How to Handle Fear

From a Taoist perspective, what is the best way to handle fear?

To answer this, we must first take a few steps back to understand fear.

Fear is: Foreseeing a negative potential as an outcome.

Fear is a tricky subject because it’s all about something that isn’t real. More interestingly, by fearing something, we focus our energy and attention towards something that isn’t real. In our attention to details that often gives the fear energy to become real. So fear is a grave topic since for many people they drive their fears into reality.

Let’s break this down: First, understand what potential is before trying to resolve fear.

fear

Art By thienbao

Potential isn’t reality; rather potential merely represents an outcome a person can experience. It takes energy to manifest potential into reality; it takes measurements and actions to channel the potential into reality.

More confusing some potentials are more likely than others. No matter how likely a potential is, it is still potential and not a reality until it’s activated into reality.

Working with Fear

It must be understood there exist multiple ways to handle anxiety. Depending on your nature it may not be easy to dispel certain fears, especially if you are hardwired to have fear.

You cannot hold to fear!

Fear must be released! To hold fear is to accept the negative potentials that fear represents.

You can release fear by tackling it head on to remove it or to just let go of it. However, you cannot hold onto fear without the negative factors that fear represents from eroding your life away and reinforcing the fear itself.

To live to fear is to ensure all your own potentials erode away into nothing.

Learn to live life fully and learn to release what isn’t really from your life. Fear is never a positive situation.

  1. When possible: release fear altogether.
    Since fear isn’t “real” but rather represents a negative potential. The less energy you put into that fear, the less energy you place into manifesting your fear into reality. 80% of fears can just be released outright without worry.
  2. Practice Awareness
    Be more aware of all potentials around you. With awareness you can more easily navigate around potentials, you don’t want to experience.
  3. Practice mind, body and spiritual exercises to keep one in shape
    The more you build up your potential in being strong, balanced and clear, the more options you can access to move around issues, problems and outcomes you would fear. Likewise educate yourself, educating yourself is a mind-based exercise, that teaches your mind how to handle the potentials surrounding your fears more carefully. More times than not, education lets you jump back to step one, to allow you to release your fear and thus allowing one to dispel most fears outright with just a little more information.
  4. Understand your nature.
    If you have a natural fear of something, you can then work towards outside help to help teach you ways to handle or examine those fears in a safer manner. Be patient with yourself in this. We have some fears for a reason, and always first take a look at your fear to see if it is something that is helping you avoid a true problem ahead. Then revise your actions accordingly. Often fear is a story we are holding on to, and we can change the story to release fear.
  5. Turn off the news and mass media.
    Modern societies are now all fear based. The whole system revolves around fear to keep people in line and to sell merchandise. Releasing fear is in part living locally, being part of a strong community and turning off the propaganda and fear marketing.
  6. Eat Better.
    We are what we eat. Make it a practice to only consume humanely grown food. If you eat meat or even plants produced in a fear-based, overcrowded situation, you are eating the stress hormones and other fear-based by-products of that growth. You literally can ingest fear.
  7. Get help for the times when fear is based on a real pressing issue.
    Sometimes we must face an abusive person, bully or a situation where fear has gone beyond being a negative potential. When this is the case, Get help! You are not alone, and we live in society to help each other solve problems. It’s together we make the world a better place.

How to be Fearless

Without fear, it becomes amazing what one can accomplish. What is within fear then, that it limits a person so?

Fear can get locked in by a judgement that a negative potential is about to become real.

If one focuses fear towards that negative potential, often, our actions then move towards the fear. You have many options to avoid the fear unless you get locked into the path to the fear. Judgment locks a person to only that judgment’s viewpoint of the world. If you judge a fear of being real, you have locked it in to become real.

The Two Steps in Being Fearless

Step One:  Release Judgment.

Yes, judgment locks fears into place. You will never release a fear if you judge it real! Judgment limits our options and view in life. Many people don’t realize they lock their fears in place with inaccurate judgments of the situation or events around their life.

Step Two: Live Proactively

Proactively step around the negative options and work towards the positive outcomes. When you do make a misstep, then use it to learn and improve life.

So in being fearless, you sidestep around negative potentials. That is very powerful. The only thing is being fearless means you also must not be reckless.

Fearlessness must always be paired with awareness.

Since many people have turned off their awareness, they, in turn, let their fears compensate for the lack of awareness. That is sad and limits life.

We move thru potentials, every choice we make, builds up potential or unlocks a potential to become real.

People choose by their actions what will and will not happen. To let fear guide a path, will mean avoiding and missing many opportunities. If you let awareness guide your path, then it’s possible to explore and assess each potential you face. Awareness helps you navigate successfully around most negative results and is part of releasing your judgments to become fearless.

Since it’s impossible to avoid all negative impacts, we also teach in Taoism to learn from everything including our actions that do stir up negative results. So any step into negative potential continues to build up a positive potential for later use.

This simply means living to fear limits our lives and living with awareness it’s possible to make the most of our lives.

Facing Fear

I first teach to remove fear wholesale. Fear is a negative feeling that isn’t real but fools you into making it real.  So the most powerful anti-fear technique is to remove fear before it infects you.

How Fears Infects a Person

Working against fear has many angles to consider. Fear is insidious because it can infect and then root into a person in so many different ways. Often the first step of depowering fear is figuring out which aspect of life fear has infected and undermined.

Lack of Confidence
A person can lose confidence in life. A lack of confidence manifests as a fear that prevents a person from attempting anything new.

The American culture (both North and South America) have many angles of abuse built into it from colonial times. As a result, bullies thrive in this culture and use abuse as a tool to empower themselves in life. We often have to face the bullies and depower them as part of the process to remove fear out of our life.

Part of facing fear is knowing how to fight. I have talked about this before in the improving society and life article. Ironically in the United States, people are taught to fight EVERYTHING. If you make everything a fight, you will lose! One teaching is learning how to know your fight and release false fights. When everything is a fight, you’re always in stress mode, and you will soak in fear. Understand that unconsciously your instincts are wired to generate a fear response in losing situations to help keep you alive.

Often this fear will manifest as a constant state of anxiety. So you also have to learn how to release anxiety.

Another step of working with fear is learning how to flip negative attitudes with positive thinking. Don’t be fooled by the mass media marketing machine pushing law of attraction and mindfulness. Meditation and being positive does make a difference in how you approach life.

Fear can break a person’s trust in their own abilities in life. Learn to trust your actions over time.

Fear can manifest in the feelings of being overwhelmed and making you feel like your actions won’t be enough. So Taoism teaches how to maximize your action with minimal effort.

Additional Anger, Crisis, and Emotional Support Reading Materials

For Assistance Releasing Fear

Julie and I teach from a wide collection of tools that will help you find peace and release fear and anger. Often times addressing deeper truths require outside assistance to gain new angles that resolve out the internal conflict a person is holding. We teach you how to release judgements that hold you back and then flare up later to diminish you. We work with Taoist and shamanic tools that add in a grounded spiritual component to anger and fear management.

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kat

it all sounds very easy but is indeed hard work. i have developed a fear of cantering my horse and am trying to overcome the negative potentials surrounding the canter and to just enjoy it – still not easy

Ann

You only briefly mention fear that is based on real experiences that a person routinely faces. In such instances where one cannot seek outside help to remove the fear inducing situation, are there tools you might suggest for reframing or having a less harmful response? I know this is broad. Any suggestions would really be of help.

jessica

I would love to live my life without fear and would love to embrace everyday and not think of the past and worry about the future.

I’m just being afraid and my having two children I don’t want them to mimic my behavior. I would love to live in peace and joy and without constantly worrying about everyday obstacles instead of me embracing it and taking it one day at a time

karen

This explanation of fear is very helpful. I sometimes think I will look back at my life and realize i’ve spent alot of time worrying my life away. I spend too much time putting energy into negative potential. I never thought of it that way before but now I will and it will help me to stop worrying. Thank you.

@Michele: Yes when turning off the fear, you gain so much energy to move ahead and live ones life more fully.

I know this gets said quite a bit on fear: but people don’t realize the amount of their own energy they put into negative actions. Such negative actions undercut an entire life. Then it becomes habit and you don’t even see you are undercutting yourself with fear.

Glad this was of help in combating, in releasing, in moving without fear.

Michele

Thank you for that! I read it numerous times. It really speaks to me! What a waste of time and energy to entertain negative potentials! I’m working on positive visualization and this helps!

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