WITNESSING AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE FEAR
As the previous segment explained, the most difficult thing to understand and control with regards to fear is awareness, as so much of our fear-driven behavior is unconsciously driven. Therefore, in order to create some understanding of what the fear is and how to control it we must first recognize its existence in the first place.
How do we do this?
When you are feeling blocked and that creeping sensation of worry and fear is beginning to take root, before you are overwhelmed by it, pause. Ask yourself: What does this feel like?
Something that is so powerful about fear is its formlessness, the unexplainable feeling that haunts you. This question invites you to think: What am I actually feeling right now? Am I scared? If so, then by what? The attempt to give conscious awareness to this feeling is key. Give it form so that you can better understand how to overcome it.
A further question to ask yourself may seem rather strange at first: Where do you feel it in your body?
But our somatic responses can give key insights into what it is we are actually experiencing and how to access it. The somatic experiences of fear can be the one common denominator of this feeling that fits your current experiences of it to previous instances that have fallen beyond conscious recall.
How many times have you experienced a feeling of fear or anxiety that was prominent but you couldn’t describe it? Could you describe it with a physical description, rather than an emotive one?
Example Dialogue Q: “Could you describe that feeling at all?” A: “Sort of, it’s hard to explain. I know I feel uneasy and nervous but specifically why I can’t say… perhaps its the confusion of this that compounds the feeling…” Q: “When you experience this feeling, where do you feel it in your body?” A: “Well, I definitely feel a knot in my stomach, quite a substantial one and I find myself feeling paralysed, like moving would take real effort in because the feeling is so strong.”
The next line of dialogue would be the question: So, where have you experienced that feeling before? While we will not continue too far down this road as it falls more into psychotherapy/trauma work, the idea is that it gives you a path to trace this feeling back to some original experience. This experience may in and of itself be unremarkable, but the feeling that has accompanied it is what we are searching for.
With this knowledge, you will have significantly greater insight into what this fear-thought actually is and where it comes from. With this origin also comes the all important why. The individual can now question their original why and ask themselves if it is still true for them now: Do they believe this fear has a place in their current reality?
This is not a change that will be made immediately. However, the new awareness that we have now created is pivotal to understanding and overcoming of the fear and ultimately the first essential action towards moving through what is holding you back.