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Empowerment by a Closer Look at Fear
by Karen Sherman, PhD
Editor's Note from Sandra Miniere: Dr. Sherman describes how fear gets in the way of your ability to feel empowered, think clearly and live in reality. She encourages you to question the faulty beliefs holding your fear in place. Clearing false perceptions will also enable you to develop relationships based on truth and trust.
Recently, I heard something from a colleague that I felt was a very interesting way of looking at an important concept. She said that if you take the letters of the word fear they can stand for the following: false evidence appearing real. Wow!
Think about it for a moment ... it’s true. Of course, there are, in fact, some fears that are real and we absolutely need to pay attention to them. If we didn’t, our survival would be at risk. But (and this is a BIG but), the vast majority of the time, the fear you have about something or someone isn’t necessary.
The two strongest emotions are love and fear. Generally, emotions get in the way of your ability to think clearly. Certainly, when fear is present, it will totally take over any chance of seeing things as they really are. Of course, once you feel the fear, there it is - you’re a victim to it. You act according to the fear ... regardless of whether it’s true or not.
Fear acts like a filter. The way you take information in will depend on what your filters are. Let me give you an example of what I mean. If you’ve been raised to think that all purple people are bad, as soon as you see a purple person, you will assume he or she is bad regardless of the truth. Your fear does the same thing. You take in information that isn’t necessarily true but react to it like it is.
Now, what does all this have to do with having a better relationship? Everything! First, if you want to be more empowered within yourself, you want to make sure you’re not being held back by false filters. Many people I work with say, “I can’t help it, it’s the way I feel.” As a psychologist, I’d never suggest that you don’t feel your feelings. But feelings come from thoughts. So - if your thoughts are faulty, then your feelings will be also.
In all my years of experience, I’ve never come across an alien invasion of your thoughts. What I’d suggest is that you acknowledge your feelings and then question where they come from, what are your faulty beliefs. Don’t let your fear hold you back.
If you do, you are less empowered.
Of course, then there’s how fear plays into your relationships. As with so many other aspects of a partnership, how you act will effect how your mate reacts to you. Remember I often speak of Action = Reaction. If you act on your fears that are false evidence, then you very much set up a harmful cycle for no reason. The more you can hold your fear in check and act on reality, the more empowered your relationship will be!
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About the Author
Whether Dr. Karen Sherman is giving a speech, offering a teleseminar, or doing a workshop - she's helping people connect to their potential and becoming aware of their choices. You can find more of her tools in the award winning book, “Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life” or the one she previously co-authored, “Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last.” She is also a featured writer on YourTango.com and Hitchedmag.com and a relationship expert on Self-growth.com.
Listen to Dr. Karen on her radio show at http://sextalkradionetwork.com/show-details/empowered-relationships/ You can have the empowered relationship you desire by signing up for the FREE 21-day program now at www.DrKarenSherman.com!