To really let go of our self-limiting fears we must first go through them — not try to dominate them. Fighting with fear is like trying to deliver a knock-out punch to a scary shadow. All you do is wear yourself out. To flatten your fears once and for all, you must forget about the idea of domination and start thinking about self-illumination — the miracle that happens within us whenever we dare place the wish to understand what is frightening us before our certainty that there is no other choice but to feel afraid. If you dare to go ahead and be just as frightened as you really are, but at the same time agree to meet these fears consciously, you will actually see that what is so shaky is not you!
The seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful.
This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear. It is only within this special kind of inner relationship that there is real safety because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day, as you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over you.
Why? Because you are at last seeing them for what they have always been: unintelligent mechanical forces. You are slowly becoming stronger than they are, because by seeing them as they are — not as they would have you see them — you have helped yourself to climb above and outside of their influence. This self-insight is the difference between trembling through your life and being in command of it.
To be consciously afraid means that you know you are frightened, but at the same time, you know that these very fears, as real as they may seem, are not you. And no wrong reaction can keep you captive once you begin to see it for what it is. Fear is, and has always been, nothing but a self-limiting reaction that we cling to in the darkness of our present life-level, having mistaken it for a shield of self-protection. But, just as the faintest of early morning sunlight can dispel the night-long darkness, so does the smallest of insights into a persistent fear lead to letting it go.
You can prove this powerful principle to yourself anytime you want. Just dare to proceed even while being afraid.
But remember, your new aim isn’t to be courageous or to try and act strong in the face of fear. No. We’ve seen that this won’t work. You simply want to be more curious about your frightened thoughts and feelings than you want to believe in them.
If you will follow this simple but higher instruction, not only will you start to see these habitual reactions that have been keeping you scared and running, you’ll actually start seeing through them. This is where the real miracle occurs. Each new insight into the actual nature of these negative reactions removes some of their power over you. And their loss is your gain. You are stronger now, and you know it.
* This article is excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go (pages 13-16).
Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of more than 35 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, several of which have become international best sellers. His popular works, published in 17 languages, are widely endorsed by doctors, professionals, and religious leaders of all denominations. Among many others, his popular titles include: The Secret of Letting Go, Design Your Destiny, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, Apprentice of the Heart, and Let Go and Live in the Now. Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in Southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Visit www.guyfinley.org for a wealth of free helpful information, free audio and video downloads, and to request your free Self-Improvement Starter Kit.