First, we identify and deconstruct it. What are you afraid of? Is this fear based in reality? (Or is it one of the dreaded “what if’s”?) Why are we afraid of it? Do we have any evidence that this fear is helpful? Does this fear cause us unhappiness?
Once we understand the fear, we must then ask ourselves what we can do about this fear. Can you change the outcome of this fear? Is there anything you can do to arm yourself, mentally or physically, against this fear? Can we let go of the fear entirely, if we’ve found that it isn’t realistic? Can we desensitize ourselves of the fear?
Let’s consider the fear of removing alcohol from our lives because we’re afraid of what people will think of us:
What am I afraid of? Disconnection, alienation, people’s perceptions of me, “failure” to “drink responsibly,” feeling awkward at parties.
Is this fear based in reality? Maybe, but maybe people won’t care either
Why am I afraid of this? Because other’s opinions are important to me… I think.
Is this fear helpful to me? Well, it’s keeping me stuck in a cycle of alcohol use I don’t like...
Does this fear cause me unhappiness? Yes
So it sounds a little like there may be some potential consequences of removing alcohol from my life, but staying stuck is also causing me unhappiness. What’s next?
Can I change how people perceive me if I quit drinking? To an extent, I can define my abstinence from alcohol how I choose. But I can’t control what other people think about anything, really
What can I do to arm myself against judgement? I can choose how I want to share (or not share) about my choice, I can do it on my own terms, and I can decide to release their judgement.
Can I desensitize myself to this fear? Well, I could quit drinking and then tell one person to see how that goes…
When we start to deconstruct the fear, we begin to see that perhaps it’s not as terrifying as we initially thought. Or maybe we find that it truly is a life or death choice, in which case, run! But usually, the fear begins to lose its potency when we dig into it a little.
Today, take some time to identify and deconstruct a fear you’ve been holding on to. Does it maintain its power, or is it a little less terrifying than it was yesterday? Can you make a mental shift in the way it manifests in your life by understanding it a little more?
Berg, M. (2017, July.) Fear is Not an Option. Kabbalah Centre Publishing.