Face Your Fears With The Lion
Lions are fearless animals, who face danger head on. Known as the ‘King of the Jungle’ they do not have to be afraid of anything, though they are not infallible and despite their high ranking in the food chain, they remain very alert to their surroundings and know when to walk away. When hunting for prey they are aware that they do not have to do this alone and they often work with others in their pride to assist them. Lions are far from timid creatures and though not the largest animals, their posture and stealth ooze confidence, sending out a clear message that they are powerful, not to be messed with and they are very much in control.
Considering the powerful characteristics of lions can help you to really think about your own personal power. Are you confident in yourself? What is stopping you from achieving personal success? Why do you feel fear and how do you overcome it?
Are You Confident In Yourself?
Confidence often comes with familiarity. The more you do something, the better you get and the more confident you become. People naturally do more of the things they enjoy and as a result become more competent and confident in those areas. Conversely, people avoid things that they dislike, or that don’t come naturally to them, therefore they practice less and start to lack confidence in those areas.
This is where fear can start to rear its ugly head. Where confidence is lacking, people prefer to stay out of the limelight. This can be due to several things, including fear of failure, fear of judgement – maybe people have laughed at your previous failed attempts or poked fun at them, thus adding to your aversion of being seen or practising something more.
Sometimes this can extend to our personal identity. Everyone is different and so there will always be people around to criticise and judge you. To find out more about how others can affect your self-belief see my post ‘Stand in Your Own Power With The Tiger.’
Your posture can really reflect how you feel inside, however, you can consciously change your posture to reflect how you want to feel inside. By standing tall and resolute you can show that you mean business and are ready to face anything, despite how you are feeling inside. This in turn can affect people’s perceptions of you. Words and actions delivered with confidence and commitment present an air of authority and leadership, which often dispels people’s need to question or undermine you. A lion may be terrified inside, but would you argue with it?
Why Do We Feel Fear?
Fear is a natural feeling and it exists for a purpose – to help us survive. All animals have this instinct. When something in your circumstance or environment is recognised by your senses as a danger signal, it creates a release of adrenaline, which then triggers an emotional reaction that prompts a fight, flight or freeze response.
The fight response can be to literally fight, or it could be to argue, become angry or aggressive. The flight response would be to literally or figuratively run away, avoid or hide from whatever is causing the perceived danger or threat.
The freeze response would be to do nothing. It comes from a response in animals to play dead, so that their prey would leave it alone. In people it would be seen in behaviours, such as 'burying our head in the sand' and doing nothing.
Of course, predators are not the only threat to our survival these days, with many of our survival triggers stemming from unseen threats, such us stress, worry and burn-out, which creates dis-ease and in turn can lead to ill health. It is therefore important to learn to recognise the source of our fears in order to manage them.
What Are You Afraid Of?
This is the key question. In order to manage your fears you need to be able to recognise your fears. That sounds obvious right? However, most people don’t even realise that they are afraid. People feel anxious and worried all the time, whether it’s about work, money, their families, their health etc, but people don’t usually consider that these worries and anxieties are fear-based.
Often, people set themselves goals to achieve and self-sabotage before they are able to achieve them. Has this happened to you? This again could be due to a fear that you are not even aware of. Do you fear success? What will that mean for you? Do you have a fear around money? These fears may stem from a feeling of lack or a struggle, from inherited belief systems that money or success is bad or even from a subconscious belief that you are not worthy of success or money. These are just two examples of hidden fears that you may not be aware of.
In order to identify your fears you will need to do some inner work. Meditation and Mindfulness are great tools for bringing you into the moment (see ‘Be Mindful with The Owl’ and ‘The Benefits of Mindfulness’ for more tips and information on these tools). Regular practice of these will help you learn to easily identify how you are feeling, so you can spend some time reflecting on the cause of the feeling and the underlying source or belief that is causing this fear.
How Can We Overcome Fear?
Before we can deal with fear, we need to first of all recognise that we are afraid and identify the source of the fear. Remember fear is there primarily to keep us safe. Even a lion knows when to walk away from certain threats, so be discerning. Being scared of a bus heading your way, but not moving out of the way would be foolishness right?
However, many of our fears are self-created through an over-active mind and years of previous experiences and conditioning. These are the fears that you have to face to truly achieve success. The best way to overcome these fears is by showing up and doing the thing that you are scared of. Remember how we said earlier, that the more you do something, the easier it gets and the more confident you become? To truly face your fears you need to show up, stand tall and take back control. What’s the worst that can really happen and would it really be that bad?
Also remember that you don’t have to face your fears alone. Find your own ‘pride,’ your support network, who will encourage you when you doubt yourself, challenge you to keep stepping out of your comfort zone, hold you accountable and really help you to achieve success.
The Message From The Lion
Stand tall, face your fears and break through your own barriers
to achieve the success that you truly deserve!
Your fears are shaped by your own experiences, but you also have the power to create your own experiences and therefore reshape your own thoughts.