How to break free from the cycle of fear October 18, 2018 – Posted in: Advice, Confidence – Tags: choice, confidence, cycle, fear, freedom, love, self esteem
Have you ever noticed how much fear mongering our society engages in? Just stop and think about the messages we all receive (and generate) on a daily basis:
“Lose 10lbs in 10 days!” based on the assumption that you are afraid your current weight is not acceptable.
“Work hard at school otherwise you’ll never get a good job.” = fear of financial insecurity.
“85% of women agreed this cream gave them younger looking skin,” which reflects our chronic fear of ageing and being somehow obsolete as a result.
“He’s a bit emotional for a man…” because apparently being a ‘real man’ means you can’t have emotions (= fear of being judged).
“Buy this furniture and impress your friends and family this Christmas” aaaaagghhhhhhh!!
You get my point – our culture uses fear to keep us small, tell us what to believe and (usually) to sell us stuff. Our system of fear (that we won’t fit in/be good enough/find a partner/have enough money etc, etc) peddles ideologies, goods and services to us, that we don’t necessarily need, in order to keep us afraid and to keep us believing and buying stuff.
It’s done on a corporate level – magazines do it, manufacturers do it, TV and radio stations do it, governments do it. It’s online, it’s in the shops, and it’s on the billboards – it’s everywhere.
It’s also done on a personal level – families put pressure on members to conform in order to belong, children do it in the playground, adults do it while they gossip over the water cooler.
And the cumulative effect of this fear mongering is a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and people who are disconnected from who they really are and what they really want from their lives.
So, how on earth can we build our self-esteem in this fear-based soup we all swim in? I’ve developed a pretty simple system which is a brilliant antidote if you are willing to give it a go:
# Notice the fear-mongering and accept that it’s everywhere. Knowledge really is power in this instance.
# Notice how you feel about yourself when you see/hear/read something that uses fear to manipulate you.
# Notice how you feel about being alive in this world when you see/hear/read something that uses fear to manipulate you.
# Notice how you feel about other people when you see/hear/read something that uses fear to manipulate you.
# Ask yourself what the opposite thought/belief might be to the one you are being peddled: e.g. the opposite to “85% of women agreed this cream gave them younger looking skin” could be “Who says I need to have younger looking skin? My skin is lovely just as it is.”
# Make a decision to STOP adding to the toxicity yourself. Stop judging, stop gossiping, stop using fear to join in with what everyone else is doing.
When I unhooked from fear all those years ago (which I write about at length in my book) it was like the world went from being very black and white to a glorious kaleidoscope of colour. Fear begets fear but love begets love.
Today I choose the latter and fear (for the most part) has retreated to the outer reaches of my life. I am no longer a slave to its propaganda. This is what freedom means and it’s available to you if you are willing to spot the fear-mongering and inquire into its validity.