How Fear Keeps Us Stuck

While the stigma surrounding mental health is gradually changing, many individuals still resist seeking help for various reasons. If this sounds like you, prepare for some enlightening insights!

Our mind is approximately 10% Conscious Mind and 90% Unconscious Mind. Although we’re often  led to believe that the Conscious Mind is in control, it’s actually the Unconscious Mind that’s running the show.

The primary role of the Unconscious Mind is to ensure your safety, both physically and emotionally.

There are times when it performs this job effectively, but occasionally, it can be over-protective and counterproductive. I’ve experienced this myself and have observed it in my clients. Once you become aware of how this dynamic plays out in your life, the healing process can begin.

Keeping you safe

The Unconscious Mind often believes that the familiar is safe because you know what to expect and how to survive it. Conversely, stepping out of your comfort zone into the unknown, especially for therapy and healing, can feel intimidating.  Your Unconscious Mind considers it safer to remain where you are, especially if it fears confronting or discussing a problem. Sometimes, it prefers to bury the problem and attempts to ignore it rather than seek help.

Think of the Unconscious Mind as a small child afraid to go to kindergarten; it’s the fear of the unknown. But once they take that step, they realise how beneficial it can be.

My clients frequently recount how daunting it was to pick up the phone and schedule their first appointment, but they often wish they had done it sooner. When working with clients we don’t dwell on the problem; instead, I prefer to listen just enough to understand, and then focus on the healing and clearing process, enabling you to live a happier and more peaceful, or even exciting, life.

Holding onto Old Emotions

The Unconscious Mind believes that remembering past trauma and negative emotions is necessary for your safety. However, it’s not the pain of a past memory or the fear it holds that keeps us safe; it’s what that experience taught us and who we’ve become today.

Joe Dispenza said, “A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom.” Healing old memories means they no longer control your life. Remembering the lessons and releasing the emotions is more beneficial, isn’t it?

Holding onto emotions isn’t safe for your body; it harms the body. Often, physical problems can be traced back to stress and negative emotions. When we heal the mind, we allow the body to heal as well.

This is where the Unconscious Mind can become confused, thinking it’s protecting you by holding onto those old emotions when, in reality, it’s causing harm.

Self-Worth and Self-Love

Sometimes, the Unconscious Mind believes that you don’t deserve happiness and freedom.

If this is you, when did you decide that you don’t deserve happiness, freedom or an amazing life?

Sometimes, people are aware of this belief, while other times, it lies deeply buried in the unconscious triggering unhealthy behaviour on a daily basis. The limiting belief that you don’t deserve to take care of yourself is often a misinterpretation from childhood or is a generational belief.  Growing up with adults who either neglect self-care or unintentionally instil the belief that you’re unworthy can lead to adults who don’t believe they deserve happiness. Remember, everyone deserves happiness, especially you.

Secondary Gains (Reasons to hold onto the problem)

Secondary Gain occurs when the Unconscious Mind believes there’s a benefit to the problem, so it avoids seeking help. You might wonder, “How can there be a benefit to a problem?” Often, the reason or belief is buried so deep that we aren’t even aware of it.

Some examples of potential secondary gains include:

  • Being overweight = a fear of being attractive or attracting unwanted attention, as attractiveness isn’t perceived as safe (sometimes linked to sexual assault or abuse). The weight is seen as protection.
  • Illness = attention and people showing they care, or an excuse to avoid a job you dislike.
  • Smoking or drinking = helps people relax or interact in social settings.

These are just examples and may not apply to everyone with these problems. If you suspect a secondary gain, ask yourself: How is holding onto the pain or fear of an old memory serving you today? Or what is the benefit of holding onto the problem?

Get in Touch

Now that you understand that the stories your Unconscious Mind is telling you are preventing you from seeking help, isn’t it time you took that step?