If you are feeling fear or afraid of something that you think may happen, this powerful technique can help you let go of it. Often we deal with fear by suppressing it or letting it manifest in other emotions and behaviors. This often results in added suffering that could have been avoided by properly acknowledging and letting go of the fear. This technique will help you do that.
1. Notice the fear.
Sometimes we call negative emotions by other names or we’re conditioned to not acknowledge that we are afraid. This can make it hard to notice when you have a fear. A good indicator of fear is a physically uncomfortable emotion. You can assume that the negative emotion has a fear at its roots. It can help to notice this and acknowledge that you are afraid. Even if you can’t pinpoint the root, that’s ok. At lease know that the negative emotion is a fear so that you notice that you are feeling fear.
2. Feel the fear fully within your body.
Allow the fear to arise fully in your body. Fear has a physical effect. When your mind is afraid, it causes discomfort within your body. Notice all of the uncomfortable physical sensations that arise from the fear and notice where they are within your body. Sometimes the fear can be felt in your stomach or chest, your head or face, your appendages, or even your entire body. Notice where it is and feel it fully.
3. Say “YES” to the fear.
Now that you have noticed the fear and all of its physical sensations, say “YES” to all of it. This can be the hardest part. Saying “YES” means saying it’s ok to have the fear, its physical sensation, and everything else associated with it. You are allowing all of it fully. You don’t need any of it to go away. Say “YES” to the physical sensations, say “YES” to the ruminating thoughts surrounding the fear, and say “YES” to whatever outcome the fear is afraid of. Do you see why this can be so hard? It seems counterintuitive and scary, but it’s a critical part. It is an act of surrender of the mind that enables the powerful strength you will find in the next and final step.
4. Notice what is aware of the fear.
As you experience the struggle of saying “YES” to the fear, notice what is aware of the fear and all of its sensations, thoughts, etc in that moment. At the core of your waking consciousness is pure awareness. This awareness does not change because you are afraid or because of any other emotion. It is always aware of what is going on in your perception, even if your mind is not. You are aware of the fear even if your mind doesn’t notice or acknowledge it. Your awareness is aware of the fear. The awareness itself is not phased by the fear. Only your mind is phased by the fear, and this leads to your body being phased by the fear. As all of this happens, your awareness is as pure and steady as ever. It doesn’t care about the fear, the sensations, or the outcome that the fear is afraid of. When you notice the awareness that is aware of the fear in the moment, and when you notice that it is not phased by the fear or situation, your mind can begin to let go of the fear and allow a shift of your identity from the fear to that awareness. This will help you realize the unwavering strength of that awareness.
Steps 3 and 4 reinforce one another. By discovering the strength in the awareness that is aware of the fear (in step 4), you are more easily able to say “YES” to the fear (in step 3). By saying “YES” to the fear, your mind is surrendering, and therefore becoming quieter in relation to the fear, which allows awareness to become more prominent and powerful.
As you get better at this process, you will find that it will become a natural part of your day. When a fear arises, you will notice it right away, say “YES” to it, and notice the strength of the awareness that it arises within. Gradually your identity will shift away from the fearful mind to the strength of the awareness, and fears will become much less frequent and significant in your life. Love, wholeness, and fulfillment will take its place, even in extremely challenging situations that would have otherwise caused an abundance of fear.
If the information about awareness in step 4 does not fully resonate with you, or if it is something that you’re having a hard time realizing in your experience, that’s ok. It can take some time for this to unfold. It can help for you first to know about it conceptually so that you can know to explore it in your experience. The simple exercise within the article “How To Find Your True Self Through Awareness of Awareness” can certainly help the process.