How many times have you faced fear in life? One time, two times, or multiple times? Well, I have faced it multiple times, ranging right from the fear of exam failure to getting infected with COVID-19.
Initially, I thought it is normal to have such fears, as they occur in most of us. However, as I got more involved into spirituality, my opinion changed. I could differentiate between rational and irrational fears. I understood that my fears are irrational, as they have a negative impact on both the body and mind. Even spiritually, these fears tend to make one weaker.
After learning about the ill-effects of fear, I decided to overcome it scientifically. I did not want to fight and win just to overcome the fear of a specific circumstance or person. I also did want to come out of fear for a temporary period.
I was looking for something that would set me free from any fear at any time and in any situation. I knew that this is possible only via a scientific approach of what is fear, why it arises, and how its root cause can be eradicated.
Directly knowing the solutions do not help me much, as I believe in understanding the problem completely and then taking steps accordingly to come out of it.
My Understanding of Fear
Fear is a negative emotion or a response to a lurking threat. This can either be real (physical existence such as COVID-19 infection) or non-real (only due to thoughts and visualizations in our mind). The main cause of fear is insecurity due to which several questions arises in mind. Some of these questions are:
- What if I become a victim of the existing threat?
- What if my loved ones become the victims of the existing threat?
- What if I lose my job?
- What if I lose my invested money?
The onset of these questions in anyone's mind means that the person has started to suffer, even before facing the actual threat. According to the Enlightened Ones, suffering can be physical, psychological, or both. Physical suffering involves pain and discomfort due to an injury or a disease. It is as per the karma the person has bound and is inevitable.
On the other hand, psychological suffering arises according to what the mind and intellect keeps showing when there is uncertainty outside. It is this suffering that one can get rid of. Here, people will have fear of other people, circumstances, and things.
However, regardless of what you fear, it is only you who can get rid of it. Nobody else can do it for you although people around may guide or help you. This is the first key I got to come out of fear. So, I stopped seeking sympathy from my relatives and friends. After all, telling them about my fears would only yield sympathy, not any permanent solution!
Remember, this fear is inside you, not outside. With this in mind, I understood that I can only help myself to become fearless. Based on this changed perception, I learned three self-dependent ways of becoming fearless forever.
Way 1: Be Positive by Using Your Veto Power
Let us first understand what is veto power by considering a scenario wherein you are leading a group of 12 friends on a trekking trip. While trekking, you arrive at a junction from where there are three trails, each going in a different direction. You know the right trail to take but still ask your friends in your group to know their opinion.
Each one points to a different trail such that no trail gets maximum consent. This results in an unexpected conflict. What do you do now? Would you succumb to the conflict or use your veto power of being the leader to proceed on your chosen trail?
Certainly, you will use your veto power! Otherwise, the conflict will never end and the group will finally split. This is something you will never wish! Will you wish that your fear shatters you completely? No, right?
So, before your fear tries to break you completely, use your veto power of being its master. In other words, override it by making a strong positive affirmation against it.
Several suspicious questions may arise, similar to the different opinions that the group of friends on trekking give in the aforementioned example. No matter what kind of fearful questions arise, oppose them positively. For example:
- If the fear is regarding job loss due to the economic crisis, tell yourself, "I will earn enough to feed myself and my family."
- If the fear is regarding becoming a victim of COVID-19, tell yourself, "I will not be that victim; rather, I will help the infected ones to come out of it."
This is how I was able to overcome these fears of mine. Just be positive by using your veto power even if the current situation is worse or nothing good seems to be happening. It will act as a positive evidence in getting you out of the adverse situation. Do not just succumb to fear, or else, it will break or depress you.
Way 2: Surrender to God by Faith to Become Emotionally Stable
Fear, as an emotion, makes you feel miserable. In other words, it keeps you emotionally unstable. For many who are living in fear, restoring stability is a challenging task. However, it is not!
The easiest key to become stable amidst fear is to be in the divine shelter of God. For this, just surrender your fear to Him by keeping an unflinching faith in Him.
When fear surfaces, you need a protective shelter. In other words, someone’s protection is required at that time. When you surrender to God in whom you have faith, His divine shelter is granted.
Here, surrendering to God is like holding something that is stable and fearless. To understand this fully, let's consider a scenario. When you get down from the carousel after enjoying five to seven rounds, you may feel that everything around is revolving. This makes you feel unstable and scary.
Instantly, people around will suggest holding a strong, stable pillar. The moment you hold that pillar, you feel that nothing was actually moving; it was only an illusionary effect.
As you continue to hold the pillar, the effect slowly begins to go away and you are restored to a normal state wherein all is fine. So, when your fear starts triggering a carousel-like effect or emotional instability, surrender yourself to God and keep unflinching faith in Him.
As a result, you will start becoming stable from within. Where there is stability, peace comes automatically.
Way 3: Eradicate the Root Cause, the Wrong Belief!
Do you know why we actually fear? It is because of our deep, inherent feeling of insecurity. After all, nobody wants a loss of any kind, including that of death. Still, it is a fact that this world works on the principle of duality; loss and gain are the two sides of the same coin.
If you have gained something, you will definitely lose, as nothing remains permanent in this world. However, what will be your reaction if you come to know that you are not the one who gains or loses? What if you are not the one who dies, suffers, fears, or faces a loss? What if you come to know that your real identity is not this temporary body but a divine element existing inside it?
If someone asks about your identity, you would say, "I am John," assuming that people will know you with this name. However, either "I am John" or "My name is John" is correct. So, are you John or your name is John? So, if your name is John, then who are you?
This is where the crux of spiritual science lies. In reality, you are a pure soul, a divine element living independently within your body. The soul neither dies nor suffers but the body does.
Believing that "I am John" is the root cause of fear. This is because John, the body, will surely die one day. When you know that you are not this temporary body but a permanent soul full of infinite bliss, fear will naturally go away. However, to know exactly who you are, you need to achieve self-realization.
When self-realization is attained, you can remain in the constant awareness of your pure soul. With this awareness or right belief, no fear can sustain or surface.
These are the three mutually-exclusive, self-reliant ways to overcome fear. Following them can make you overcome fear forever, regardless why fear has arisen.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Dipali Gandhi