A Reason to Smile

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.” -Fulton Oursler

Is there anything you want to do, but just don’t?
Is there anything you know you NEED to do, but just don’t?
Is there anything you wish you could change about yourself?
In dealing with my Coaching  clients, I find 99% of problems are rooted in fear.
Now, even if it were possible, you wouldn’t want to be *completely* fearless, since it serves a very useful purpose as an early warning system, but fear has just too much control over things in most people’s lives.
If you think about it, fear is at the core of most, if not all negative emotions.
Negative emotions are largely rooted in an underlying fear of the unknown, a fear of what other people might say or do, and a need to control them or stop them from hurting you.
This is especially true of people who have unresolved traumas in their past.  Perhaps you know someone who had a parent leave or pass away when they were very young, and now that person has trouble having intimate relationships, since they are subconsciously afraid that person will leave them.
Or someone who had their trust violated by someone in the past, and now they can’t completely trust another human being, out of fear of getting hurt.
Or maybe you know someone who is afraid to let go of a bad relationship, because they are afraid they’ll be alone for the rest of their life.
One of the reasons for the fanatical attitudes we discussed before is a fear of uncertainty; someone who is insecure is threatened by the beliefs and opinions of others, since it causes them to question their own positions and that is unbearable.  Better to try and stomp them out then risk too much introspection.
So, what is fear, and how do you control it?
The most important thing is, fear only exists in one place: the future.  You can only be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet.  Let’s take an extreme example: you’re walking through a dark alley, and you’re afraid someone is going to mug you, which hasn’t happened yet.  A man steps out of the shadows, and has a weapon; you may be shocked or angry about getting mugged, but the *fear* has now transferred to being afraid he is going to hurt you with the weapon.  Even if the man takes your wallet and leaves you unharmed, now the fear is transferred to what he might do with your credit cards and ID, which as of now still hasn’t happened.
I think you get the point; as I said: it was an extreme example.  The fact is, you can only be afraid of what hasn’t happened yet; once it occurs, you can have lots of other emotional reactions, but fear won’t be one of them.
 As for how to control it, there are several tools I use depending on the situation; if you have a specific question you can send it to me here  and I’ll give you some steps to take.
In the meantime, here is a very simple and effective tool you can use to change your emotional state:
Think of something that makes you very happy, imagine it in as much detail as you can.  Is it a memory, or a fantasy? Where are you, who is with you? What are you wearing, what is the temperature like? What sounds do you hear, what can you see?
Really make the image come to life in your mind…I’ll wait here while you do.
Did you do it?
Do you find yourself feeling pretty good all of the sudden?
If you took the time to imagine it, you should be feeling that tingle in your tummy.  This is a very easy example of how you can alter your emotions whenever you want; you can turn any feeling on and off by visualizing the time you felt that feeling the strongest in as much clarity and detail as you can.
I want to leave you with an unusual question: who are You?
What went through your mind when you read that, was it your name?  If so, that’s not who You are: it’s what you’re called.
Maybe it was your job? But that’s not You either, it’s what you do.
Your Religion? Again, not You…it’s what you believe.
You’re not your race, gender, Nationality, none of those.
So who are You?
Once you figure that out, you’ll never be worried or afraid of anything ever again.  If you know, email it to me or put it in the comments down below.  And this isn’t some sort of riddle, there is a definite answer.  I’ll leave you with a hint: figure out who you’re *not*, and that will point you towards the answer.

You are great, and I love you!

And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:

Ask me anything:

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha  — Interfaith dialog

Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)

Love One Another —  A safe place to come find more reasons to smile!