Even before Covid-19, I had been waging a personal battle with fear. We’ve all experienced it. It has a powerful grip that keeps us paralyzed, increases our anxiety, makes us angry and defensive, threatens our relationships, and extinguishes the flame of our passions. It attracts more of itself (our thoughts bring about our reality). What we focus on grows.
A while back, I discovered the power of Positive Affirmations. (to learn more, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmations_(New_Age). I experimented with formulating and writing out statements (all positive) of how I wanted things to be and how I wanted to feel. I began to find that the success rate was staggering.
I specifically remember a time when I was afraid to fly for fear of a crash and death, and whenever the air got bumpy I went into a full out panic attack. It curbed my desire to travel and when I did, it made the experience much more stressful.
I distinctly remember this happening one time when I was in my 30s. While in mid-air during a rough flight, I started creating negative scenarios in my head and panic ensued. I recalled the process of enlisting positive affirmations and began repeating in my head “I am safe. The flight is smooth and easy. We arrive without incident. All is well.”
I immediately felt better. I’m not sure if anything changed externally, but my reality made a complete 180 degree turn.
After that experience on the plane, I began applying this strategy to other instances where fear would surface; singing in front of an audience for the first time, setting boundaries with a friend, taking on a new business venture, entering into a love relationship. The thing I remember most about all these situations is that it worked. Every time.
Today, I am faced with the plethora of possible fears surrounding the pandemic and it is scary. It is hitting us all on many levels (health, finance, relationships, career). What will our futures be?
I try to keep the negative input to a minimum. I only watch the news once a day from a credible source. I make sure I am eating well and getting enough sleep. I exercise/meditate/do yoga at least once a day. I facetime or call loved ones. I get outside. I forgive myself when I don’t accomplish as much as I’d like, and I replace negative fear thoughts with positive affirmations when I am feeling stressed.
We are currently fighting Covid-19 in full throttle mode. That is a fact, but there is also another, perhaps greater, enemy that deserves our attention.
It is the perfect time to begin practicing love and positivity as an anecdote. It is a daily challenge, especially now. Yet, if it is the one thing that defeats most people over all else, as Emerson states, then mastering it will be the way to freedom and victory for us all.