I’ve been writing some ‘bonus’ material on fear for the new workbook I released last weekend, Get Out of Stuck, which is my guide to transforming your beliefs so that you can get out of relationship insanity – carrying the same beliefs, baggage, and attitudes, choosing the same people different package, behaving the same way and then expecting different results.
As you can imagine, I hear all sorts of stories that are basically a combination of two things: fear and your beliefs.
Your beliefs are premises that you believe to be true.
Your fears are emotional reactions to perceived threats.
The ‘threat level’ you’ll perceive will be based on your beliefs. When the ‘imminent threat level’ rises, your beliefs go into overdrive and because you act in line with your beliefs, you can make your fears a reality. You then predict what you think is likely to happen – yep, the self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course by acting in line with your beliefs, the self-fulfilling prophecy comes true, which then confirms that what you believe is true, which tells you that the fear was real, which continues to cater to your beliefs, and round, and round and round you go.
What many of us don’t realise is that if we didn’t believe what we believe, we wouldn’t act as we do, so of course if we thought and did things differently, we could have a different outcome.
Likewise, many of us carry beliefs that while we carry on like they’re true, they’re not actually true in the wider sense. It’s only when we become conscious about what we believe and sanity check it that we often discover that our ‘truth’ was somewhat distorted and untrue, which is where the room is created for you to transform your beliefs.
As I said in a recent post about what we worry about, “we create obstacles about what is in the way of making change come about. We come up with umpteen reasons for why the fear exists. We often exaggerate the fear so we can stay in our comfort zone and our comfort zone is the beliefs that we hold onto.”
When you question your beliefs it causes you to question your fears and you’ll often find that they’re misplaced or totally exaggerated.
Sometimes when our imaginations go into overdrive, our fears go wild which lets the ‘ole tape run where we tell ourselves ‘The Story’ which are all the beliefs that you have that cater to that fear and meet the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is when you let yourself get hijacked by your fears and feelings.
If you’re prepared to force your feet into reality and have an honest conversation with yourself, and slow yourself down enough to stop yourself from being hijacked by your thoughts, fears, and beliefs, you can test the ‘threat level’ by asking yourself if the distrust that you feel with a particular person or situation is based on something internal or external, with the existence of the latter potentially legitimising your cause for concern.
Internal means that it is your own record playing (The Story) your beliefs cause you to feel afraid because you won’t have faith in something or someone. – Is this my mind working overtime? What real evidence do I have to suggest that my cause for concern is justified? – If your fears are based solely on an internal dialogue, if you roll with them, you’ll end up creating drama and pain for yourself.
External means that there is evidence outside of you, not just your own fears and imagination that are causes for concern i.e. events that are happening, things that are being said and done by a person, or a conflict of actions not matching words. – What have I seen or heard? If I take it at face value, what does this mean? – It’s assessing and processing the evidence and determining the threat level.
This means that because you are seeing real external evidence of your fears, your fears are trying to communicate to you that something is wrong. This is indicative of your boundaries being crossed and a sign that you need to take action. They’re saying ‘Help me!’ and when there is the combination of internal and external it means that at the very least you have to proceed with caution or you may need to abort the mission.
Now of course the key thing here is:
1) You need to be out of denial with your eyes and ears open and your feet in reality to assess the threat level, and
2) You need to be prepared to listen to yourself, trust your gut, instincts, and evidence, and take action based on your findings, and
3) You need to have an awareness that you should have boundaries and that inappropriate behaviour can be indicative of the potential for more boundary crossing further down the line.
If you find that it’s your fears and imagination going into overdrive (it’s all based on your internal dialogue) and there is no actual evidence to suggest that you have a reason for ‘raising the threat level’, you know that you need to calm yourself down, have an honest conversation with yourself, and have faith in you and the person so that you can trust them and the situation, otherwise you may ruin it.
But be careful, often when we won’t sanity check the internal fears, we look for reasons to justify its existence and may even stir up drama to bring about that self-fulfilling prophecy. Same thing goes for choices that we make based on the fear that also help bring about the self-fulfilling prophecy.
If however you find that there is real evidence to suggest that the perceived threat level is real, rather than ignore it and then close your eyes and distrust your judgement and what your body is telling you, process the information and take action. This may involve asking some questions and finding out more information, doing something, and yes, possibly ending it if there is something to end. It may mean that you need to slow down and proceed with caution so that you can see more clearly. It may signal that you’re catering to a familiar pattern again.
The alternative to not taking action when the threat level is raised is being afraid anyway but sticking it out and hoping that it will miraculously get better while you experience pain as a result of it. What I do know is that living with the ‘threat level’ on high all the time not only means welcoming plenty of drama and pain into your life, but you live a half life based on fear which creates a limited experience. When you have relationships you’ll end up having them with your fears and when you listen to your internal dialogue it’ll be your fears.
Listen to yourself and when you do feel afraid work out where the fear is coming from so that you don’t sabotage a potentially good opportunity or end up putting yourself in the front line of pain.
Want to tackle your beliefs and get happier? Have you downloaded your free copy of Get Out of Stuck? Find out more details.. You can also check out the rest of my ebooks including Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl , the No Contact Rule and more in my bookshop..