Antidotes to Fear: Gratitude and Purpose

While it may sound redundant, fear is a scary hurdle. When we need to jump over it, we need a solid base under our feet and a powerful leap.

Written on April 7, 2020 by Xeinadin Group

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So, here are three actions we can take to face and then overcome our fear:

  1. Acknowledge your fear and allow it to travel through you.
  2. Ignite and experience gratitude for all that is around you.
  3. Live by a purpose that is greater than yourself.

Below, the 3 points are explained briefly. If this article resonates with you, you can get started practising them immediately. In the next few days, I'll be writing more about each of them; this is not a linear process and, in fact, each step will take you deeper and will reinforce the others. The more gratitude we experience, the less fear and the more powerful purpose. The greater purpose we're inspired by, the more genuine gratitude we'll feel and the more acceptance we'll have for our fear.

  1. Acknowledge your fear and allow it to travel through you

Very often, our typical reaction to a negative emotion like fear is resistance. We don't want to feel it. Funnily enough, we're afraid of our own fear! We don't know how to handle it. We're paralysed. We're uncomfortable talking about it with others. We can even get to the point of detesting ourselves for feeling it.

Resisting an emotion will, at best, keep it stuck inside you and, at worst, magnify it and, either way, it won't make it go away. If this is your case, try changing your perspective

It's OK to feel fear. We're in the middle of a global pandemic unprecedented in our lifetime. Our routines have been upended. Our basic needs of health and security are in danger. So...

Acknowledge your fear. Accept it. Give yourself a big, understanding, comforting hug. Tell yourself that it's OK to feel fear.

If you find it difficult to do, go to a quiet place nearby (even your bathroom, if you're locked down at home with your family), breathe deeply and give yourself that big, understanding, comforting hug. Acknowledge and accept the fear. Tell yourself that it's OK to feel it. By doing so, you're unsticking your fear and you're letting it travel through you.

  1. Ignite and experience gratitude for all that is around you

Gratitude has the power to bind us to the present moment and energise us.

When we're overwhelmed by fear, we start creating multiple scenarios of all the bad things that could happen to us, our loved ones, our community, or even the whole world. And even though these horrible scenarios haven't occurred yet, we start suffering from them, and we get paralysed and debilitated, trapped in our own heads.

If you think about it, this is the opposite of where we want to be: instead of taking what is happening around us seriously and doing something about it, we get paralysed and trapped in our own heads.

Igniting and experiencing gratitude for all that we have around us right now, breaks the bars of our mental jail, brings us back to the present moment, and energises us.

Start by experiencing a few minutes of gratitude each morning first thing when you wake up and each night last thing before you go to bed (and several more times in the day, if you want to). Think of at least 5 things or people or situations in your life that you're grateful for in that very moment.

Write them down in your journal. And give yourself a few moments to let the feeling of gratitude permeate your whole self.

  1. Live by a purpose that is greater than yourself

Purpose is an incredibly powerful tool, but also a bit of a weird animal in today's narrative. I don't know about you, but I've always felt intimidated (and a tad anxious) when someone was telling me, "What's your purpose?" "Find your purpose!" "You need to have a clearly defined purpose."

So, let me tackle it from a very practical angle. Ultimately, purpose is about impact. So, to begin with, just try this exercise: define everything you do (personal and professional) in terms of the beneficial impact others are going to receive from it. Be as extensive and encompassing as you can. Include the people you have direct impact on and those you have indirect impact on. And, again, write it all down in your journal.

In this exercise, include the exceptional circumstances we're living these days. For example, you might be self-isolating at the moment, which obviously comes at an emotional, physical and financial cost. Who are you doing it for? Who are the people that are going to benefit directly and indirectly from your self-isolation?

If you define everything you do during your day - that is, the purpose of everything you do - in terms of the beneficial impact it'll have on others, your reward is going to be two-fold.

  1. You're going to tap into the energy and resources of a much larger pool of people.
  2. All of a sudden, you're not going through these challenging times alone, but as a community - the community of people that benefit from your being in this world.

Start by trying this simple, practical exercise: define everything you do and live by, in terms of the beneficial impact others are going to receive from it, and see what powerful effect it has on your fear.

Remember: fear is a scary hurdle. When we need to jump over it, we need a solid base under our feet and a powerful leap.

Gratitude gives us the solid ground. Purpose gives us the strength to jump.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/antidotes-fear-gratitude-purpose-davide-pagnotta/

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