Fear Flipping


A foot on the gas, and a foot on the brake…

I once asked a spiritual teacher why it seemed that so many people got stuck in fear for years or even their whole lifetime. While I have had many and frequent periods of fear and “stuckness,” for the most part I’ve been able to move through them fairly quickly compared to most. I wondered what the difference was.

He told me my desire was stronger than my fear. When desire is stronger than fear, there is movement. If desire is the accelerator pedal (life force) on a car and fear is the brake, as long as the gas is stronger than the brake the car will move. For many of us, it’s a constant battle of pedals…often burning a lot of fuel in the process of making little forward movement.

Courage happens because there is a deeper desire that moves us even though we are afraid. We feel the fear and do it anyway, as the common saying goes. Deep Growth also requires at times a willingness to be uncomfortable. We can’t stay in our comfort zone and grow. We can mitigate the fear and reframe it so that it can serve us and help support our Growth.

Fear and Desire

We often think of fear as the opposite of desire. It is what we don’t want. How do you get rid of something that you don’t want? How can you focus on a negative and be in a creative space? How can you eliminate thinking of fear when you are focused on all the ways to avoid the fear?

Think of all the ways to avoid dogs, without thinking of dogs. When we focus on getting rid of fear, we end up focusing our attention on the very thing we are trying to avoid, which defeats the whole purpose!

Deep Connection teaches us that what we focus on is what we experience. It is no wonder that the more we try to manage our fear, we often experience more of what we fear.

Fear Flipping

Let’s look at fear from a different angle. If fear is what we don’t want, isn’t it also what we do want just stated from the opposite perspective?

Underneath every fear is desire. Fear is just desire expressed in its negative form.

I am afraid of growing old. I want to be young.

I am afraid of my partner leaving me. I want my partner to stay.

I am afraid of being poor. I want to be wealthy.

It’s impossible to dissipate fear by focusing on it. You have to go into the fear, see what the motivating desire is underneath. Then we are able to take our foot off the brake and be aligned with what it is we want to create. We can now act and create movement towards manifesting our desire.

It’s not about denying the fear, but rather it is the practice of using fear to give you information about what it is that you really do want. I’ve found it’s not enough to power through or change your thoughts. If you don’t understand what the true motivation is, you simply stay in an energy of crosscurrents. Our unconscious desires are as powerful (if not more powerful) as our conscious ones. As Yoda says “Named must be your fear before banish it you can.”

The fear is informing you of a current, a motivating energy that you can tap into and use consciously.

Once we have our desire, we now also can create an intention or create an experiment. Fear points us to desire, where we can now have a clearer picture of what we want and what is getting in the way of what we want.

Fear: I am afraid of growing old.

Surface Desire: I want to be young.

Why? I don’t want to die.

Deeper Desire: I want to live.

Experiment: How can I live more fully in this moment? In my life? (Growth)

Fear: I am afraid of my partner leaving me.

Why? I don’t want to be alone.

Deeper Desire: I want to feel connection. (Connection)

Experiment: How can I feel more connected in this moment? With my partner? In my life?

Fear: I am afraid of being poor.

Why? I don’t want to feel insignificant.

Deeper Desire: I want to contribute and feel part of something bigger. (Purpose)

Experiment: How can I choose in this moment to contribute? How can I contribute more in my life?

Fear Flipping Exercise

You can do this in the moment when you are feeling fear, or as an exercise to look at patterns and choices in your life.

Ask yourself:

  1. What are you afraid of?
  2. Why?
  3. Flip it to a desire. What is a way of stating the fear in the positive for what you want, rather than what you don’t want?
  4. Why do you want the desire? Which of the Four Forces is showing up?
  5. Once you have the desire, is there a bigger intention? What is the experiment that will help you get what you want?
  6. What steps can you take to begin your experiment?