If you’re tired of living a life of fear, then it’s time to move in the opposite direction. But what’s the opposite of fear — courage, perhaps? I’d challenge you to see that the opposite of fear is love.
Here’s what I mean:
Our actions and our negative intentions create the very things that we’re most afraid of in our reality, but the antidote for this problem is love. Showing up as the source of love in your own life allows you to operate every day from a place of love instead of a place of fear.
“Fear Will Be Your Enemy”
If you’ve ever watched Frozen, you may remember the scene where Elsa’s parents take her to the trolls in search of help. The troll king, Grand Pappie, offers a profound message: “Fear will be your enemy.” That’s advice that we could all use.
Fear holds us back. When we’re afraid, we’re less likely to engage with others and the world around us. We miss out on the experiences we deeply desire. Connecting with others is one of the most important ones.
When we make choices based on fear, it keeps us from living our best lives.
A Universal Law About Fear
I’ve noticed a principle about fear. It’s so common that I’d venture to describe it as a universal law.
Here’s what I’ve observed: When we behave out of fear, we create the very thing that we’re most afraid of in ourselves and our reality.
By acting out of fear, we bring our fears to life. We do the exact opposite of what we were wanting in our lives.
I see this often with social anxiety. Here’s what the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has to say about this issue:
Social anxiety disorder is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and other daily activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends.National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
So let’s think about how that often plays out. If I’m afraid of being judged and rejected by people, then I’m not going to go and talk to them. I’m certainly not going to show them who I really am.
But, wait! In hiding who I am from them, I am judging and rejecting myself!
I’ve literally created rejection, the very thing that I was afraid of. In behaving out of fear, I have guaranteed myself this result.
Fear and Negative Intentions
We can also bring our fears to life through our intentions.
Often, when there’s something in the world that we want to avoid, we structure our intentions accordingly. We phrase them in the negative, based on what we don’t want to see happen.
So, for instance, you may have a fear of uncertainty about the future, and it’s making you uncomfortable. You don’t want to have that fear, so you may be telling yourself, “I’m not going to worry about the future; I’m not even going to think about worrying about the future,” again and again.
Well, that’s not how your brain works. To process those instructions, guess what your brain automatically does? It recalls the concept of worry! You’re putting the idea of worry right into your mind.
So with the very intention of trying not to worry, you automatically think about worrying!
(While intentions phrased in the negative can hold you back, affirmative manifestations can be a very useful tool. To learn more, go read “Can You Use Negative Words in Affirmations? Try These Ideas Instead.”)
Resist and Persist
The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.” How true is that?
We’ve seen how trying to actively hide and push away our fears doesn’t do anything to get rid of them. Those actions only make our fears more prominent in our life. They give our fears more control over our experiences in the world.
We end up putting so much energy into the very thing that we’re trying to avoid.
Fears About Who You Are
So many of our deepest fears often tie into people knowing who we really are. We worry that our authentic selves will be unattractive to other people or even detrimental to them.
In response, we choose to keep our authenticity locked away. We try to make it a secret that no one else can see.
Your authentic self is powerful — deep down, you’re a badass. But you may worry that the power you hold has the potential to do things wrong or mess things up. Maybe you worry that you’ll hurt others in some way. Perhaps you fear that they won’t accept you for your authentic self.
And so you hold yourself hostage and try to hide your authentic self from the world. But remember, when you behave out of fear, you create the very thing that you’re most afraid of.
Hiding from others is what hurts them. When you hold yourself back, you limit the growth and depth that can take place in your relationships. That’s painful for you and those who miss out on meaningful relationships with you.
(To learn more about the importance of bringing your authentic self to relationships, take a look at my article “Ready to Stop Being a People Pleaser? Here Are 6 Key Strategies.”)
The Antidote for Your Fear
You can shift from fears about who you are to love for who you are. One thing that will help is the realization that you are the source of the things that you want to experience in the world.
First and foremost, you can love and you can create love. That’s so powerful.
Think about a situation in which somebody loves you, but you can’t see it because their views of you don’t line up with the things you’re believing about yourself. Instead of embracing their love, you feel rejected and alone.
But when you become your own source of love in the world, you’ll open yourself up to loving. It will become an activity that you do that comes from within. It won’t be a thing that happens to you or something that you fall into. You will know that love is an active verb — a thing that you do.
Realizing your ability to love and create love is so beautiful. It reveals how much power you hold within you and provides a reminder that there’s no need to hide your authentic self. You can be that self without fear.
Be Your Own Source
You are your own source of love in the world. Not only that, but you are also the source of anything you want to experience.
Whether you want to create love or admiration or respect in the world, it comes from you. The freedom you’re seeking is 100% your responsibility. It is within your control.
Fully embracing this idea will diminish your fears because you’ll realize it doesn’t matter what happens to you. It doesn’t matter what people say about you or what they think. Creating what you want to create doesn’t depend on anyone else.
When you are the source, you become inoculated against the fear of what anyone else might do to you in the world.
Sold on Love for Yourself
Fear can make you think that your authentic self is dangerous. But love is the answer. You can engage with who you are and love the nature of your reality.
When you’re sold on loving your authentic self instead of hiding it away, you create a reality in which others get to buy into that too. You get to use the power within you for the benefit of everybody.
Be sold on yourself. Know that you are a superpowered badass. Then, instead of living in fear, you can show up ready to present your authentic self in a way that helps others find that same freedom.
Two States: Love and Fear
All of our emotions spring from one of two states. They either come from love or fear.
Every day, you get to choose whether you want to operate from a place of love or a place of fear.
You have superpowers within you. You can use them to build a life in which you’re terrified because you’re trying to shut your authentic self out and close it down.
Or, you can use the power within you to build a life that you love. In your entrepreneurial journey, your relationships, and your personal development, you can know with confidence that you are the source of everything you want to create in your reality.
When you show up as the source of love in your life, you will become immune to fear.
I’d love to discuss love vs. fear more with you. Join me and my wife Paige for a conversation in which we talk about the lessons we learned on this topic as we watched the movie Frozen.