Don’t Feel the Fear – Feel What It’s Doing To You

by Tess

Guest post: Paige Burkes

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.  And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.  ~Paulo Coelho

The core belief about fear is that it keeps us safe.  Has this been true in your life?

Everything we do in life, we do in order to feel good.  We act on our fears or boldness based upon our beliefs about the outcomes.

Living In Fear

While living in fear may feel limiting, our monkey minds are basically trying to protect us from what it believes is dangerous.  It tells us stories that we’ve grown to believe.  It tells us that, by taking the actions to live in fear, we’ll feel better than if we take bold actions.

If we grew up in an environment where taking bold actions was rewarded, where anticipating unknown outcomes was deemed exciting, we would believe those stories and continue to live our lives that way.

However, if we grew up where doing anything out of the ordinary, anything that could possibly have an unknown outcome, was something to be feared and avoided, we would believe that story and live in accordance with it.

Living in fear is living in a story that doesn’t serve us.  It might make our monkey mind perfectly happy but that little critter has never been a true friend.

Making New Choices

Fears are simply beliefs that we’ve bought into based on a lifetime of experiences.  Those experiences have shaped us based on how we’ve chosen to perceive them.

We all have a choice in how we see and interpret our environment and experiences.  Remember the saying: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?  That’s true with our beliefs too.

Follow these steps to move past the beliefs and stories that have kept you from following the calling of your heart:

1. Identify the fear (the story or belief) that’s holding you back from what you want.  

What story is it telling you?  How is it trying to keep you safe?  What is it trying to protect you from?  How is this helping you?

2. Thank the fear for trying to protect you.

3. Feel the pain this fear generates for you.

If you fear starting a new relationship or the rejection of approaching someone, feel the emptiness or loneliness of not having a significant other.

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.  ~Bertrand Russell 

If you fear having a lot of money, feel the stress, weight and desperation of never having enough money to do what you want.

If you fear taking steps to live your purpose and passion, feel the sense of loss or hopelessness of living your entire life without doing things that feed your soul.

Ask yourself again – Is your fear serving your highest good?

4. Feel the amazing feelings of stepping past this fear and taking action.

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.  ~Norman Vincent Peale 

If you want to start a new relationship, feel the joy, connection and fulfillment of sharing your life with another amazing person.

If you want to create financial abundance, feel the peace and relaxation of knowing that you can afford to do whatever you like.

If you want to live your purpose and passion, feel the sense of fulfillment, openness and happiness of sharing your gifts with the world.  By the way, the world is waiting for you.

It’s critically important that you get beyond simply thinking about how your life will be better if you could just get past your fear.  That won’t get you very far.

You must deeply see and FEEL the negative feelings of staying where you are.  Feel in your gut what your fears are doing to you and your life.

What will your life be like in five, ten and twenty years if nothing changes?

Then, in your core, feel the amazing feelings of how you will be when you step around your fears, stop believing their lies, and live the amazing life that you deserve to live.

From the positive pictures in your mind and the related amazing feelings, write new stories for yourself about how great your life will be when you drop the stories of your fears and live boldly, following your heart.

What will your life be like in five, ten and twenty years after you make these changes?

See and feel those stories in your mind and body every day.

Your monkey mind may try to cast doubt on your new stories.  Thank it for its contribution and turn your back on its incessant, negative chatter.

Now Is the Best Time To Start

You’re much bigger and better than your puny monkey mind.

Start re-writing your stories today.  

Start re-writing your bold, amazing life now!

Paige Burkes writes at Simple Mindfulness where she inspires her readers to see the world in a new light, experiencing life mindfully and inviting in more happiness and joy. Check out her new Mindful Body Program, a comprehensive program that uses mindfulness principles to transform how you think about diet, exercise and health. Make healthy fun!

 My good friend, Tim Brownson has a new Kindle book and it's FREE 70 Amazing Facts About Your Brain and Why It Does Weird Things. Download it now!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Garner January 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hi Paige,

Wonderful article. Step one alone is so powerful. Many times our fears lie below the surface. Just bringing them to the surface and becoming aware of them allows us to decide if they are valid or not.


Dan @ ZenPresence
Dan Garner´s last post…Proven methods to improve your happiness


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 10, 2013 at 5:27 am

Thank you Dan! While the first step may seem obvious, so many people don’t even realize what their fear stems from. Without identifying the underlying story, it’s hard to unravel it.
Paige | Simple Mindfulness´s last post…To Create an Amazing Life, Scare Your Monkey Mind


Sandra Pawula January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am


This is a brilliant approach to understanding how harmful fear is, which is a strong basis for learning to transform it. I appreciate this approach so much.
Sandra Pawula´s last post…Is Wisdom Lost in Your Journals?


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 10, 2013 at 5:30 am

Thank you Sandra! A secret to creating change in our lives that I’ve discovered lately isn’t just thinking about how great things will be when we make the change. That never seems to be enough. The key is to feel how bad things will be in the future if we don’t make the change. It seems that this big stick is much more effective than the seemingly smaller carrot.
Paige | Simple Mindfulness´s last post…To Create an Amazing Life, Scare Your Monkey Mind


Neva Flores January 9, 2013 at 7:26 pm

We are definitely much more than our minds tell us. Excellent inspirational post.
Neva Flores´s last post…Skating to the Stars – Jan. 6, 2013


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 10, 2013 at 5:33 am

So absolutely true Neva. We don’t realize how small of a box our minds like to keep us in until we start to push on the sides of that box. I’ve certainly found that it pays huge dividends to challenge those self-imposed limits on a regular basis. Thanks so much!


Ben January 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I unfortunately was brought up to fear the unknown more and my parents would point out everything that could go wrong. It’s taken alot to get out of that and i’m not quite there yet but I work on focusing on gratitude and the things that could go RIGHT.

Getting to a point where what you want to do is more important than the fear is key.
Ben´s last post…Get a Little Inspiration!


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

It takes a lot of practice to start noticing when our mind wanders to the place where we conjure up all the things that could go wrong and replace those thoughts with all the things that could go right. Bravo to you, Ben, for maintaining that practice!

The desires of our True Self are always more important that the fears of our ego or monkey mind.

Thanks for sharing your journey!
Paige | Simple Mindfulness´s last post…To Create an Amazing Life, Scare Your Monkey Mind


Galen Pearl January 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

So very true that the fear often turns out to be much worse and to cause us much more suffering than what we were afraid of! This was certainly true for me in dealing with my son’s autism. And I can think of other examples in my life as well. The “suffering of suffering” as I read in some Buddhist teachings.
Galen Pearl´s last post…A Warrior of Waiting


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I love that: the suffering of suffering. Just saying it creates a double layer of angst that we could so easily remove altogether by changing what we focus on.

Our minds love to create big, dramatic stories around things and situations instead of interpreting them objectively. Things, people and situations simply are. It’s up to us to create positive interpretations of them that support us instead of allowing our minds to race with negative stories.

Thanks Galen!.


Nancy Shields January 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hello Paige,
Wonderful post that I have shared on Facebook. I believe the fear comes in when we fear ourselves – for we are infinite beings with infinite possiblities and I believe Eleanor Roosevelt said something along these lines.

I press into the fear and go with it – I now find myself in Asheville, NC – moved again – in 3 years this is my 12th move – different places, different spaces – move only with my clothes and office items – few personal pictures that mean something to me. It takes me 2 hours to unpack my goods and start over again. The amazing stories that I have gathered have touched my life in so many beautiful ways. I have been placed in people’s lives for reasons and have been blessed to touch their lives in amazing ways. I have a book started in my journeys and the people that have been there in my path along the way.

No fear in living this way – going into the unknown and experiencing what it is that I was brought there to experience.

Live life and love life,
In joy, love, peace and harmony,


Paige | Simple Mindfulness January 16, 2013 at 6:24 am

That sounds like an amazing life Nancy! The more you press into your own fear, the larger you comfort zone expands and the more joy and excitement you can find in the fear. Can’t wait to read your book! Thanks so much for sharing!

Big Hugs!!
Paige | Simple Mindfulness´s last post…30 Days to Bold


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