Episode 13 | January 18, 2022

Stellar Experiences: Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back with Monica Berg

A Personal Note from Orion

Fear is an emotion we are all familiar with. We have our own reasons for what we’re afraid of. It’s simply human nature. It’s completely normal to feel frightened. In fact, a lot of what we’ve achieved has been driven by fear. So on this Stellar Experiences episode, Monica Berg will help you settle your fear of feeling fear. 

Monica Berg, a self-professed Change Junkie, shares her combination of wisdom and real-life awareness with talks found compelling to a wide range of men and women at different stages in their lives. She leads people to not only see how they can change (change is the only constant in life) but inspires them to get excited about a lifestyle change.

Monica is the author of Fear Is Not an Option and Rethink Love. She co-hosts the Spiritually Hungry podcast, and serves as Chief Communications Officer for Kabbalah Center International. She lives in New York with her husband Michael and their children David, Joshua, Miriam, and Abigail.

I recommend finding a quiet space right now and having a pen and paper on hand as there are quite a few notable tips and advice on what to do if you’re feeling weary of the unknown. Enjoy and tune in! 

About Today’s Show

Hi, I’m Monica Berg, author of Fear is Not an Option and Rethink Love. I’m excited to take you on a journey today of eradicating your fear.

So, let’s start with this question. What is fear stealing from you? When you leave your house for vacation, or even for the day, you lock your doors and windows; maybe you set the alarm. You lock your car when you get out of it, secure your bike to a rack, keep your valuables in a safe, and your money in a bank. We all take steps and put practices in place to keep our physical belongings safe from those who might steal them. It seems so obvious why even pointed out; it’s a fact of life. And it’s a fact of life because the alternative would be to just let someone take your stuff. We would never consciously allow anyone to steal from us. Yet we allow our fears to steal from us all the time. 

Fear robs us of our joy, our peace and our dreams.

Fear robs us of our joy, our peace and our dreams. It stops us in our tracks. It holds us back. It keeps us from speaking; it keeps us from acting. It blinds us. And it works in ways to keep us small. It coaxes us into allowing it to steal one of the most powerful and precious possessions that we have. And that is our potential. 

Think of a time when you had an idea. You had a goal or a dream. You set out to bring it to fruition. But then something stopped you. Maybe it was something you strongly felt you needed to do. But when the time came, you didn’t do it. What were the circumstances? What were your thoughts? Take a moment and think about it. I guarantee if you follow the trail deep enough, you’ll find that what stopped you in those moments was fear. Nothing more.

We would like to make our interaction about other things using excuses involving bad timing, other people, or less than optimal circumstances. The cause of inaction almost every time is fear. This may be hard to hear, but I encourage you to see it as a relief if your fear is the only thing holding you back and sabotaging your growth. That means that all of the power to change it is in your hands right now. How can you take immediate action? 

Well, it begins with shifting our consciousness. Kabbalistically, we all have dormant forces within us, both positive and negative. And these forces are awakened depending on our consciousness; fear and all other negative emotions come from the negative side. Kabbalah teaches that all of us are composed of pure light, and our greatest strengths and qualities arise from the positive side. In order for there to be a positive side, a negative side must also exist. Without this duality, we would have no way to experience growth or realize our potential. 

However, when we become too mired, often unconsciously on the negative side, we hinder our full experience of life. When we bring consciousness to our fears, we’re able to make new proactive choices. When we think a positive thought or refocus on something positive, we awaken those dormant forces of positivity within us. Every single thought, word and action is a manifestation of one of the two forces. And positivity will outweigh that negativity if we feed it; whichever side you feed grows. 

So let’s put it into practice using the example of someone who wants to write a memoir. The idea has been circulating around their brain for months, maybe even years. But every time they make plans to write something, they find themselves distracted. Maybe they write a few pages out but decide that those pages are terrible and start over. Maybe they’ve finished the 200-page manuscript, and it’s been gathering dust. Their thoughts looked like this. “I can’t do this successfully. I’m not even a writer. Who’s going to care about my story? I don’t know the first thing about getting published. I’ll work on it tomorrow.” These thoughts are all fear-based, and identifying them as fear and nothing more is the first, most powerful step. 

From here, we can take the negative thoughts and bring our consciousness to them can infuse them with positivity and then positive action. “I can do this. I’ll take a writing class to hone my skills. Even if my story helps one person, it will be worth it. I could self-publish. I only have 30 available minutes today, but I’ll use them to write.” Notice how the second set of thoughts feels different. They are all simple, but their energy is positive and affirming. Whatever your goal is, whatever you have on your to-do list, whatever it is that you need to do, but can’t find a way to do it, try this exercise. 

Whatever your goal is, whatever you have on your to-do list, whatever it is that you need to do, but can’t find a way to do it.

Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman and philosopher, stated it perfectly. No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. Fear does not serve us. It doesn’t come from logic, and it isn’t based on reality. It masquerades so many different things and lays waste on so many of our ambitions. It very literally robs you of your joy. Luckily, its only source of life is you. The moment you catch a thought and call it out as fear, that fear has already begun to unravel. You have become your own security system, finding the fear and sounding the alarm. 

What fears are robbing you? Write down a few projects or goals you have yet to accomplish. And then write down all the thoughts that arise when you bring them into your mind. Are they fearful? If so, shine the light on them, turn them around and see where you can start taking action. 

Now, let’s identify the three types of fear because we deal with each of them differently. Healthy fear typically manifests as a visceral, instinctual response to a physical threat. We need this type of fear for our survival and protection. For example, if you’re standing at the edge of a high cliff, healthy fear kicks in and cautions you to step back. It keeps you safe. Listen to that inner voice; it will not lead you astray. 

The second type, real fears are unavoidable. We all worry about not achieving our dreams. We fear losing the people we love most. Can these fears consume us? Well, it depends on how you frame them. If you fear losing people you love, put your energy toward being completely engaged when spending time with them. Fully appreciate that they are here now. Real fear cannot be eliminated, but we can transform it into something empowering. 

Let’s talk about illogical fears. These are the worries that keep you awake at night and hijack your daytime thoughts. Are you terrified of spiders, heights, cockroaches? Do you avoid driving on freeways? Imagine what your life would be like if this fear was eliminated. 

Here’s an exercise to work through those dark thoughts. They worked for me. They can work for you too. First, name your fear. Next, think about the fears in your life. Next, identify your most prominent, illogical fear and build an action plan to eliminate it. Finally, consider how your life, relationships or specific experiences would change if this fear were removed. Got it? 

You’re ready for the next step. Diminish your fear. Now that you’ve identified your fear, recognize it when it pops into your head. Instead of panicking, stop and ask, “Why am I thinking about this in a fearful way?” Look at the fear with skepticism and curiosity. Is it really real? Disarm it. Taking small steps to disarm our phobia may seem like shoveling snow with a spoon. But little by little, they add up to regain control of your thoughts. 

For instance, if you have an upcoming flight but hate to fly, download a few meditations and practice them before going to the airport. By doing this, you’re creating a space in your mind; you can easily access when the fear arises. And from that place of calm, you can reassure yourself.

Create a mantra. Turn your fear into an affirmative mantra. Let’s say the local rotary club asks you to address members at their next meeting. Avoid negative self-talk and instead create an affirmative mantra. “I am fully prepared. Everything I have to say is helpful, well-founded, and something I believe in. I will appear cool, calm, and confident.” Don’t let negative self-talk limit your potential for greatness. 

Now that you have awareness and some tools, it’s time to put them into action. Create an action plan. Step one, put aside time in the morning. Take some time to think about and face your fears in the morning when you are fresh and motivated. It has been scientifically proven that our willpower and psychological stamina are at their strongest in the morning, waning throughout the day. This is why for anyone who has ever dieted, which is basically everyone. It’s so easy to choose a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and then make an unhealthy choice around dinnertime. 

Step two, challenge fear-based thoughts. Let’s say you have a debilitating fear of flying. Think about hopping on a plane to visit loved ones. Visualize the terminal, security lines, and boarding. You may begin to feel your chest tighten, or your breath is quaking because you’re certain the flight will end in disaster. Ask yourself. “What contradicts this thought?” At any time in the United States, more than 60,000 people are in the air. They leave and arrive safely every day. You will too. 

Identify if this thought is fear-based. Is there evidence that what you fear will happen? Statistically, you are much safer traveling by plane. What would your life look like if you didn’t feed the fear? What new experiences would you be able to have? Challenging our thoughts in this way gets to the root of the fear and destroys it. If your fears have nowhere to grow, eventually, they will die. 

Step three, exposure. In order to overcome your fears, you must confront them. But do this in small doses. Taking on too much too quickly can backfire. For example, let’s say you have a fear of stepping outside your home. Gradual exposure can look like this. Look outside your open window. Open the front door and stand outside on your porch. Walk to the sidewalk. Walk over to your neighbor’s house. Walk to the corner of your block. Walk around your block. Identifying and working with fears like exercising a muscle for the first time. It might feel unnatural, but soon you’ll look forward to it. 

These steps work for me. Using these thoughts and tools, I can now step into an elevator without a second thought. I thoroughly enjoy public speaking and feel alive when I do it. Most importantly, I learned to tackle my fear of raising a son with a disability. I began to recognize and celebrate the unique gifts he brings to our family. And now, he has helped me become a more evolved human being. I’m free. Now, it’s your turn.

Check out Monica Berg’s interview with Orion

Links and Resources

About Monica Berg

Monica Berg is an international speaker, spiritual thought leader, author, and Chief Communications Officer of the Kabbalah Centre.



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