Most of the dreams that people send me have a lot to do with fear. When you get to the core of someone’s inner work, there is always a fear that that has to be faced. It is part of the human condition. I think that for most of us we just want the fear to go away because being in a state of fear is not very pleasant. Why do we seem to have so much fear and what can we do about it?
The problem we have as human beings is that we are hard-wired for positive growth. There will never be a day of anyone’s life on the planet where there is not an internal impetus for developing a new positive part of ourselves. Whatever our inner beings need in order to be more effective and more beneficial to others will be trying to go from a state of potential to a state of actualization.
If we could just accelerate the actualization when our true selves desire it, then growth would just be a completely positive experience. This would be ideal. You probably have experienced a time when learning a new capacity was relatively easy such as learning a new skill. However, when it comes to where your inner self wants to grow, it always picks the most difficult area, the one with the most internal resistance. That is the problem! And that is where fear comes into the picture. Growth is most required where the superlative is. What is my worst fear, the thing most hampering my life, the thing that is ruining my life in the biggest way? This is always where your true self wants to grow because when you change there you get the most positive impact on your outer life.
When you are in the habit of doing dream work, then you know that the fears always show up in your dreams, which is usually a better place for them to show up than in real life. They will show up in real life as well, but the dream world likes to give you the information first so that you can make changes before they hit really hard in the outer world.
Because our inner beings go to our weakest and most vulnerable areas to try to stimulate our growth, there tends to be a great deal of fear connected to the new energy. It is as if you are where you are now and you are trying to get to a place that has an amazing new capacity or quality, but in between now and the future state is fear. Something has to be done about the fear if you are going to make it to the new ability. Fortunately or unfortunately you don’t have a choice about facing the fear. You can try to avoid it or make it go away with drugs or alcohol, which may alleviate the pressure temporarily, but the fear will be insistent and it will keep showing up forever until it is transformed. The reason that it is so insistent is because your inner being has a desire to be extremely beneficial to the world, but it needs you to grow in order to be beneficial.
If fear is so insistent, then how do you make it go away? The most important thing in the process of embracing a fear is knowing what new capability or quality your inner being wants. You have your current state and you have the fear, but if you don’t have the future positive state, then the process will be to just try to get rid of the fear only so that you can go back to living how you were living now minus the fear. Your inner self wants you to live in a new way. The new state, when it is known, attracts you to the process of dealing with the fear. In Asia one of the great fears that people have is that of making mistakes especially that are publicly known. When it happens, people “lose face” meaning that they don’t feel as though they can show their face in public after the mistake. You have whole populations of people living in the fear of making mistakes and then doing everything they possibly can to avoid them. The quality that is calling to them is creativity or risk-taking, but the fear of making a mistake and getting severely criticized, fired, or punished is in between their current state and the creativity. If a person knew how wonderful creativity is and practiced it, then the organizations and families would advance very rapidly.
Normally what will happen when you have a fear like the fear of making mistakes is that you will tense up and get stressed and work really hard at avoiding mistakes. With creativity the growth is in the mistakes themselves. You look forward to mistakes because you know that the mistakes will make the outcome even better. When you embrace the fear, it means that you are embracing the mistakes as a place to make things better rather than trying to avoid mistakes.
Another common fear is that of losing the position you are in. In the dream world it is the fear of falling. Many professional coaches lose their positions the moment they lose games. CEOs fear it when the bottom line does not show profit. The fear of losing your position happens because you don’t have enough enthusiasm for where you are going. Enthusiasm allows you to have a vision and to be in the middle of the action at the same time. When you are fearful of losing, you tend to have a conservative vision and stay dissociated from the action. It makes the fall inevitable. Like mistakes the place where you need to embrace the fear is in the loss of position. In order for growth to happen you have to willingly lose your position as it is now framed so that you can get in the midst of action more. The growth is in the fear in the loss by making the loss a positive.
The growth happens when you embrace the fear by changing it from a negative to a positive. Here is one more fear that is common, the fear of being attacked by a stranger. When you have this fear, you are reluctant to go out in your community. There is often some reasonable things you can do when there is a safety issue, but that is really not the issue. The thing that needs to be embraced is the stranger. Attacking the stranger in a positive way means seeing the stranger as a friend and then embracing friendship with them.