How Your Inner Critic Feeds Your Fears

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I love this quote because it calls me to think critically, to be aware of stories that our inner critic whispers in our ears.

(I always think of the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, with an Angel on one shoulder and a Devil on the other when Bugs was trying to make a decision.)

In my last post, I wrote about Ursula, the villain in The Little Mermaid. You understand, of course, that one of the villains’ superpowers is to manipulate us through FEAR. Reminding us of all the bad things that can happen.

Today, I’m sharing this from a favorite handout I often give to clients when we are talking about anxiety and fears. Understanding these concepts is so empowering and freeing. Personally, I re-visit them often. (Especially when Ursula or one of her evil minions is whispering in my ear. Usually at 3 AM, but that’s another story for another day.)

Five Truths About Fear

The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out…and do it.
The only way to feel better about myself is to go out… and do it.
Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m in unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness

 

Author Susan Jeffers talks about these levels of fear. No matter where we start, it all boils down to the “level three” fear.

Level One Fears

Those that “happen” – aging, change, retirement, being alone
Those requiring action – making decisions, changing career, assertiveness

Level Two Fears

Involve the ego – inner states of mind
Rejection, success/failure, being vulnerable, disapproval

Level Three Fears

“I can’t handle it.”

“All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.”

From: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Remember all the times that bad stuff happened and you got through it anyway? You handled it. You may not like how you handled it, or wish it all had a different outcome, but you got through it. And you learned, and grew and sometimes it really sucked.

You are more resilient than you know. You just forget, sometimes.

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