I have been discussing tools for helping you do the triad of Fear Mastery in the last few posts here.  By way of review the triad is the simple (but requiring a little practice and skill) effort of doing the following things: 1) facing or addressing a fear or anxiety, 2) allowing/being present for the frightening physical and emotional sensations that accompany our fears, and 3) unpacking precisely what you’re afraid or anxious of, identifying the problem you’ve transmuted into a crisis, and turning back into a problem.

The point of today’s post is simply this: the work of the triad is the heart of this work.  It is fear, pure and simple, that stops us, freezes us in place, keeps us from moving towards something we need or want, keeps us motionless or, more likely, running in the opposite direction.  Our feelings and physical responses are working to get us to move away from the thinking or behavior that is frightening us, and our Comfort Zone wants to wall that scary thing away from our conscious thought.  To gain our freedom we HAVE to bring the issue to consciousness, endure the Flight or Fight’s burst of feelings and sensations, and deliberately move that scary thing from reactive fear to proactive problem to solve.  End of story.

I am NOT saying this is easy.  No, for most of us it is hard, at least at the start, because for most of us it is scary as hell.  Most of us don’t have much practice in the actual triad.  We have practice enduring fear and anxiety.  We have plenty of practice reacting to our experience and our worries.  What we’re not very skillful at is facing our fears/worries/anxieties and unplugging them, making them conscious and giving them their actual importance, as opposed to the stress and worry we might habitually give them.

But saying it isn’t easy isn’t the same thing as saying it is endlessly challenging or can’t be done.  And don’t confuse easy with simple.  It is a relatively simple thing to get up and run a mile.  Just involves putting your feet on the ground and breaking into a trot.  That doesn’t mean for some of us (maybe a lot of us) that effort to run isn’t exhausting, and that we can run 5-6-7 miles whenever we choose.  We have to work up to it, build some muscle, give it some time and practice.

Same thing for facing our fears, unplugging our anxieties, dealing with our worries, and pushing the Comfort Zone back to give us the room we need and want to live our lives.  What fear is holding you back right now?  What problem-turned-crisis in your thinking is sucking the life out of you, keeping you rooted in place, holding you back from the direction you’d like to move in?  I’m not saying that you can instantly, magically break past that fear or anxiety by starting the work of facing it, enduring the burst of Comfort Zone warnings in your body and feelings, and working to unpack it, getting a clear grasp on what is scaring you, and turning into a problem.  I AM saying that this is completely do-able, completely within your reach.  I am saying that your freedom and your strength are not lost or outside your power to access.  They are here, now, with you.  And you will be amazed, amazed to find that it will be much less difficult than you’ve been (probably unconsciously) assuming.  Hard and scary at the start?  Almost certainly.  But it is hard and scary now.  Why wait any longer?

What do you want?  Do you want your freedom?  Do you want to be unafraid of your finances, your relationship issues, your job, your retirement, your physical condition, your neighbors, the economy?  OK.  Then let’s get started.  Review this blog.  Identify what problems you’ve morphed into crises.  Pick a place to start.  Give yourself tools like affirmations, meditative practices, exercise, distractions, friendship support, and a comfortable bed (you’ll need your sleep for this work!)  Then get up and start practicing.  You don’t have to stay afraid.  You don’t have to wait any longer.  The only thing you’re waiting on is… you.