Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Without consciousness, we are “automatons driven by fear, greed and habit”, according to David Rock (neuroscientist). I have spoken to so many clients about this in the last few weeks. In truth, whatever we do is either motivated or inspired by avoiding fear or it is motivated by love. This a really useful check: To constantly ascertain whether are we operating out of fear.
When we do fear avoidance behaviour, we shut ourselves down. As an easy example: If movement hurts you and you are afraid of pain and of making yourself suffer, then you are likely to keep still. If you avoid pain and stay still, you will get worse, for certain. However, if you move gently and with mindfulness, you will stimulate the circulation and you will heal. Fear avoidance behaviour never works and it always brings on more of what we fear and are trying to avoid in the long term. Test it in your own life and experience.
People who fear scarcity, try to hold onto things and this always leads to pushing things away in the long term. I always say: if your hands are closed because you are trying to hold onto what you have, then your hands aren't open to receive more. A closed fist bounces “more” off it. If you follow the wisdom of Victor Frankl, the great author who survived the unbearable experience of life in Auschwitz Concentration Camp in the Second World War, you will do what is counter intuitive and actually try to create more of what you fear and want to avoid!
This is a fascinating approach. If failure is what you fear and want to avoid, then bring on failure. Allow it to be a possibility by relaxing and taking some risks. The mind catastrophizes the things it feels threatened by and so it escalates the potential for making a mistake into actual possible failure! This makes stress and inhibits progress and creativity. As an employer and as a coach and a physiotherapist, I would rather take the risk of making a mistake than be too afraid to try something new and something out of the box. So many complex problems have been solved by people who have been fearless of failure. We were all like this as little people learning to walk. So many of the great inventions that have changed the face of the planet, were the result of countless failures, which eventually gave way to success.
I ask you, what do you fear? What fear avoidance behaviour do you engage in? If it's not love driving you, it's fear. But we can't change our behaviour unless we understand it fully, so have a look!
I wish you fearlessness.