What is fear? It’s an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm (Oxford Languages).
Fear causes a major impact on your life, especially on the negative side. The real issue has nothing to do with the fear itself, but, rather, how we hold the fear. For some, the fear is totally irrelevant. For others, it creates a state of paralysis. The former hold their fear from a position of power (choice, energy, and action), and the latter hold it from a position of pain (helplessness, depression, and paralysis).
From the above chart, it can be seen that the secret to handling fear is to move yourself from a position of pain to a position of power. The power described here is the power within the self. This means power over your perceptions of the world, power over how you react to situations in your life, power to do what is necessary for your own self-growth, power to create joy and satisfaction in your life, power to act, and power to love. This kind of power leaves you free since you don’t expect the rest of the world to fill you up. It’s the ability to get yourself to do what you want to do. If you do not own this kind of power, you lose your sense of peace. (Title Image credit to Pixabay)
Powerful Antidote for Women
Women have been conditioned to believe that to be powerful is unfeminine and unattractive. A self-assured woman who is in control of her life draws like a magnet. She is so filled with positive energy that people want to be around her. Yet it is only when she has become powerful within herself that she can become authentic and loving to those around her. The truth is that love and power go together. With power, one can really begin to open the heart. With no power, love is distorted.
For the women, a good antidote to any inner conflict between power and femininity is to repeat to yourself at least twenty-five times each morning, noon, and night:
I AM POWERFUL AND I AM LOVED.
I AM POWERFUL AND I AM LOVING.
An energizing variation is:
I AM POWERFUL AND I LOVE IT!
Say these three statements aloud right now. Feel the energy the words convey. Their constant repetition will help make the concepts of power and love more compatible and certainly more comfortable.
Pain to Power Steps in Daily Life
Now let’s explore how to use the Pain to Power concept in daily life. The first step is to create a Pain to Power Chart as follows:
As we look at the Pain to Power band, most of us can place ourselves somewhere in the middle. We’re not totally weakened by our fears and at the same time, we’re not exactly feeling a great sense of power and excitement. We seem to be taking the difficult route over the mountain carrying two suitcases and a watermelon rather than flying on the wings of eagles. As another ancient sage once said, “The pathway is smooth. Why do you throw rocks before you?”
Using the Pain to Power Chart as a frame of reference, you can begin to clear the rocks in front of you. The following steps will help in the clearing process:
1. Draw an enlargement of the Pain to Power Chart and place it on your wall. Just the simple act of making the enlargement will make you feel a little more powerful. You are already taking action! Remember that much of the trick of moving from pain to power is taking action. ACTION IS VERY POWERFUL! Once the chart is on your wall it will serve as a constant reminder of where you want to go in life—from pain to power. Awareness is half the battle. Having the chart physically present will also help you motivate yourself to keep moving in the right direction.
2. Put a pin at the place on the chart where you see yourself situated at this moment in your life. Are you in the middle, where you sometimes feel depressed and paralyzed and at other times feel more in control? Or do you definitely find yourself on the far left side, where there is little you are able to do to pull yourself out of the rut? Or perhaps you are already on the right side, where most of the time you feel you are really moving ahead with your life, with only a few areas that need to be worked on.
3. Each day look at the chart and ask yourself, “Do I see myself in the same place, or have I moved?” Move the pin accordingly.
4. If you keep in mind the direction you want to go, it will help you make decisions about what you are doing in your life. Before you take any action in life, ask yourself: “Is this action moving me to a more powerful place?” If it isn’t, you will think twice about doing it. A word of caution: If you go ahead anyway, knowing the action will keep you in a position of pain, don’t get angry with yourself about it. Just notice where you are not taking responsibility. The next time, you can make a different decision. Use your “mistakes” as learning experiences. Remember that each time you get angry at yourself for an action you have taken, you keep yourself on the side of pain.
5. You might want to make different charts for different areas of your life. To be really powerful, you need to be in charge of all aspects of your life—your work, relationships, environment, body, and so on. Often people are very powerful in some parts of their lives and pathetic in others.
Pain to Power Vocabulary
To help you on your Pain to power path, it’s important that you begin to develop a Pain to Power Vocabulary. The way you use words has a tremendous impact on the quality of your life. Certain words are destructive; others are empowering. Choose to move to a Pain to Power Vocabulary as follows:
“I can’t” implies you have no control over your life, whereas “I won’t” puts a situation in the realm of choice. From this moment on, strike “I can’t” from your vocabulary. When you give your subconscious the message “I can’t,” your subconscious really believes you and registers on its computer: WEAK . . . WEAK . . . WEAK. Your subconscious believes only what it hears, not what is true. You might be saying “I can’t” simply to get out of a dinner invitation—such as, “I can’t come to dinner tonight. I have to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting,” but your subconscious is registering, “He’s weak!” In fact, “I can’t come to dinner” is an untruth. The truth is “I can come to dinner, but I am choosing to do something that has a higher priority at the moment.” But the subconscious can’t discern the difference and is still registering “weak.”
“I should” is another loser. It, too, implies that you have no choices in life. “I could” is more powerful. “I could visit my mother, but I’m choosing to go to the movies today.” This puts things in the realm of choice instead of obligation. “I can visit my mother or I can go to the movies. I think I’ll choose my mother today.” “Shoulds” bring on guilt and upset—totally draining emotions. Your power is taken away every time you utter the words “I should.”
“It’s not my fault” is another beauty. Once again, you look helpless. It’s better to take responsibility for whatever happens to you in life than to always be the victim. “It’s not my fault I got sick”; “It’s not my fault I lost the job.” If you are willing to take responsibility, then you might see what you can change in the future. Relative to illness, say, “I’m totally responsible for my illness. Let’s see what I can do to prevent it from happening again. I can change my diet. I can reduce stress. I can stop smoking. I can get enough sleep.” And so on. Watch how powerful you become! The same occurs with the lost job. If you are responsible, you can be better prepared the next time; you can find out what made the difference. You are in control. Each time you find yourself in better control of your life you are moving to a position of power, which will ultimately reduce your fear level.
“It’s a problem” is another deadening phrase. It’s heavy and negative. “It’s an opportunity” opens the door to growth. Each time you can see the gift in life’s obstacles, you can handle difficult situations in a rewarding way. Each time you have the opportunity to stretch your capacity to handle the world, the more powerful you become.
“I hope” is another victim’s phrase. “I know” has far more power. “I hope I will get a job” Or “I know I will get a job”, you can feel the difference between these two sentences. The first set you up for worry and sleepless nights. The second has peace and calm about it.
“It’s terrible” is bandied around in the most inappropriate circumstances. For example, “I lost my wallet. Isn’t that terrible?” What’s so terrible about losing a wallet? It’s certainly an inconvenience; it’s hardly terrible. “I gained two pounds. Isn’t that terrible?” It’s hardly terrible to gain two pounds. Yet that’s the way we talk about trivia in our lives. And our subconscious is registering, DISASTER . . . DISASTER . . . DISASTER. Replace “it’s terrible” with “It’s a learning experience.”
Begin eliminating the terribles, can’ts, problems, struggles, and so on from your vocabulary. Maybe these semantic differences seem trivial, but they are not. Not only does your sense of yourself change with a more powerful vocabulary, so also does your presence in the world. (Inspired from ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers).