• Nicky Drew - Hippo Coaching

To Fear or not to Fear?

This morning I woke with a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I felt awful and didn't have the motivation to begin my day.

Yesterday someone asked me what would happen to my children if I could no longer work.

My subconscious mind had obviously been processing this thought since. I now have a conscious decision to make - I could choose to let this fear grow and drag me down. To allow it to keep me small or I could choose a more empowering focus away from this fear.

I do know that life can be tough sometimes and in the future I may get unwell and be unable to work but I also know if it did happen I would get through it and worrying about 'what if' scenarios now is not going to help in any way, it will only hinder my life.

So I'm choosing to shift my focus away from fear today.

Where are you focusing today? If you don't know check out your mood. Your emotions and feelings are messengers providing valuable information about your thoughts and focus (or your vibration).

We tend to try to ignore our bad feelings, to stuff them down with food, cigarettes, being too busy, work or staring at a screen but they are actually there to help you. If you ignore or resist your negative feelings they will hang around.

"What you resist persists" Carl Jung

If you can begin to sit with any uncomfortable feelings for just a little while, without resistance or judgement, you will see that they soon subside. You have allowed them to give you their message. That message will raise your awareness about the focus of your thoughts. Awareness brings choice - you are no longer unconsciously reacting to your situation. This awareness allows you to change your focus as soon as you are ready to feel better.

To begin to change your focus become aware of the stories you are telling yourself about this situation and instead choose the next best thought you are able to.

"Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Shakespeare.

This fable illustrates my point.


There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.

"Maybe," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbours exclaimed. "Maybe," replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer.

As soon as we judge something to be bad we introduce resistance and fear. Could you begin to delay judgement of any event for just a little while to see if you can glimpse the silver lining?

Your judgement doesn't change the actual event or situation but it does affect your brain. If you begin to have fear based thoughts your emotional brain will hijack your higher thinking brain which means you won't have access to all of your intelligence.

You won't be able to see the bigger picture or all of the shades of grey. Rather you will be operating out of a fear based emotional brain that doesn't deal in reality but rather survival.

So the fight or flight mechanism will be activated causing stress hormones to flood the body and physiological changes will begin in the body making you feel panicky. Thinking will be reduced to black or white narrow focused catastrophising - 'I'm right, you're wrong'. This is great when you are trying to escape from being eaten my a saber toothed tiger but not in your every day life when you need your rational, logical mind to problem solve and find the best solution to the 'personal development situations' or 'bad things' life throws at each of us.

So make friends with your feelings, even the uncomfortable ones and begin to practice choosing the focus away from unhelpful thoughts.

If you need help with getting started please let me know - even one session can make a real difference or call 07891 687678.

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