How to Use Negative Emotions to Your Advantage: Part 1 Fear

The purpose of the next few posts is help people understand how you can use negative emotions as powerful vehicles for change.   The idea of a negative emotion is not to run away from it but to use it as a way to get to the really positive energy that wants to develop in you.   Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a negative emotion, find out what it is communicating and then develop something new inside of you?

All negative energy is fear-related in one way or another because the purpose of  every fear is to stop something from happening. When you become friends with the fear, you have a starting point for the new growth. This is a repeated message that I am trying to communicate throughout my work so that it becomes so believed that you will rush to deal with negative emotions all the time. Negative emotions are just messengers. Period. They are there for our assistance. They are not the enemy. So many people are so reluctant to deal with negative emotions because they see fear and all of the other emotions as enemies and then rush to war against them and others.

Fear is a negative emotion that makes you feel reluctant or stopped or fleeing from a particular negative force. It differs from anxiety in that it is a specific force that is known rather than vague illusion. You can be fearful of almost anything. In most types of fear what happens internally is that the negative force seems much bigger than it actually is. Here are some examples.

Fear of Authority– the authority figure seems larger and more powerful than they actually are.
Fear of the Future– the future seems a lot worse than it actually is.
Fear of the Past– what you have done in the past seems a lot worse than it actually is.
Fear of being excluded– the people doing the exclusion seem much more influential than they actually are.
Fear of closed in spaces– the space seems bigger and closer than it is.

The problem with fear is that it tends to be  much more powerful than the rational mind. Part of what may be wrong with current science is that it treats fear as a noun rather than a verb. Because it can be so powerful and science has not been all that competent in its infancy to change fears, it often considers fear a permanent condition rather than just a signal of the necessity to change. If you think of it as a verb, that is, you are fearing, then it is much easier to change. The first step is to know what it is trying to communicate. Using the above examples in a very general way, you can change fear into its positive opposite and then understand where your true self is moving.

Fear of Authority
What you are fearful of with authority is bad authority, that is, the misuse of authority by others so get to to their selfish ends.  When you are feeling the fear of authority, you get the communication inside that you should act in exactly the way the authority wants or you will be dismissed in some way.   The positive solution to the fear is to use of the authority of your own true self to accomplish great goals. Authority of self is similar to being able to take initiative. What prevents initiative is that negative authority makes you feel like you are smaller, and they are larger. You become fearful of taking initiative because you believe that you are much less powerful than the bad authority. What you need to know is that the true self is a 1000 times more powerful than the worst tyrant. The goal is believe that the true self is enormously powerful and then to understand how to take initiative in the current place you are.   It doesn’t mean that you need to suddenly become rebellious or resistance.  On the contrary, you don’t have to be disloyal or disobedient at all.    When you feel fear, it means that the virtue of taking initiative is not strong enough inside of you, that the bad authority trumps your initiative.   The place for taking initiative will begin to appear in your life (maybe not even at work) and then it will produce amazing results that you may not ever have thought possible.

The fear of authority leads to a strong authority of self (initiative).

Fear of the Future
When you envision the future and see horrible events happening, it means that your true self has not imagined the future in a positive enough manner. The worse your future is in your imagination, the more positive your true self wants to imagine it. The future is meant to be extremely positive because the true self only thinks in positives. The reason that the future becomes so fearful for people is that their negative experiences in the past are so magnified. The goal is to imagine the future magnificently by diminishing the value of the negative past.

Fear of the Past
The past is where you acquire all of your confidence so that you can go forward into the future. When you have fear of the past, it means that you have something negative back there that you believe is going to catch up to the present and affect what you are doing. If you have taken short cuts as in taking the easy way out, the past will have a way of creating paranoia in you. If you don’t deal with the paranoia, it will expand and generalize to nearly everything and everyone. The simple way to overcome the fear of the past is to go back to the past and do honestly what you did in a slip shot or dishonest way previously. Many relationships fail because people enter them for the wrong reasons trying get something from the other person without doing the honest work. The solution to fear of the past is to find the positive quality of your true self that was hidden in the past and work on making it huge in your life. Overcoming the fear means admitting the weakness and not seeing it as so difficult to do.


Fear of Being Excluded
This is the root fear of all fears. Sooner or later we all have to face it.  The fear of being excluded is about seeing and believing that the negative power of others to exclude as much greater than your own true self’s power to include. The way to solve it is to see positive qualities in others and see how you can weave a strong web of unity in all of your associations.

Fear of Closed-in Spaces
When you are feeling closed in, it means that the negative forces around you seem too large and  too close, that they are even smothering or right next to you menacing you. It means that the true self is wanting to have lots of positive options and express a great deal of creativity in them. You can solve this fear by seeing many positive options and going wild with expression.

Positive Opposite Exercise

List some of your fears either present ones or ones you have had, and then write a positive opposite statement to solve them, followed by a brief explanation. (e.g. fear of losing a big game- positive opposite- winning at developing a huge skill. What I am fearful of is how disappointed others will be if we lose. This shows that the fear originates outside of one’s control. You can develop and improve skills which you have control over that will assist the team to perform better and then you can feeling fantastic about it. Most people love the development of a new skill much more than they love winning a single game.

9 Comments on “How to Use Negative Emotions to Your Advantage: Part 1 Fear”

  1. I love the concept of turning the idea of fear from a noun into a verb! This alone really gets things moving forward through change. We are familiar with the idea of Grief being a process of grieving, so why not be in a process of fearing? Why not be in a process of moving through fearing into a process of peacefulness? I like it. This afternoon I was coaching someone who told me they were sad today. I invited them to become friends with the sadness, as it is a great teacher. They laughed and said that Sadness was not the friend they want to hang out with. I realized later that in this conversation Sadness is a noun. Couldn’t it become a verb too? For example, someone who was disappointed to not be getting their own way could be sadnessing for a while and could then move through it too. Anyway, I like playing with the idea of emotions as verbs instead of nouns. Thanks so much for sharing this insightful post.

  2. Thanks Richard – I am attracted to the concept of ‘making friends with fear’ and seeing it as a flag for positive change. I guess it can be connected with anger too. I have furious moments when I stumble and fumble. Not sure if it is just a fear of ageing, (getting more crippled, losing control of my body) or perhaps the future, or all of the above and/or something else. Any guidance is welcome….. Cheers

    • Hi Darryl,
      When you do this kind of work, you can get to the point where the anger will subside temporarily. Then you can ask yourself what you are angry about in yourself. When you get an answer, that is the place you go for doing the changes. So for instance, you could be angry that you are losing control of a situation which makes you tense and even lose more control. It could be that the energy you need is more to do with going with the flow. The key is to use the anger to get the information you need to go in the right positive direction for yourself. ??

      • Thanks again Richard. My anger flares up and then subsides all in about 4 seconds.Yet the intensity of it keeps increasing over the years…. as has the frequency of my fumbling-stumbling…. Hmmmm …it is more than just frustration with my decreasing coordination and dexterity… …perhaps it is any ‘impediment to progress’…… which could include working on my own, (which is when it happens the most) and doing physical jobs that I need to let go of…and moving on to more socially /mentally interactive activities. And perhaps some self-punishing blame for my physical deterioration and neglect (?) and all connected to my slow-healing perfectionism.. And yes, that would include the magnification of getting angry with myself for getting angry – furious self-‘angering’ …..(Hmmmmm….. the difficulties of learning to do ‘love and unity’  ……aaand I’ve been ‘saddening’ myself about this lately too !)…. the good news is that I did start a more social volunteer job just last week !….(Baha’u’llah is always calling me to more selflessness) …… Cheers  

         ” The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens

        ”    –  



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