By: Crystal Thomas, M.A.
Faith vs. Fear
Are you free or in bondage?
Imagine living in a world where you are completely free. Free from worries, barriers, financial restraint, anxiety, tension, any and all hurdles. Furthermore, when you have a dream or a desire, you are able to move forward; strategize and implement and execute the plan. While moving forward, all of your underlying beliefs align with your values. You have the freedom to live, move, and have your being. In time, because of this freedom, you experience life through all the ups and downs, but continue to move forward and accomplish your purpose. Are you experiencing this freedom in your life?
Faith is described as trust or a belief in which is unseen. It is trust that something is true, whether the circumstances around you prove to be trying. A person of faith would view all circumstances as them “growing through” and not “going through” something. Faith is the assurance that without having evidence that something is true. In Christianity, faith is described as “believing God” and his promises as written in His word (Bible). The dictionary describes and defines faith as strong or unshakable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence, a specific system of religious beliefs, trust in God and His actions and promises, a conviction o the truth of certain doctrines of religion, especially when this is not based on reason, compete confidence or trust in a person or cause, “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” – (Hebrews 11:6), “The persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true” (Philippians 1:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), “Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith in accordance with the evidence on which it rests. Faith is the result of teaching” (Romans 10:14-17), “Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoke of as an equivalent o faith: (John 10:38, 1 John 2:3). Living a life of faith is the equivalent of being free and having the courage to move forward.
Many people of faith communicate that there is a joy, peace, and accepting “what is” at the moment. Having faith means having courage to confront the fear when it arises. So how would one obtain or have faith? It is not something that you can purchase or borrow from a friend. However, it is something that can be exercised or practiced and s the “faith muscle” gets stronger; so called obstacles seem to get smaller if not can be perceive as non-existent. We will focus on some of those exercises a little later.
What is your biggest fear? What do you hide or run from? How can I obtain faith? Let’s first define fear an how it could keep one in bondage. Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by the “perception” of impending danger, evil, pain; whether the threat is real or imaged; the feeling or condition of being afraid; great concern or anxiety.
Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of fear. It is followed by feelings of stress and worry and sometimes nervousness as a result of a perceived challenging situation. Stress from anxiety can affect the immune system leading to illness. Other symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, sweating, fainting, physical fatigue, chest pains, muscle spasms, feeling alone, feeling lost, lack of motivation, perfectionist tendencies, pervasive thoughts of being worried, sleepless nights, and being mentally detached. These symptoms prevent anyone from experiencing peace to move ahead. Living a life in fear and not moving forward is equivalent to living on bondage. In cases where individuals have a diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder or any other Mental Heath diagnosis or if the Coach perceives that they need more support, they should be referred to a licensed professional. In other cases, simple exercises could assist the client in moving forward.
Through situations in life, people become weary, experience tension and anxiety. People focus on the situations around them with look bleak and believe that their purpose is bleak, During the coaching session, the client’s underlying beliefs should be explored and in time the client will gain awareness regarding the “fear.” Exercises may include the following:
Meditation: Simple breathing exercises taught and practiced i the coaching session assists in bringing the client into a safe space where they can experience freedom. During meditation in focusing on “your breath” it is IMPOSSIBLE to experience anxiety. When you focus on the breath, you are focused on the breath, you cannot “think.” Have the client simply breathe in and out with their eyes closed for awhile. In that moment the client experiences peace and freedom. The client is brought into the present moment. In the present moment, there is not fear; there are no worries. It is only when a client looks in the past or thoughts about the future that they may experience anxiety.
Visualization: Have the client imagine themselves without fear, barriers, or restraint. Have them explain who they are and what they would like to do. Have them describe themselves and the environment they they live in, and the people that they are surrounded by. Part 2 of this exercise is to complete a vision board according to this vision and post it where they can see it daily.
Gratitude: Gratitude is a state of being a way of life. One who is thankful in all things wears a lens where you see the value in everything and are thankful. People who live a life of gratitude focus on everything not just themselves. It is impossible to be self-conscious or angry when you are in a state of gratitude. Write down things that you are thankful for; it could be our health, breath, and or activity of your limbs. now meditate o those things that you are thankful for. Everyone has something to be thankful for in this very moment. Notice how your energy shifts when you are i a space of thanksgiving. Also, practice this thanksgiving exercise when you get upset, are anxious, or get depressed It can be your best weapon when you are distressed
It is very important to mention that the coach must be clothes in compassion and empathy. The coach must also expect that there may be resistance because the fear can be disabling at times to the client. The coach must be a valuable support in being a cheerleader and ignite the client within to move forward towards that freedom.
As the client continues to meditate and is brought to the consciousness of peace, they will experience freedom more and more. It is important to practice meditation, visualization, and/or gratitude or other techniques to bring the client to the present. Also, through the coaching process, the client will gain self-awareness and be enlightened by how some of their beliefs which feed into the “frenzy” of fear has manifested in their lives. Through action steps and encouragement from the coach, the client continues to move forward and experiences a tremendous amount of freedom, faith, and courage. At this time, fear decreases and at times subsides. The client begins to increase their faith regardless of circumstances around them and begins to move forward. So, are you free or in bondage?
- What are some ways to bring a client who is experiencing fear into a calming peaceful space?
- What makes you fearful and how do you move forward?