Fear is an emotion, just like any other. The thing that makes it different and often seem much worse than other emotions like anger, for example, is the physiological response I described in Part I of this article series. You can be angry, know that you’re angry, and be in complete and total control of your physical body. But when you become afraid, truly afraid, your body seems to take on a mind of its own. The chemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin flood through your body, and make it almost impossible to function in a normal, non-dangerous situation. That is their job. They make you focus, they divert all of your attention and energy to the task at hand: getting out of danger. The problem occurs when we’re not really in danger, yet have that response anyway. In that case, the fear response mechanism has been high jacked by our emotional guidance system.
When you harbor a “negative” belief that doesn’t serve you, something your inner being does not agree with, this causes a vibrational discord. The negative belief vibrates at a much lower frequency than your inner being, which is always holding steady at a high vibration. This vibrational discord then causes you to have negative emotions. The more negative the emotion, the lower the frequency of the belief you hold, or thoughts you’re having. The stronger the intensity of that emotion, the stronger the frequency of that negative belief.
If you are having panic attacks, there is something in your belief system that isn’t serving you. Given the intensity of your reaction, this is something that has been with you for some time that you haven’t been paying attention to. Because you’ve been ignoring these thoughts for some time, it’s going to make it that much harder to find.
Keep in mind that this belief does not necessarily have to be a fear. You may be having a fear response, but this is simply an emotional response to a low frequency you’re holding within you. Let’s say that you become very anxious in closed spaces. This does not necessarily mean that you have a fear of being squashed to death. The underlying belief may not be a fear of something at all. Fear is simply an emotional response to a low frequency you are carrying around with you. It is an indicator, one that cannot be ignored to be sure, but an indicator nonetheless. Even if it feels like it’s trying to take over your life, or that you’re somehow being punished (fear can be debilitating), it is simply your emotional guidance system letting you know that there’s something you REALLY need to be paying attention to. Don’t confuse the symptom (the fear) with the disease (the belief). So, if you have been asking yourself “What am I so afraid of?” and not getting an answer, this could very well be why. You may well not be afraid of anything. But there is something you need to fix.
If you’re holding a negative belief that has escalated to the point that you’re having panic attacks, it’s very likely that you’re going to need to get some outside assistance in order find it and release it. There is a reason that surgeons don’t operate on themselves, psychiatrists don’t treat their own neuroses, and healers call their friends when they’re ill. Even shamans will call in another shaman to perform a healing on them. If you’re too close to the issue, it can be damn near impossible to figure it out on your own.
I can, however, give you some guidelines on what you’re likely to experience. The important thing to remember is that you’re dealing with a negative belief, just like any other. The only real “issue” is the intensity of the physical fear you’re experiencing. And that can be so distracting, it can literally shut you down. When you’re intensely afraid, it can be impossible to begin to focus on something else. Remember that the chemicals running through your system are designed to impede your ability to change your focus – in order to save your life. That same mechanism is now hindering you from changing the path of your thoughts while you’re having the fear response, and therefore keeping you from stopping that response.
So, with that in mind:
- Don’t try to do any of this work while having a panic attack. As explained above, your body is physically disabling your ability to change your focus. Deal with the panic attack in the moment (see Fear Part I for tips), then deal with the underlying issue once you’ve calmed down. If you cut yourself, you’d stop the bleeding first, then try to make sure you don’t cut yourself again. You wouldn’t worry about safety protocols while you’re bleeding to death.
- Pay attention to what is triggering your fear response. While your underlying belief may well not be a fear, there could well be a pattern in the types of situations that cause you to become afraid. This pattern will be a clue to what your underlying belief is. For example, an anxiety that comes up in social situations, business meetings, any kind of performance situations, could well point to a belief of “I’m not good enough.” Situations which activated thoughts of inadequacy triggered a response – in this case anxiety.
- Be prepared to give this process some time. You are likely uncovering an old, deep seated belief here. It’s been with you for a long time and shaped a great deal of your life. Be patient with yourself. You subconscious won’t allow anything to come up that you’re not ready for.
- Be prepared for your symptoms to get worse at first. This is often the scariest part. When you get ready to release a belief, especially the really ugly ones, they begin to “fight” for their lives. What’s really happening is that you’re activating that vibration; you’re looking at it and bringing it out into the light. And the closer you get, the more you’re going to feel that discord. As much as it is possible for you to do so, stick with it. Don’t give up. I say as much as is possible, because I know how debilitating fear can be. If it becomes too much for you, back off. This is also why it’s important to be patient. Take your time. If you run at this head first, you might well become overwhelmed by the intensity of your response. Again, having someone to help guide you through this process can make all the difference in the world.
- Pay attention to any insights you receive. As you go poking around this issue, you’re going to get some messages – insights about what you’re dealing with. Pay attention to these. If you journal, keep track of them here (if you don’t journal, you might want to start). You’ll often be able to see a pattern over time.
- Be prepared to have your most important breakthroughs when you’re least expecting them. Often, you’ll experience huge insights while relaxing, washing the dishes, meditating, watching TV, or doing something else that puts you in a mindless, meditative state. So take some time every day to relax and breathe, and don’t obsess about your “issue”.
- Don’t expect the belief, once you find it, to make any sense. Beliefs formed in childhood, as many of our most insidious and limiting beliefs are, usually make no rational sense to us as adults.
- Understand that it isn’t necessarily important to know when or how a belief was formed. A belief of “I’m not good enough” could’ve come about as a response to a seemingly unimportant event on the playground. You may never know what happened, but you don’t need to. Make peace with that.
The hardest part about releasing beliefs is figuring out what the belief is. Once you’ve done this, there are a variety of ways to release the energy. Take your time with this, get help if you need to, and know that you absolutely can succeed. You were not ever meant to suffer. You were not ever meant to live in fear and pain. You were meant to be joyful, to have fun, to live with passion and to be happy. Don’t accept a life that is any less than that – not for one second. And remember: As soon as you start the process of moving towards that natural state, the entire Universe will support you in finding your way.