Do you show fear-induced behaviour? The bad message is yes, you do continuously through out the day. The good message is you can eliminate it. To what extend you eliminate it is in your hands, or better, in your mind.
Fear is created my yourself, in your own mind, but often others use it as mechanism for control.
You can do something about it, right now! Awareness and acknowledgement of your fears is an essential step in becoming a free and authentic human being.
One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a human
If you like it or not fear plays an important, if not dominant, part in our daily life and it leads to unconscious fear-induced behaviour. Fear can be a useful emotion in cases when we encounter an immediate danger, like a fire, ferocious animals, etc. When a person is unaware of the underlying fear, unconscious defence shields move automatically into place. Hence acknowledging fear and becoming fully aware is crucial to actively confronting it. There are mainly two types of underlying fears in our life , the ones created by ourselves and the ones created, often in a very subtle way, by others.
When we come on earth, we come without fears. Already very soon we start developing our fears, the first category of underlying fears. These can be a fear of not having enough food, fear of not being safe, fear of not being loved, all fears that relate to the basic layers of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Especially, in developed countries these fears are often not realistic. They develop because we are not used to reflect upon them and to think them through. Some fears are so basic that we don’t even recognize them anymore as fears. An interesting exercise to become conscious of fears is to reflect upon a usual day in our life and reflect upon each moment of that day, from the moment you get out of bed until you go back to bed. Do you recognize the fear of being late, lazy, missing the train, arriving late at work, not having read your emails, not having called a family member, not having done the shopping for dinner, not being in time for an appointment, fear for what others will say about you, of not speaking up, of not sharing your feelings or needs, of asking others for their feelings or needs? It is an endless list!
How to become aware of your fears and deal with them? The first step is to become aware of these fears and recognize that they are inhibiting your authenticity and your development as human being. The next step is making a conscious choice, the choice to live without fears. Fear grows through avoidance and diminishes through confrontation. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get up in the morning without fears? There are many ways of dealing with fears but there are two methods that are very simple and that I would like to share with you.
The first method is to share your fears with another person, typically a partner or a good friend, but some people make use of professional like a therapist or a coach. The ideal situation is in a relationship in which you can mutually share with your partner the deepest corners of your minds, your worries, and fears. In this relationship of trust you can think and talk them through deeply and analyze the consequences of your fears whilst keeping on asking yourself and the other the “so what” question. You will find out that often your fears are unrealistic and that the consequences of what your are fearing are not that threatening as you might have initially thought.
The second method you can do it yourself:
· Recognize fear and choose an experience in which you felt this fear.
· Become comfortable with the images evoked by the fear.
· Open yourself to the feelings of those images.
· Imagine the worst case scenario.
· You will note that working with these images and feelings expand your tolerance for them.
· Do a relaxation exercise, deep and low breathing.
· Affirm that you can remain clear and calm despite the feelings and thoughts about your fear.
· Experience the expanded awareness of your feelings and thoughts related to your fear.
· Repeat the exercise regularly and you will observe that the fear will slowly become less threatening and disappear.
Both methods will bring you to fundamental needs. You will find out that there are multiple ways to satisfy a need, ways that might be more suitable for your situation and that do not create fear.
What is the second unconscious fear that affects your behaviour? It comes from the outside and it is often purposely created through the media by political or commercial entities in our society. I will not expand on it extensively but I want you to become aware of it in order to become more alive as a human being. Political or commercial entities have a vast interest in creating fear as it enables them to impose regulation and control on citizens, employees and consumers.
In the political arena I have been fascinated by a book from Daniel Ganser, “NATO’s secret armies”. It describes amongst others how the parliamentary investigations in Italy and Belgium in the nineties revealed the use of terror by NATO supported groups to create fear in society for left wing political parties. Some of you will remember the bombing in Bologna and the supermarket killings in Belgium. These events were not the carried out by the through the media portrayed left wing culprits. Today the story is not very different.
Corporations are creating through commercials and other media fear to become old, thin, thick, poor, rich, lonely, in order to sell assurances, diets, lottery tickets, etc.
The discovery and acknowledgment of these internally and externally induced fears and how they affect your behaviour will enable you to choose whether you want to be controlled or to be in control of your life.
De Amerikanen gaan natuurlijk weer op hun strikt eigen manier om met de angst.
En zijn willen ons natuurlijk 'basically' beleren hoe.
"Mindfulness is a technique in which a person becomes intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally.
Want zónder "Mindfulness" – 'Geestvolheid" – ben je natuurlijk niet "intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment".
Laat staan "non-judgmentally".
En dan komt er natuurlijk nog een wijsgerig/religieus sausje – een 'dressing', letterlijk 'oprichter' - overheen.
"It plays a central role in Buddhism, with Right Mindfulness being the seventh element of Noble Eightfold Path, the practice of which is considered a prerequisite for developing insight and wisdom."
Dat voel je met je klompen aan.
Als "Noble Eightfold Path"- finder.
"In a secular context, mindfulness is attracting increasing interest among western psychiatrists as a non-pharmacological means of dealing with anxiety and depressive mood states.
Let wel, in een "secular" – wereldgeestelijk – of onvergankelijk, eeuwigdurend? – context.
Maar is het nu ook van belang voor u en mij?
Of is mindfulness vooral van "attracting increasing (financial?) interest among western psychiatrists
Op 14 mei 2007 meldt "mindfulness" via YaYaBla onder meer:
Do you show fear-induced behaviour? The bad message is yes, you do continuously through out the day. The good message is you can eliminate it. To what extend you eliminate it is in your hands, or better, in your mind."
Want de angst uit je handen laten vallen, en dan toch nog in je kop houden, daar word je niet beter van.
"Fear is created my (sic) yourself, in your own mind, but often others use it as mechanism for control.
You can do something about it, right now! Awareness and acknowledgement of your fears is an essential step in becoming a free and authentic human being."
Dat moet je dan bijvoorbeeld eens vertellen aan een overlevende van de holocaust, die van SS'ers een bezoekjes kregen.
Of aan een Irakese moeder en haar kinderen, die van Amerikaanse militairen een bezoekje krijgen.
Dan wordt tot slot de Duitser Goethe aangehaald:
"One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a human".
Gelukkig toch, voor ons Europeanen – dat er zulke Amerikanen zijn!