A meditation for navigating through our fears with grace and ease. By Jill Lawson
Public speaking is one of the top two fears many of us experience. If it isn’t getting up in front of a horde of people only to be judged to the core of our being, it’s facing our own mortality. Actually, any sort of big change, whether it is a promotion at work, the pending end of a relationship, or a commitment to something unknown, can be very frightening.
The following meditation is designed to help you calm your nerves when you have no other choice but to face your fear.
Do it now
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Scan your body with your mind’s eye and notice where you might be feeling uneasy. Is your heart racing? Are you clenching your teeth? Do your hands shake? Be attentive without judgement.
Next, imagine yourself in the worst possible circumstance. Perhaps you are up in front of a huge crowd, ready to give a speech, and you forgot your notes, pants, glasses, or whatever you can dream up. Scan your body again and notice how you feel. Are there any new sensations that arise? Do you feel muscle tightness in a particular part of your body?
Now, tune into your mental chatter. What are you telling yourself? Is your internal dialogue full of doubt? It is important to recognise this self-talk, and be aware of how it makes you feel emotionally. Often times, we underestimate our ability, and this can encourage the worst kind of fear; the fear we make up.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” he was talking about the downfalls of being afraid. Of course, some level of fear can help. However, when we are afraid to make mistakes or take risks, we miss out on the richness of life.
An all-too-common phrase we say to ourselves is, “I’m not good enough.” Take this phrase and change it to, “In the process I will learn and I will grow.” Forgive yourself for any mistakes you have made, or have yet to make, and vow to learn from your experiences. You wouldn’t be in the position you’re in if you were not ready for it, so have faith in your ability. And lastly, use this opportunity to not judge yourself harshly, but to overcome your fear of doing it again, so next time will be a little less scary.
Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher in Colorado, USA (jilllawsonyoga.com)