What Scares You? Learn to use this automatic ‘gift’!

Humans are motivated by only two things, fear and love. We know love conquers all, but we can learn to use fear for our benefit instead of allowing ourselves to be incapacitated.


Shelley Audette Settles

6/17/20233 min read

Many people enjoy a good, scary movie. No judgment here, but not me.

Scary movies can elevate your heart rate, just as what’s happening on screen is happening to you. I still remember being awakened one night by my daughter’s screams. She was having a nightmare involving white gorillas. I have no idea where she picked that up, but often thought she’d seen something on tv that played out later in the script of her mind.

Your rational mind knows it only a movie. Your subconscious, feeling mind doesn’t. It produces feelings as if you were experiencing what you’re ‘seeing’ in your mind’s eye. In other words, it treats as real any ideas you plant there.

If you like scripture, this is for you, Job 3:25: For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Since your subconscious mind cannot tell what is real and what isn’t, you can learn to use this to your advantage. More on that later.

For now, what in real life scares you? Do you hate the idea of having to speak in public? Are you afraid of failure if you were to try something new? What about rejection if you reach out to someone?

These fears can seem very real. You might experience sweaty palms, a constriction in your voice so it trembles, a tightness in your stomach so you feel ill… merely at the thought of what you fear.

Unless someone is physically pointing a gun at you now, the reality is that in this moment you are safe.

The feeling of fear comes from what you imagine your results will be if you do ask your boss for that raise, if you do try something new and embarrass yourself, or if you do ask that cute guy out on a date.

Realizing that the fear is a product of your mind that is manifesting in your physical body, is half the battle. You are literally in a state of dissonance where your conscious mind is vibrating at one rate and your subconscious mind another. The result is disharmony, much the same as when an orchestra tunes up before playing a concert. Those conflicting vibrations cause physical discomfort.

When you are aware of what’s going on, you can take action to confront your fear and plow through it. Your fear is a learned response, given that a baby is born with only two fears: falling and loud noises. You can ‘unlearn’ the fear that grips you now.

But let’s look even deeper at what the mind can do. Thus far, we’ve looked at the fear response, whether it’s real or not, and the very real tailspin fear can cause. Let’s look now at how you can use this knowledge for your benefit.

You can intentionally plant in good thoughts, imaginary visions, and things you want to happen in the garden of your subconscious mind. There, this ‘future memory’ grows. So, instead of focusing on what you don’t want to happen (the object of your fear), focus on the good that you do want. Expect it.

The subconscious must accept everything planted there. Furthermore, it cannot tell the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ therefore works to reproduce more of the dominate idea planted there.

Let’s say you have always wanted to go to Paris. Imagine yourself at an outdoor café in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. You’re sipping your favorite coffee drink, visiting with friends and people-watching as they stroll by, laughing. Perhaps you’re munching on a fresh, still warm, croissant au chocolat. Spend time several times a day putting yourself into the picture, especially at night before you drift off to sleep because that’s when you’re in theta brain waves, which makes your subconscious more accessible.

Include as much sensory data has you can. Is the day warm and sunny, or is there a breeze? Is there music playing from the café or do you hear honking and street noise? Are there other café guests speaking all around you, or is it just you and your friends? You are creating a pattern for your brain to reproduce. It doesn’t know it’s not ‘real,’ and will draw circumstances and opportunities to you to make it real, and why not? Make Paris is part of your inner world, and it will become part of your outer experience.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon