realising that each side has a purpose. And how fear itself is not the problem; what is the problem is when it takes over.
When one comes from a place of love it is going to allow them to open them up to life, and to see that there are many possibilities. If, on the other hand, they come from a place of fear, they are going to be closed off to life, and they won’t be able to see the possibilities that are available.
However, there are going to be times when it will be important for one to close off, and while it will limit their possibilities; it will be in their best interests. This doesn’t mean that one will stay closed forever, what it means is that there will be times in their life where they need to protect themselves.
If one was in a relationship that is unhealthy, it may be important for them to walk away and to withdraw their love. The fear that one experiences in this situation is not just the result of the thoughts in their head, it is based on the reality of the situation.
While they could have ignored the fear that they were experiencing, it would have only caused them more harm. In this case, their need to love the other person has taken a back seat, and the fear within them has defined their actions.
Once they are no longer with the other person, it should be possible for them to open their heart once more and for their body to settle down. One has then been assisted by their fear, and it hasn’t been something that has had a destructive impact on their life.
It could also be said that while one wasn’t expressing love towards the other person, they were expressing it to themselves. This would mean that love and fear have worked together, and this has allowed them to stay in balance.
Out of Control
When someone is unable to move forward because of how much fear they are experiencing, it shows that they are out of balance. They are not being assisted by their fear; it has taken over their life.
This is not something that has to relate to every area of their life either; as if it only relates to one area it can still have a big impact. So the sooner one is able to see through their fear, the better their life will be.
It’s all in the Mind
If they were to do their own research or to speak to someone else, they may end up hearing that it is ‘all in the mind’. This could be something they are familiar with, or it may be something they have heard for the first time.
Based on this, it will be important for them to change their thinking, and put their fear to one side. They might hear that the more they face their fear, the easier it will be for them to take action regardless of how they feel.
Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway
One can then come to the conclusion that the best approach is for them to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. For if they don’t do this, it will just get stronger, and this will make it harder for them to take action.
And as it is ‘all in the mind’, there is no reason why this wouldn’t be the right approach to take. However, what if it isn’t ‘all in the mind’, and what if it can relate to what is taking place in the body?
To say that fear is all in the mind is the same as saying one’s mind defines how they feel. While it can sound accurate, it is not the complete truth; it is a half truth.
Therefore, although what is taking place in their mind can cause their body to experience fear, this doesn’t mean that this is always the case. Instead, the fear in their body can end up causing them to have a fearful outlook.
The fear in their body is likely to have been caused by trauma, and while this may have been a one-off experience, it could relate to a number of experiences. These could be experiences that one has had in their adult years and/or they could go back to their childhood.
If it relates to something that happened during their adult years, it might be possible for them to remember, whereas, if it is due to what happened during their childhood, they might not remember. This could relate to some kind of accident or to abuse that they have experienced.
While it would be easy for someone who is carrying trauma to come to the conclusion that they need to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’, this could cause them to be retraumatised. Now, this is not to say that they should allow their life to be defined by fear, what it means is that they may need to take a different approach.
If one is carrying trauma and they believe that is ‘all in the mind’, they can end up forming an outlook that doesn’t match up with reality. For example, they could believe that the reason they don’t take action is because they are weak or lack courage, and not realise that it has nothing to do these factors and everything to do with the trauma within them.
When an approach is positioned as being the only way, it is to be expected that some people will end up being sent down the wrong path. What works for one person might not work for someone else, and this is why it is important for one to listen to themselves.
Just because one approach is popular or is promoted by an ‘expert’, it doesn’t mean it is the right option for everyone. And if one is carrying trauma, it will be important for them to seek professional help.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.