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The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear by Guy Finley

Are you afraid of some condition in your life?  Here’s a life-transforming secret: that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear.

It is only within this special kind of inner-relationship that there is real safety, because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day as you practice this, you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions. They begin to lose their power over you.

Why? Because you are at last seeing these reactions for what they have always been:unintelligent mechanical forces. You are slowly becoming stronger than they are because by seeing them as they are not as they would have you see them you have helped yourself to climb above and outside of their influence. This self-insight is the difference between trembling through your life and being in command of it.

To be consciously afraid means that you know you are frightened, but at the same time you know that these very fears, as real as they may seem, are not you. And no wrong reaction can keep you captive once you begin to see it for what it is.

Fear is, and has always been, nothing but a self-limiting reaction that we cling to in the darkness of our present life-level, having mistaken it for a shield of self-protection. But, just as the faintest of early morning sunlight can dispel the night-long darkness, so does the smallest of insights into a persistent fear lead to
letting it go.

You can prove this powerful principle to yourself anytime you want. Just dare to proceed even while being afraid. But remember, your new aim isn’t to be courageous or to try and act strong in the face of fear. No. We’ve seen that this won’t work. You simply want to be more curious about your frightened thoughts and feelings than you want to believe in them.

If you will follow this simple but higher instruction, not only will you start to see these habitual reactions that have been keeping you scared and running, you’ll actually start seeing through them. This is where the real miracle occurs.

Each new insight into the actual nature of these negative reactions removes some of their power over you. And their loss is your gain. You are stronger now and you know it. You also know this new strength will never fail you because it isn’t just the appearance of a temporary opposite. This new strength of yours is the absence of an old weakness.

Let’s look at just one of the ways in which this principle of putting self-illumination before psychological self-protection can turn fear into fearlessness.

Do you know someone who you would rather run from than run into? Most of us do! Nevertheless, starting right now, resolve never again to avoid any person that scares you.

In fact, go ahead and walk right up to that critical man or aggressive woman and say or do exactly what you want instead of letting the fear tell you to do what it wants. Have no ideas at all about the way things should or shouldn’t go. You are there to watch and learn about yourself, not to win an ego victory. Let that person see you shake if that is what starts to happen. What do you care? Besides, it is only temporary. That unpleasant person before you can’t know it, but you are shaking yourself awake.

For the first time, you are letting your reactions roll by instead of letting them carry you away. As you stand there, momentarily apart from your usual self and working hard to remain as inwardly watchful as you know how, you can see that this flood of previously unconscious reactions has its own life story; a shaky sort of
story that up until now you had embraced as your own. But now you are beginning to see the whole story. The fears do not belong to you. Here is the explanation:

You have never been afraid of another person. The only thing you have ever been frightened by is your own thoughts about that person. Yes, you did feel fear, but it wasn’t yours and it wasn’t towards someone stronger than you. The fear you felt was in what you thought he or she was thinking about you.

Amazing isn’t it? You have been afraid of your own thoughts! And seeing this ends this. Now you can let this thought-self go, because no one consciously holds on to terror.

(Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go, by Guy Finley Rev. Edition, Llewellyn Publications)

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 38 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and receive your free Guy Finley Starter Kit. You get several free downloadable gifts including a special newsletter filled with helpful insights and encouragement emailed to your desktop once each week.

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12 Responses to “The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear by Guy Finley”

  1. Leila says:

    That is an amazing conclusion. Thanks for pointing it out, Guy.

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  2. Katja says:

    I only read the first few sentences of this nonsense-article, and my blood was boiling ! How DARE this person – who obviously has never experienced a frightful moment in his life – tell me and others “that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear.”

    Yeah, Mr. Smarty-Pants – TRY BEING IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP, being a child, seeing your mother(and others) abused; you are starving, you are sick, you see people dying all around you with no help in sight. Oh, but it’s all in our heads, right ? No need to fear anything, just change your reaction to it !
    I am not a mean person, but I wish for you to at least 5 minutes – only once in your life – to EXPERIENCE a frightful situation.
    People like you should be blacklisted from ever being published again !

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  3. AdminCyndi says:

    from Guy Finley…..

    In all honesty, the following response is not for the person who judged my words; odds are what I’ve written here will fall on deaf ears. I hope not, but 30 years of teaching proves otherwise in most cases such as these. So, I’ve penned the ideas that follow for those with ears to hear because – to one degree or another – we are all in the same boat; we need new understanding of the ocean of consciousness we are in…and how to use the waves that “rock” us when they do. Otherwise, we are – quite literally – sunk.

    In this life, there is one of two choices when it comes to painful events, past or present. We can either go on hating, fearing what we think life has done to us (or
    others) – and let these negative reactions create our experience for us or…We can learn to use these same dark reactions to free ourselves from them. But just wanting to learn the truth isn’t enough; we have to be willing to see the truth if we want its liberating touch.

    Hating the past, blaming it for the pain we’re in now, seems to justify our continuing suffering. But whatever justifies blame and hatred is, itself, a part of
    – in league with – these negative states. And that’s what we have to see (within us) if we ever want to be free of whatever it is in us that has “good reasons” for
    tearing itself apart. It’s “common” spiritual sense: Love doesn’t hate anything, it sees (and knows) the secret unity in all it beholds; Light doesn’t fear shadows, it gently transforms them into open space.

    Lastly, and I have never spoken of this before, but it will help to strengthen the points just made: I am a cancer survivor, and my left leg (from the knee down) has been paralyzed since the age of seventeen…due to a football injury. Suffering is no stranger in my life. But, when we know that whatever happens to us can be for the good of us – and choose to learn from these moments instead of burn over them – miracles happen. We can awaken to see that some of the best “gifts” we are given are the ones we want least…which is another whole story to be discovered by anyone who wants to be free. — GF

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  4. bmc says:

    I’m a subscriber to Guy Finley’s newsletter and it’s one of the most useful newsletters I receive. His writings help me find the things within me I really need to look at, understand and sometimes (most times) I need to change or get rid of. It’s often confrontational but I’m always grateful when some deep though/belief is brought to the surface and I get the feeling I’m starting to understand myself better.

    My sympathies to anyone who is going through tough times, or has been through tough times. I’ve grown up in an area ravaged by civil conflict and I’ve seen people die bit by bit every day through the hatred they carry with them and I’ve seen others become bigger versions of themselves because of how they decide to deal with it. The choice is always your own.

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  5. Barb Ross says:

    The negative response is obviously from someone who has not suffered because most of us with painful pasts have moved on.

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  6. Mary says:

    Katja…. Read Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl who DID survive a concentration camp. Perhaps you will understand the point made about fear. I hope you overcome whatever is scaring you so bad and the anger that goes with it. Learn from those who have survived fear and have gone on to make amazing contributions to society and their families and who would say nothing less than what is shared here.

    “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
    “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

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  7. Melanie says:

    Interesting article, will certainly provide much food for thought. However what about fearful thinking as a result of self-conscious behaviour and thoughts? Fearful thinking caused by anticipating certain triggers or habitual responses. Ie you are not afraid of your own thoughts about the other person but instead you are afraid of your reactions that maybe caused by the interaction with a person. Eg being self-consious and guarded in the event that a certain word is mentioned that may trigger a reaction.

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  8. Waba Akin says:

    A low bow to Guy’s article. To achieve this fearless state of mind is difficult though, but I will say its much of self will, it takes a daring ability to walk through this. The use of NLP would be very useful in achieving control and reframing of the mind, to kind of… create a different view of a certain situation or person.

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  9. [...] The Secret to Letting Go [...]

  10. R.D. says:

    I understand Katja. Her pain is palpable.
    I’ve had some really awful things happen to me also. She may suffer from PTSD…I think I do also. It’s very difficult to overcome. The answer may be simple, just not very easy.
    I work very hard to get past these personal difficulties but have not had more than only a little success. Even when I meditate the negativity is, sometimes, overwhelming and I have to stop. When I have a positive meditation, it feels like a little miracle. There are many days I just want to give up; I feel like Sisyphus.*
    (*Sisyphus defied the gods and put Death in chains so that no human needed to die. When Death was eventually liberated and it came time for Sisyphus himself to die, he concocted a deceit which let him escape from the underworld. Finally captured, the gods decided on his punishment: for all eternity, he would have to push a rock up a mountain. At the top, the rock rolls down again and Sisyphus has to start over.)

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  11. Nyakio says:

    Nice article…irrespective of what we have gone through in the past we still have the now to live with the best part is our now is what we want it to be…its impossible to undo the past but we can deal with the present by working towards eliminating the fear.(funny our memories are brought back by our thoughts since we are no longer in the past physically?)this line still applies…. “You have been afraid of your own thoughts! And seeing this ends this. Now you can let this thought-self go, because no one consciously holds on to terror.”…peace to all

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  12. kathy says:

    I was impressed with this article until i read Guy Finley’s response (although he calls it a non-response) to Katja’s message. To have scary things happen to us in our lives as opposed to having scary out-of-control things happen while we are in the developing childhood state are two very different things. A football injury, even resulting in paralysis, and surviving cancer as an adult, do not equal the experience of a concentration camp during childhood. I doubt that even Victor Frankl’s book would be helpful to Katja because he was also an adult when these things happened in his life. There is unexplainable, unfathomable darkness in this world and to blame people for being blind when they have been blinded by this darkness is, I think, not helpful. Katja needs to find a way to release her pain without ever understanding it or finding the “gifts” in it. I wish her peace and gentle love.

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