What keeps your Fear Monster alive and makes him bigger?
Once he's big he has power..
As soon as you have noticed that you have a fear monster it becomes incredibility easy to make him bigger and more powerful literally with each minute that passes. So easy in fact, that it's quite possible not to even be consciously aware that you are actually in the driving seat, causing it to happen.
In contrast, once he is big and powerful, it can seem a mountainous task to regain control and make him smaller again.
The fear monster takes his oxygen through fear and he is a master of creating oxygen for himself, after all his life does depend on it.
Your fear comes from him bluffing you into feeling fear in everyday situations and then because the fear feels so real, in the belief that you must protect yourself from this fear feeling by following the only instinct that you have , your natural instinct.
He needs your focus to be on fear almost 100% of the time, anticipating it, feeling it and avoiding it, to grow.
He will do anything he can to keep your focus on the fear that you are feeling and also anticipating when and where the feeling will next come. He does this through creating very scary obsessive thought patterns, awful physical feelings and sensations which then create anticipation of the fear that may come. This anticipation can be crippling and causes avoidance of people, situations, places and thoughts and this avoidance and fear of fear is the fear monsters fuel to breathe and grow.
It's simple, he gets bigger and more powerful and your life gets smaller and more fearful. But you cannot run away from yourself and the Anxiety will continue until you understand how to reach a solution, working with it to move forwards.
Fear and the Fear Monster can feel like it has become the whole you and that you are completely at the mercy of where it takes you next, out of control, however in reality it is a very small part of the whole you, of who you are and you are very much in control of where it takes you next.
The Fear Monster is stubborn with very set ways and ideas about how things should be and where things go next, but so can you develop a very strong stubborn streak and tell him firmly that, that it is your way or the highway!
Stopping rapid growth and increased panic and negative emotion comes from understanding what is happening and how this process is working to trap you and then keep you stuck. Once he has you this knowledge of how he works can become a strength and an essential tool in entering into the inevitable battle to regain freedom and quality of life once again. It is about realising that you must always be making the correct choices and actions that will not only defeat your Fear Monster initially, but that will always keep him at a smaller manageable level that retains your personal freedom and quality of life far into the future.
If you trained yourself to make him big, then you can re train yourself in the knowledge required to make him small.
My own Fear Monster, due to my own lack of knowledge grew enormous very quickly and I believed his hype and lived in fear of what he could do to me for 12 years. I lived in constant anticipation of what he would throw at me next and the awful feeling of dread and fear he was able to pass to me. That was until one day when it occurred to me that I had no absolute proof that what he said was going to happen did. That was because I was by that time in such a cycle of avoidance that I no longer did anything, saw many people or entered situations. In taking steps to follow my natural instinct to protect myself from the feeling of fear, I had limited my life significantly and was now at total mercy of my very large Fear Monster. The ironic thing was that in trying to avoid my fear, I was in fact feeling it all of the time and living in a constant state of fear with no quality of life at all.
I knew deep down to have any sort of life in the future that this had to change. Whatever I was doing was making it worse not better and the pain of staying the same now far outweighed the pain I would have to face if I was to make the decision to somehow change this. I had nothing really to lose, the worse that could happen was that I stayed as I was and to be honest I was already there right now!
So there I was in the position of chance, reversing my behaviour as it was and no matter how painful doing the opposite to what he told me. I opened my eyes and we looked at each other properly for the first time. I shook his hand and we began to share a kind of mutual respect and understanding.
I understood for the first time that I cannot change who I am or what has happened to me, just like you cannot erase anything bad that happens in your life, anxiety or other, but what I could do is form newer better habits in the future that would give me back my quality of life.
So I worked with knowledge of how my Fear Monster works and became aware that no matter how bad he made me feel, I was in charge of the choices and actions I took as a result of this.
And so we entered into battle to determine who was going to be superior, this was not going to be easy in the short term, but it was a battle that I knew I had to win..