Find the Fear, Then You Can Move Forward

Fear leaves us feeling cold, empty, and alone.
Fear leaves us feeling cold, empty, and alone.

Fear is real. It spreads its icy fingers around our hearts, freezing our hopes, immobilizing our dreams, and leaving our minds void of the ability to make conscious decisions about our own or our loved one's future.

Like winter at its peak, fear fills our souls with darkness and dread. We find ourselves bumped and bruised by the stalactites of insecurity, instability, and inadequacy. We dare not move, for if we slip and fall, we will take all we have worked for with us, swallowed up in an abyss of misery and despair!

Whether facing a Goliath that is trying to maim us or a monumental task that threatens to engulf our time and resources for the next decade, we have to find a way to move forward.

Are you dealing with fear right now?

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The steps to follow give us the momentum needed:

  1. Identify the fear
  2. Trace it to its roots
  3. Resolve it
  4. Move on

The paragraphs below discuss these steps and how to make them a reality.

Identify the fear

To identify our fear, we ask ourselves some questions.

What is happening?

Writing down what is happening in our lives at this very moment helps us see the situation from a different perspective. Oftentimes with fear, we have many layers of things going on without really realizing it.

We have to peel off the layers, just like an onion, and determine what is really at the core of the problem. Right now, we are immobilized. Why? What are the circumstances? Be specific by listing all significant aspects - date, time, place, people involved, and triggering events.

What am I thinking?

Once we write down what is happening, we can take a look at the thought patterns that are present. These thought patterns give us clues as to what the actual fears are. The table below lists some common fears that lead to us to feel that we cannot move forward. The thought patterns are shown in the column to the right of the fear.

Fear of inadequacy
I'm not good enough
Fear of failure
I'll never get it right
Fear of rejection
Nobody likes me
Fear of the unknown
I don't know what will happen
Fear of poverty
There will never be enough
Fear of illness
There is something wrong with me
Fear of death
What if something bad happens?

Have I experienced this in the past?

Once we understand the thought patterns that we are having, we can see why our actions are what they are. Fear tends to make us want to run away, hide, or cower rather than standing up and facing forward. Unfortunately, this type of action does not bring positive results.

When we look back at what we have experienced in our lives, we find instances where we faced similar difficulties, and the resulting consequences were less than pleasant. In order to move forward, we may have to get rid of some of the emotional baggage associated with these memories.

Our thoughts and feelings are integrally connected.
Our thoughts and feelings are integrally connected.

Trace the fear to its roots

According to the Emotional Survival Handbook, everything we experience is processed through our past before we react. This analysis happens in our subconscious mind, without any effort on our part. While it is happening, thoughts are being generated based on the results of the analysis.

The following questions are being processed at lightening speed:

  • Has this happened to me before?
  • Was it a pleasant experience?
  • How did it get resolved?
  • What did I want to remember for the future?

Once our brain knows that we have experienced something similar in the past, it looks for the files from that incident and goes on to the next question.

If the experience was pleasant, then we feel comfortable moving forward with a positive response. If the incident was unpleasant, and we have memories that we would rather not repeat, we balk at the experience and try to avoid it, if at all possible.

The way the previous experience was resolved gives us information that will determine what we do in the present moment. If we were able to learn from the experience, we will know what not to do. If we didn't we will feel a sense of panic, and fear fills us, blocking our learning ability and immobilizing our logical reasoning. Before we know it, the dreaded experience has repeated itself, and we are left the victim of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Identifying the fear enables us to replace it with faith.
Identifying the fear enables us to replace it with faith.

Resolve the fear

In order to resolve the fear, we must identify the assumptions made as a result of our past experience. These assumptions are the seeds of the thoughts that are currently feeding our fears. In the table below, we see the list of assumptions in the left column.

The right column contains true statements we can use to refute the assumptions. These statements are known as "affirmations." The more we fill our minds with these simple truths, the more we are able to recognize and refute the assumptions that keep us from moving forward.

I'm not good enough
I am valued
I'll never get it right
I am able
Nobody likes me
I am loved
I don't know what will happen
I am strong
There will never be enough
I build
There is something wrong with me
I feel
What if something bad happens?
I am needed

Faith is required for the resolution of fear. Having faith in ourselves, believing that we are worthwhile people, that we have a higher purpose than what is readily evident by our earthly lives, and that there is a God in heaven who is our Father, who cares for us deeply, gives us the courage to move forward.

Fear is the motivation to call upon him, even in our darkest hour. Doing so exercises our faith in something beyond ourselves. We give ourselves a reason to believe, and the ability to move in a positive direction.

Britt Nicole's song Walk on the Water reminds us that we can move forward, in spite of our fear. Her music video below illustrates how this works in the life of a young woman who wants to find a friend. Her fear of rejection holds her back. Looking to God helps her overcome her fear.

Move On

Moving on requires that we face our fear head on and step out into the darkness, trusting that, with God, things will work out for the best. We find that we have more faith, courage, and stamina than we originally thought, and God does his part to light our way.

Although our mind may be filled with the thoughts that feed our fear, as we refute them with the affirmations of faith, we receive confidence and strength. We find that there are others who, like us, fear the future. When they see us moving forward, they follow our example. They shed their doubts, worries, and fears, and find a sense of purpose because they have seen us do the same.

Our lives are so much more than what we experience in the immediate moment. There is an eternity of knowledge behind us, and the possibilities for our future go on forever. Realizing this, we can connect to the infinite power that is available to us and overcome the minuscule thoughts that threaten our security and stability.

Find the faith today. Resolve your fear and move forward, for your emotional health!

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson. All rights reserved. For more information on emotional health, see

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Comments 20 comments

Srishti arora11 profile image

Srishti arora11 23 months ago

So true..

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

This is just great. I know that I have fear even when I do not recognize it. These are wonderful tools for us all to use.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 23 months ago from the South

Great article Denise. Fear is such a horrible emotion. Your tips are good ones and it does take faith too. I'm working on a lot of fears right now and faith has helped the most.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for your comment, Srishti.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

That is interesting, Eric. I think that a lot of us are that way. We have underlying fears that affect our everyday actions more than we realize. I hope that these tools are helpful for you.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I appreciate you sharing your experiences, catgypsy. Fear can be so difficult to manage, as there are many ways that it can affect us. Thankfully, faith is just as comprehensive. When we exercise our faith, we are able to work through the fear and move on with our lives.

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 23 months ago from New Delhi, India

Great thoughtful hub!

I think all of us have some kind of fear in our lives. Sometimes they are known and at other times, we may not know about them. Better to recognize our fears and try to get over them.

You have suggested some very practical ways to deal with our fears and move forward. Thanks for sharing and voted up!

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, ChitrangadaSharan. We do all have fears in our lives. Sometimes, they are no big deal, but there are other times when we have difficulty because we don't recognize where they are coming from and how they are affecting us. I appreciate you sharing your comments.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean

Educational and inspirational at once. Some kind of fear is always there and you have given us the tools to resolve it. Thank you and voted up!

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

You are right, MsDora, sometimes fear is our constant companion. It clouds our vision and keeps us from turning to the very being that can give us the help that we need. Our ability to step out into the darkness of fear puts our faith to the test. It is only then that we see the light ahead. Thanks for stopping by.

Jack Burden profile image

Jack Burden 23 months ago from Columbus, OH

Very thoughtful and practical advice. It's often difficult to gain perspective if one is caught up in the moment. Your step-by-step advice is great advice to "unfreeze" the fear and move forward.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Jack. Being caught in the moment is like stepping from a warm home out into a blizzard. We are temporarily blinded by the difficulty we are currently facing. In order to regain our bearings we have to acclimate ourselves to what is happening and find a way to deal with it. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

I wonder if there is anyone alive who does not fear? I doubt it. It seems to me that fear is pervasive in our world today, and fear dictates irrational actions, and the cycle goes on until a major cultural shift occurs to change it....but what do I know? :)

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

You know quite a bit, Bill! You are right in saying that we all fear. It is a common human emotion. When we do not check it, it tends to spiral out of control, and that is where the irrational actions come in. Unfortunately, our cultural has moved away from religion in general, and that leaves us with more fear than ever before. Nowadays, it takes a major catastrophe for us to remember that there is a God in heaven who cares for us, and even then, there are some who would say "There must not be a God, or he wouldn't allow something like this to happen."

Ben716 profile image

Ben716 23 months ago from Kenya

Thank you Denise for this article. When I was in high school I used to fear passing exams and later in life I feared (if it's the case) to be appreciated or loved. But as you have stated, one has to know the fear, know its root cause, deal with it and move on. Thank you for this hub, there is something I have learned for there are fears I know I have to deal with them

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 23 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

You are welcome Ben716. I'm glad that this information was helpful for you. I, too, have had a fear of being unloved and unappreciated. What is interesting, though, is that when I started looking for the message of "I am loved" in my world (this technique is explained in The Emotional Survival Handbook), I found that there is more love around me than I ever thought possible! I wish you the best as you go forward with faith!

Jeanne Hoback profile image

Jeanne Hoback 22 months ago from Rapid City, SD

Great article, good information.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 22 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Jeanne!

Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 21 months ago from Shimla, India

Brilliant article.Voted up

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 21 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Akriti!

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    Denise W Anderson (denise.w.anderson)522 Followers
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    Denise has struggled with mental illness most of her life. She also has family members with mental illness. She speaks from experience.

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