On Tuesday, I blogged about overcoming big fears with small things. When we are scared of something, it feels very BIG, so we think we need to do something BIG AND BRAVE to fight it. And we could. But we don’t need to. We might be too scared to do a BIG AND BRAVE thing. And that’s okay. We can do a small and brave thing.
I’m readdressing this today because I want to help you apply this truth to your life. I’m also readdressing it because I just thought of the truth on Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning, and I want to help myself apply it to my own life. I applied it to my music, but seriously I’m still scared of everything else in the world, so I could probably benefit from having a system. So me and you, we are going to work on this. Here’s some questions I think we should ask. Actually, let’s make this a game. We will call it Fear Hunting. Yes, Fear Hunting with Anna.
FEAR HUNTING with Anna
A) Find the Fear: Identification is everything in a fear hunt. What is the fear? Where does it live? When did it get there?
B) Capture the Fear: Now it’s time to work some magic. There is good fear and bad fear. If we can make the fear into a good fear, then it is trapped and can do longer hurt us. Wahhaha! We are champions.
C) Use the Fear: Once the fear is something good, we can use it for something good. What will we do with this thing we hunted?
A) Ask questions.
B) Think about the questions.
C) Answer the questions.
1) What is the biggest, scariest thing I am scared of right now? Don’t worry about what we have been scared of ever. We are not in ever, we are in now. My answer is I’m scared of my bed…hence why I’m still awake at 2:30am.
2) Does my answer make sense? If it does, skip to Question Four. If it’s an irrational fear, then on to Question Three. My fear does not make sense. Why am I scared of a bed?
3) What else am I scared of in the same way that I’m scared of that? We should ask ourselves this until we think of that thing that sinks into our heart and makes our eyes pop out, the “aha” moment of fear hunting. Once the answer resonates with us, we can go to Question Four. I am scared of my bed in the same way I’m scared of sleeping and running and driving in cars and making decisions and eating and going places and staying in my house…all illogical… seemingly unrelated…but wait…all things I have done with a certain person in my life…I’m scared of that person.CHECK! I found my fear. First goal, accomplished.
4) When did this start? If we focus on the fear, our mind will take us back to the first time we remember feeling that fear. When I first met this person, I felt this fear. I was scared he was going to hurt me.
5) Did the fear start before something happened, while something was happening, or after something happened? I don’t know why this question helps, but it does. Being scared before something, during something, or after something are all very different experiences. I think it helps because putting it on a timeline helps ground it in reality. The fear started while I met this person, but before he did anything to hurt me.
6) What are the details with the first memory of the fear? Remembering details helps you connect the fear with real events in your life. Fear is powerful when it is vague. Let’s make it specific. We should keep remembering details until we can properly answer Question 7. I was five years old. I just moved to New London. I was walking into church, and I met him at the front of the church. He shook my dad’s hand. He looked at me and smiled. He hugged me after he met me once. We went out to lunch with him and his family. My family liked him. My parents trusted him. I saw them do this, but I sensed something was wrong. I did not feel safe with him, so I did not feel safe at church or anywhere else where he was. He reminded me of something that someone else had done to me, and I was scared that he would do that same thing to me.
7) Was the fear a good thing?
If the answer is yes, it’s because the fear a warning sign, that if properly listened to, could have helped us avoid a painful situation. If it was a warning sign, then it was good. It was a good fear. We were right to feel that way. We could have honored that fear. We are not bad for not listening to it. Maybe there’s something we could have done, maybe not. Now we can listen to our fears even though we didn’t then.
If the answer is no, it’s because the fear stopped us from doing something good. Why did we stop ourselves from doing something good? Because we were scared. Why were we scared? Oh, wait, we need to go back to Question Two. Fear always comes in layers, and good fear can be found at the bottom, so if we work through the layers, we will find a good fear. If we are remembering a bad fear, we aren’t done. We don’t need to be upset with ourselves, we are on a fear hunt after all, things are just getting interesting. If our fear hunt was a movie, people would want to watch it because this plot twist makes it so complicated and cool.
My answer is yes and no. The fear was a good thing. I was right about this person. They were not good, and they were planning to hurt me. Later, they did hurt me, but they began the process of setting that attack up when they first met me, and that is when I first felt scared. My fear was a red flag. It was a sign. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to stop what happened. But I can honor that fear now, and now when I feel that same fear, I can honor it. CHECK! I have changed my fear of that man into a good thing. I have caught the fear, second goal, accomplished.
But, woah, this fear hunt has expanded. I found other fears: the fear of my parents not listening to me or protecting me. And the fear of trusting myself. And the fear of speaking up. These kept me from talking to them about it. That was not a good thing. I need to go back to the other questions. Underneath those fears may be another fear, and another fear, and eventually I’ll find a good fear. But not on this blog, because seriously, you don’t need to know every thought I think; plus my examples getting too long.
8) How can I use this? Fear hunting is like animal hunting. When you catch it, you can either release it or you can kill it. Some of our fears need to be let go and used for a purpose, but without our control. Some of our fears need to die. They need to be over and done with. And then when they are dead, we need to make sure we do not waste their death. Just like with animal hunting, we can use those dead fears to make a trophy (something to remember the fear hunt by), make food (nourish ourselves, learn and grow), or make some money (our fears are good experiences, and we may profit from them in some way). Or we can leave it their in the middle of the woods…where it is useless. And seriously, we just went through all this work to hunt the fear…let’s do something with it. With my fear of this man, I am letting go and killing the fear. I feared this man because I recognized that he was an abuser. I want that fear to be free, because I think I can learn from it. I would like to continue to recognize abusers, and use that ability for good. However, I am going to kill the fear of this man hurting me again. Because I know he is not going to. That fear needs to die. Now that it is dead, I am going to make trophies. The first trophy I will make is this blogpost.
Did you have fun on our fear hunt?