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How to Overcome Fear with Spirituality
Everyone experiences fear. It is an emotion based on experience and conditioning. We fear being hurt because we have been hurt before. But the human spirit is a powerful force, and it has the ability to transcend fear. The following strategy may help you overcome fear with spirituality.
Step 1: Don't listen to fear
That little voice in your head that keeps reiterating what negative things might happen to you is fear. Don't listen to it. Don't talk back to it. Just be aware of it, and let it go, recommends Diana Lynn, a certified Advanced Energy Therapist, certified Hypnotherapist and ordained minister. According to Lynn, your spirit wants you to focus on the present, and think of times of change or uncertainty as new opportunities to love — not reasons to be fearful.
The Bible also indicates that your spirit is not meant to be fearful. According to this book of spiritual wisdom, the Creator has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Remembering this spiritual truth in times when fear is strong can help you overcome fear with spirituality.
According to Dr. Peter Strong, Ph.D., a scientist and specialist in the field of Mindfulness Psychotherapy, you are more than the sum of your thoughts. You are much larger than your thoughts, in the same way that the sea is more than just the fish that live in it. You should be no more threatened by a fearful thought or allow it to control you any more than the ocean could be controlled or intimidated by a single fish, according to Strong.
Step 2: Visualize yourself overcoming fear
Jeri Noble, a professional counselor and columnist at Circles of Light Internet Magazine, suggests trying visualization to help overcome fear. Visualization is a meditation technique that nourishes the mind and spirit.
You should start out by visualizing your life as a path or road, and imagine your particular fear as a physical barrier preventing you from continuing on your journey. Mentally, take note of its shape and texture. Notice how big it is and how firm it is. Now, no matter how big the imagined barrier may seem, you should operate under the assumption that this fear, this barrier, is based on some false belief. Then visualize yourself moving around the barrier, or simply removing it from your path. This technique will prepare you for victory, as you will be trained to find a way to overcome the obstacles in your mind.
Step 3: Confront your fear
The most threatening fearful thought you experience is not one of inadequacy, but one that confirms the extent of your true spiritual power, according to Marianne Williamson. Williamson is the founder of Project Angelfood, a program that serves meals to shut-in AIDS victims, and the author of eight books including A Return To Love. According to Williamson, you must free yourself from your own fear in order to demonstrate love to others by helping them get free of their fears. Your spirit is healthiest when you are reaching out to others, and fear can prevent you from doing that. Say no to feeding your fear and yes to feeding your spirit by reaching out to others even if you feel fearful.
Kirk VanderBerghe and Sandy Breckenridge founded HeartCore Corporation, an organization dedicated to exploring spiritual self-development and alternative health practices. According to their website, you should tackle your fear head-on and discover its roots. If you don't confront fear on your own terms, it will confront you later in life. If you're scared of heights, you might set a goal to ride a rollercoaster by the end of the summer. If you're scared of rejection, set a goal to ask someone out on a date. Since you were created for growth, challenging yourself is one way to energize your spirit.
Of course, if you don't want to jump in the deep end, you can always just try taking small steps to overcome your fears. But it's important to take some kind of action. Take a step in the direction of a date by asking an acquaintance out for coffee. Take a step in the direction of a rollercoaster by riding the ferris wheel. You should make whatever tiny advances you can to prove to yourself that your fears are not valid.
Step 4: Have faith
The Islamic Qur'an reminds the generous that they "...will be rewarded by God. They have nothing to fear..." (Qur'an, Al-Baqara, Surah 2:264). The texts in the Jewish Tanakh encourage the faithful, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). And the New Testament Bible shows seekers the connection between fear and love: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves torment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (I John 4:18).
No matter which spiritual text speaks most loudly to you, building up your spirit and remaining in a position of faith, love and generosity will help keep you from succumbing to fear.