The constructive use of fear

The first thing we need to do when we feel fear is to wake up and realize who we truly are.

by John English — 

Fear is a fascinating phenomenon. When we lived in different ways and times, fear was important for us to stay alive. It was the energy that triggered the survival instinct. Over time, the ego, or small self, got hold of this survival instinct, ran amok with it, and turned it into the stress and anxiety so many of us experience today. To counter this, all we have to do is pay attention.

From the perspective of the medicine way, fear, like everything else, is considered energy. This energy begins the process of fight or flight when we are completely present and fully alert. In Christianity and Judaism, it is said, “Fear the Lord, thy God.” This means to be alert! In other words, remember.

Ironically, the first thing we need to do when we feel fear is to wake up and realize who we truly are. When we do this, the fear we are currently feeling will not become irrational or turn into stress and anxiety.

So why do we forget this or fail to take these simple steps before our ego gets the best of us? We have a lot of energies within us, or attached to us, that do not vibrate at this frequency of oneness. These could be as simple as the attachment to an outcome at work or to another person.

Our fear initiates a state of hyper-alertness. We blow right by who we really are into stress and anxiety, releasing adrenaline into our system and cortisol into the brain. Although we are not going anywhere, (in reality we likely are sitting at work in front of a computer), our brains and bodies do not know the difference between running to save our lives and trying meet a deadline.

As a result, we keep the adrenaline and cortisol flowing until we feel safe. Of course, this scenario hampers mental activity because the blood has moved from our brains to our extremities so that we can run away from the danger. However, the good news is we are amazing beings and can train ourselves to operate differently. The next time you feel the first stirrings of fear, do the Exercise for Fear included here.

In the medicine way, we learn to use all of our experiences to our benefit — fear is no exception. We realize that fear is necessary when we sleep, but need to be alert. In your daily life, try to be completely alert from moment to moment, and pay attention to what you have attracted into your life. Your energy has attracted everything to you so that you can get on with realizing your potential and who you really are.

The next time you feel fear, use it constructively; channel it into being alert and, ultimately, into realization.

Exercise for fear

  • Stop! Pause whatever you are doing.
  • Feel yourself become very alert.
  • Pay attention to how you feel.
  • Go into your heart center and realize oneness. Focusing on someone you love can help with this.
  • Allow your feelings to guide you into what you are really fearful about.
  • Give yourself permission to release this, whatever it is.
  • Return to your heart center. Feel and experience oneness. Smile and remember everything always works out.

Commit to always initiating this sequence when you are sensing fear. Then it will become easier for you to use fear to avoid stress.


John English is a shamanic healer and award-winning author of The Shift: An Awakening. He conducts private sessions and workshops about destiny and the dreamtime, shamanic healing, journeying and the medicine wheel. He can be contacted through Dreamtime Publications, Inc. at or 480-473-8957.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 3, June/July 2008.

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