Today’s episode is a continuation from last week’s Freedom From Fear (Part 1). If you missed that episode, I highly recommend you click here to go back and listen to it before digging into this one. I talked about what fear is and why it is natural, what causes both conscious and unconscious fears, how fear can become incredibly destructive to your mental and emotional well-being as well as your goals, and how you can begin to gain control of your fears and experience true freedom.
This week, we’re exploring what happens when you live in a perpetual state of fear – and why you don’t have to. You’ll learn how fear can make you a better person, practices you can use to overcome emotional states that are holding you back, and what you can do to live a life of joy and gratitude.
- Why fear disappears when you actually encounter the things you were afraid of for so long.
- Why you can’t just snap your fingers and get over your fears.
- How to use two affirmations to replace fear with unwavering faith – even in the face of the things you fear the most.
- Three (3) strategies you can use when you experience fear.
- How to cater emotional optimization meditation (EOM) as a part of your daily practice for transcending fear.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
If you enjoyed this post and received value from this episode, please leave a quick comment below and SHARE with your friends. Thank YOU for paying it forward! :^)
COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
WANT TO COACH WITH HAL ELROD?
Get a $1 (7-day Trial) of Hal Elrod’s “Best Year Ever Coaching” program at
- The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod
- The Miracle Equation Podcast
- Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Freedom from Your Fears Part 1
- Freedom from Your Fears Part 2
CONNECT WITH HAL
RATE & REVIEW THE PODCAST
Reviews for the podcast on iTunes are greatly appreciated and will allow us to get the word out about the show and grow as a community. We read every single review and believe each one goes a long way in helping us make the show even better! If you received value from this episode, please take a moment and rate and review the podcast by clicking here.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, friends, and family, it is an honor to be here. It’s December 23rd and we’re a couple days away from Christmas. And ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed this holiday, being with family, opening presents, which the older I get, the less important that part is, but I do love I’ll be having my mom in town and my dad in town and my mother-in-law in town and father-in-law, so it’s going to be a big Elrod family Christmas here and I’m really looking forward to it.
So, with that, today is part 2 of a two-part podcast episode series on Freedom from Fear. And I’m going to talk about today, we’re going to really build on last week’s episode. In fact, if you missed last week’s episode, this is a continuation, of course, from last week. And we talked last week about what fear is, what causes our fears, both conscious and unconscious and we began exploring how you can experience freedom from fear. And the idea being that no one lives without fears. In fact, fear is very healthy, it’s very natural, it’s ingrained in us as human beings to keep us safe.
Back in the day, people, you would know to run from the tiger because that fear response would teach you, Oh, or tell you immediately, signal you to get out of the way. And today, you jump out of the way of a car in a similar fashion because fear would protect you from danger and that is why fear is very valuable. Fear also alerts us to things that we may want to change in the now, behaviors we want to change now, so that things that we fear that we have control over the direction of where we’re going and either a positive or a fearful direction. Fear alerts us to changing our behavior now, so that we don’t make those mistakes that we can see on the horizon, that our fear is once again, alerting us to.
So, in terms of what fear is, we started with the definition of it’s a very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger. And one of the key premises to understand is that fear is something, again, it is encouraged within us, but therefore, it’s never the object of our fear that’s causing the fear, but it’s rather our perceived inability to handle future circumstances that caused our fears. I’ll say that, again, it’s our perceived inability to handle future circumstances that causes most of our fear, at least our conscious fears.
So, if you have something that you’re afraid of, oh, if this divorce comes or this bankruptcy or this COVID or whatever it is, I don’t know that I can handle it, it might be too painful, it might be so out of my comfort zone that I’m not prepared or I’m not equipped or I just don’t have the abilities. So, it’s that perceived inability to handle future circumstances or future challenges that causes our fears. And in that way, our fears are self-created and they’re self-perpetuated right there. It’s not the object, it’s not the thing that we’re afraid of or that we think we’re afraid of, it’s causing our fear, it’s our response to that thing, our interpretation of that thing, our perception of how we will be able to handle that thing, whatever that thing that we’re afraid of is.
And the good news about that, if fear is self-created and self-perpetuated, the good news is that it means we have the ability to let go of our fears to experience freedom from fear, no matter what’s happening. And you can look back in your life, there are things that maybe when you were younger, you were afraid of and then you handled those things. And now you’re older and wiser and more mature and you have more life experience. And now things that you used to be afraid of, you’re not afraid of anymore. Maybe, I know my kids are still afraid if we see like a scary movie or something which we try to limit that, but then they’re afraid of the dark, they’re afraid of and I mean, I don’t think I’m afraid of the dark anymore, but I used to be.
When I was a kid, I used to be afraid of the dark, I guess, sometimes, I’ll be honest, if like my family’s out of town and I’m by myself and I hear a noise and it’s dark, I might get a little bit afraid, okay, but in terms of what causes fear, it’s that inability or that perceived inability, we’ll consider that when we actually encounter the circumstances that we were afraid of. The fear tends to disappear. Fear only exists by being out of the present moment. Fear only exists by us looking into the future.
So, when we actually encounter the thing that we were afraid of for so long, the fear disappears and you find out what you’re made of. You just get present to, Okay, this is the situation, I’ve got to handle it, there’s no room to be afraid. You only have fear when there is room, when there is that space, when you’re out of that present moment, and you are looking into the future, worrying about the future, but when the circumstances arrive, we simply deal with them. And we acclimate to our new circumstances and there’s no fear.
So, when you realize that, you go, Oh, well, then that means fear is something that we create over a perception of something in the future and we don’t have to do that. So, this two-part series is how do you create or experience freedom from your fears because fears cause physical, mental, emotional damage to us when we live perpetually in a state of fear. And the good news is, again, you don’t have to live in that state.
So, one of the biggest things that fear causes is it prevents you from moving forward. If you’re afraid of an outcome or you’re afraid of failure or you’re afraid of what someone might think, then you stay within your comfort zone, you play small and it prevents you from achieving the goals and the things that you want to achieve in your life. So, in order to overcome this and overcome your fears and gain control, the first strategy that I shared last week is to simply acknowledge and reinforce your own ability to handle anything that comes your way. And let’s realize that you got nothing to be afraid of.
So, if fear is something that is self-created by our perception over an inability that we might have to handle a future circumstance, well, it’s important that you start by affirming and reinforcing that you are absolutely capable of handling anything that comes your way. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of. And so, the affirmation that I shared last week, and by the way, I encourage you to go back and listen to last week’s episode if you haven’t yet. In fact, I would honestly listen to it before this week’s episode, I would go listen to last week’s and then, I would come back and listen to this week’s because I think last week will set a really good foundation for this week.
But the affirmation that I left you all with at the end of the episode was one of my favorites and it’s there’s nothing to fear because I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow, and become better than I’ve ever been before. That affirmation single-handedly helped me experience and sustain freedom from fear. I’ll say it one more time, there is nothing to fear because I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow, and become better than I have ever been before. And that is so true.
The things that you fear may be your greatest challenges if they come your way, but when they come your way, they become opportunities for you to learn, for you to grow, for you to improve and become better than you’ve ever been before. And then, you come out on the other side of that circumstance, that challenge, that obstacle that you were afraid of, you come out better, it serves you. The things that you’re afraid of can be literally your greatest gifts.
My two big ones were, I always, yes, fall back on these, it was the car accident. The cancer now, I wasn’t afraid of those because obviously the car accident, I didn’t know it was going to happen, but if you would have asked me, would you be afraid of being hit head-on by a drunk driver and breaking 11 bones and being told you wouldn’t walk again, I would have been like, Oh my god, that’d be terrifying. But when I actually woke up from the coma, there was no fear. I was like, oh, okay, this is my situation, my circumstance, I got to deal with it, and I’m going to make the best of it. I’m going to be positive and proactive in the face of fear.
And then, same thing when I was diagnosed with cancer, I think there were times in my life where I was a little bit afraid of cancer, but I didn’t think about it much. And then, when I had cancer, it was like, Oh, I have cancer, I now will deal with it in the most positive, proactive way that I possibly can without fear. And whenever I did have fear, here’s kind of a little bonus tip, if you will, when I felt fear because I did, I for sure thought about leaving my kids without a dad, that was my biggest fear, is dying and having my 7-year-old daughter, my 4-year-old son be without me.
And in that, every day, I would replace that fear with unwavering faith. And if you’ve followed my Miracle Equation, the book or my podcast on that, unwavering faith is one of the two components, the other being extraordinary effort, but the unwavering faith piece is for me, I replace fear with faith. And so, whenever I would feel fear that I might die and leave my kids behind, I would pull out my affirmation and it wasn’t the one I just read to you, my affirmation specifically was I am 100% committed to beating cancer and living to be 100-plus years old, alongside Ursula, Sophie, and Halsten, no matter what, there is no other option.
And I would read that over and over with conviction and emotion and intensity, I am committed, I am 100% committed to beating cancer and living to be 100-plus years old, alongside Ursula and the kids, no matter what, there is no other option. And so, that didn’t allow any space for fear, only that filled that space. The faith replaced the fear. And when I read that affirmation, in the beginning, it was like, I was fighting with the fear, but over time, I reprogrammed my subconscious fears with subconscious faith and the fear almost went away.
I mean, in the beginning, initially, there was no fear, I was like, so optimistic. And then, when I would have those chemo treatments and I would be in a lot of pain and feel horrible and just be sick and in bed, my mind would wander and that’s when I would start thinking about the kids and I had a picture of them on my bedside table and Ursula, my wife, and I would think about the possibility of dying. Basically, if you ever had chemo before, you feel like you’re dying, it’s like the worst flu ever, you just feel horrible, you feel really sick.
And so, when you’re in that state, it’s hard to think positive, it’s hard at least to feel positive. And so, there was a lot of fear, but I guess one of the first tips I will give you is to replace your fear with faith and to do it in the form of writing. I think that for just about anything that you want to change in your consciousness. In terms of your thinking or your beliefs, you got to have it in writing unless you have like the best memory ever and you don’t have any ADHD, where you’re able to just completely focus on one thought or statement for as long as you need to, like for me, I need it in writing, my mind goes a million miles an hour.
And so, having these statements in writing is so crucial. So, that first affirmation that I ended last week’s podcast with, that I just repeated to you a few minutes ago, there’s nothing to fear because I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow, and become better than I’ve ever been before. That should be in writing for you if it resonates and of course, you can edit it, make it your own. If you want to tweak it or use different wording or create completely your own affirmation, that’s great, but in order to overcome our habitual thought patterns, we have to use some sort of mnemonic device, if you will.
And for me, it’s an affirmation that allows me to design in writing the exact words that I want to think or believe or embody in some way. And I recite them every single day until they become part of who I am. And so, that first affirmation I just gave you is kind of foundational for me to really let go of fear, there’s nothing to fear, I cannot fail. I can only learn, grow, and become better than I’ve ever been before. Well, on top of that, when I had the cancer, again, the affirmation was very specific, that was my Miracle Equation affirmation. I’m committed to overcoming cancer, beating cancer, and living to be 100 years old, alongside my family, no matter what, there’s no other option. So, that’s another affirmation that you can add into your affirmations.
And again, if you followed the Miracle Equation for a while, you may already have that affirmation. I have that affirmation for each of my goals, I’m committed to blank, no matter what, there’s no other option. So, every goal that I have, I articulate the goal in that blank, I am committed to blank. achieving this goal, overcoming this obstacle, transforming my health, my life, whatever your measurable outcomes are, those fill in the blank. I’m committed to blank no matter what, there’s no other option. That is a good supporting affirmation.
And again, you can use wording that resonates with you. So, for example, you might tweak that to say, I will maintain an unwavering faith that I will blank no matter what, there is no other option. So, if that resonates with you, I will maintain unwavering faith that I will blank or achieve blank or overcome blank no matter what, there is no other option that can help with that resiliency. And you might even start with that affirmation and then support it with, there is nothing to fear because I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow, and become better than I’ve ever been before.
So, affirmations are really a powerful tool in overcoming fear and giving yourself freedom from fear because when you remind yourself that the fears are in your head, they’re not real, they’re not tangible. You’re able to distance yourself from the fear because that’s the thing, when we’re consumed with fear and we all experience fear at times and we’re all afraid of something, but when we experience fear, it takes over our nervous system and we can’t think clearly, we get consumed by the fear, and fear can lead to anxiety.
A year ago, I was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, I think, I mentioned it once or twice on the podcast, but PTSD, it came kind of out of nowhere and I was only sleeping two to four hours a night and I had suicidal thoughts every day. And the fear and anxiety are very closely linked. And then, when you’re in it, if you don’t have these tools that I’m sharing, if you don’t have these strategies, this this level of awareness, these affirmations, and I’m going to share more strategies today, but it’s like you can’t see over, it’s kind of like, imagine if there’s a fence, like a wall, say seven feet tall or something and that’s your fear and you can’t see anything on the other side of that wall because you’re so consumed by the fear, but then as soon as you grab a step ladder or jump up and grab the top of the fence and pull yourself up and peek over, you go, Oh, this fear isn’t all there is, there’s something on the other side of this fear.
And maybe what you see on the other side of the fence is beautiful, it’s rolling fields and limitless possibilities and infinite potential, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, what have I been doing staring at this wall, a.k.a. my fear, thinking it was real, when all I had to do was look, get above it, and look at the bigger picture and see that wow. On the other side of this fear is everything I’ve ever wanted. On the other side of your fear is everything you’ve ever wanted. And the beauty of it is, the first thing that we want is to feel good. That’s the first thing that we want. At the end of the day, for many of us, it’s the ultimate goal in terms of our psyche and being a human being, we’re just seeking feeling good, we want to be happy.
And fear, for many of us, if not all of us, in some way to some degree, is responsible for standing in the way of what we want inside, meaning our internal, mental and emotional state. We want to feel good, we want to be happy, but when we’re living in fear, it’s nearly impossible. And also, fear is what’s standing in the way of what we want in our outer world, the outside, we want to create circumstances, achieve goals, improve our life, create meaningful relationships and connections with people.
And our fears, fear that we’re not worthy, we’re not good enough, we might get rejected, we might fail, all of these fears that we experience are what stopped us from creating the life that we want, but again, jump up, grab the top of the fence, peek over the top, and realize that, oh, this fence is just a fence, this wall is just a wall, I can move past it, I can climb over it, I can be free from this barrier that’s holding me back and preventing me from everything I want in my life, beginning on the inside with that joy, that happiness that we all deserve, to feel, to live in a state of perpetual happiness and joy. Not that we’re not going to have painful emotions, those are valuable. You learn from those, you grow from those, but you don’t need to live there.
Fear is an emotion, you don’t need to live there. Anger is an emotion, you don’t need to live there. You can visit all of the emotions, but I’d encourage you to be emotionally intelligent enough to realize that you are not your emotions. Your emotions are just responses within your mind and your body that are temporary, but if you don’t do the things that we’re talking about today and not that this is the end-all be-all like I’m telling you everything. I’m giving you everything you could ever do to overcome fear, no, of course not, but if you don’t do something to free yourself from your fear, then it can become your default state of being, as can depression or anger or anxiety.
And as someone who experienced severe depression and anxiety over the last year and I’d say I’ve been out of it for, well, I started getting out of it when I got off of chemo and my brain kind of went back to normal, which was, I think, five months ago, no, six months ago now, but it was still tough for a while and it’s gotten easier and easier and easier. And I don’t know if it’s like the last few weeks that I’m feeling kind of really back to normal, I don’t know, a few months, maybe, but anyway, it doesn’t matter.
The point is, I know from experience, that’s why I was sharing that, that when you’re in that dark place, it can feel nearly impossible to get out of it because you wake up and every day feels the same. If you were depressed one day, you’re depressed the next day and anxiety one day carries over to the next day. And you’ve really got to commit to engage in practices to overcome whatever state is holding you back. I know we’re talking about fear today, but you could really replace that with any emotional state that is not serving your highest good, that’s painful, that you’re suffering from. You don’t have to stay there, I promise, you don’t.
And you can’t snap your fingers, I don’t know of any way to snap your fingers and get over it. Trust me, I tried that for a year, I kept every day, I’d be like, “All right, tomorrow’s the day, I’m going to wake up tomorrow, I’m going to let go of this anxiety and depression. I’m going to be totally back to the old me and the old happy me,” and I’d wake up and literally want to die and not understand why. And what got me out of that, interestingly enough, part of it was getting off of chemo. I found a journal entry the other day, no, this morning, I was reading a journal entry that I wrote in 2019. In fact, while I’m talking to you, I’ll see if I can find it and just share this with you. That I was like, dang, I was in a really bad place.
Here we go. So, I wrote this down, this was October 11, 2019. Healing my chemo brain and anxiety, something very concerning that I’m becoming more and more present to is that I’m scared that chemotherapy is doing significant damage to my brain. I’m having extreme anxiety and feelings of depression. And my brain just doesn’t work like it used to and I feel incapable of thinking clearly and doing things that I used to be able to do without any problem. I’m getting worse every time I take chemo and I’m scared that it could be permanent.
So, that’s where I was at and what got me out of that is the practices that I had done for years, it was the Miracle Morning. And now, again, a big part of it was getting off of the chemo, like there was chemical effects in my brain from the chemotherapy that my brain felt like someone had taken over the controls, kind of like I described in that journal entry, but what got me out of this, once I got off the chemicals, once I get off the chemotherapy, the poison, if you will, it was really the Miracle Morning practices, it was the savers, it was affirmations, and it was meditation, and it was reading books.
What we focus on becomes our reality. And so, it was also stopped watching negative media because that’d be gosh, if you’re turning on the news, don’t watch the news, or limit that 90/10, 90% of the media you could consume, the conversations that you have should be positive and enrich your spirit and make you feel good and feel happy. You have to be disciplined to limit negative media, the news, because think about that, at any given time in the world, there are infinite amount of things you could focus on that would make you feel scared and there are infinite amount of things that you could focus on that would make you feel joyful and grateful.
It’s been that way since the beginning of time. That’s just part of human experience. There’s always one page you could focus on that makes you feel sad and scared and depressed and angry and inadequate. That page has existed since the first human being was born. And there’s also a page of everything that can make you feel at peace and grateful and joyful and optimistic and excited about your life, about all the amazing people in the world doing amazing things. How you feel at any given moment has far less to do with what’s going on around you and it has almost everything to do with what’s going on inside of you. And what that begins with is what you focus on. That’s what these affirmations that I’m sharing, that’s what they do for you. You are consciously, intentionally directing your focus on words with a meaning that will empower you to free yourself from fear, to free yourself from any emotion that is not serving you. [Remove this section?] So, with that, where are we at? Sorry, I have not been looking at my notes for the last 20 minutes and I had some notes, I had an outline. So, let me dive back to that so I can actually remember what the heck else I was going to share with you.
So, again, if you didn’t write those down one last time, two affirmations, number one, I am committed to blank no matter what, there is no other option. That for me is the unwavering faith affirmation. And if it would help you to put the words unwavering faith in there, I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will blank no matter what, there is no other option, that I will achieve blank, overcome blank. Again, use the words that resonate with you because language is very important because we all have different responses to different words based on our life experience. So, the first affirmation, I’m committed to blank no matter what, there’s no other option or I have an unwavering faith that I will blank no matter what, there’s another option.
And the second affirmation that I gave on last week’s call and I’m going to dive into some strategies to add to these, not just affirmations, but other strategies. The affirmation that I gave you last week is there’s nothing to fear because I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow and become better than I’ve ever been before. And for those of you that already wrote those down, you’re like, Hal, okay, stop repeating it, I’ve heard it like 100 times. I’m just catering to the people that are like me that are like, Oh, I still didn’t write it down. Yeah, I should do that. I have to hear it like three, four, or five times before I finally grab the pen and write it down or pull out my phone or my computer and type it out.
So, let’s see. What else do we want to talk about today? One of the benefits of fear that I don’t know if I mentioned this today, but I talked about this last week, just want to reiterate this. One of the benefits of fear, it’s to extract value from the fear by asking yourself, what can I learn from this? Or how can I use this experience to help other people? Or what can I do differently so that I minimize the chances of this circumstance that I don’t want which is why I’m afraid of it? How can I minimize the chances of that happening?
And one thing I didn’t say last week that I will say, is that for those who are like, no, no, no, but I need to be afraid. There’s a difference between being aware and being afraid. Being aware is valuable. Being aware that you’re experiencing a fear and then diving into where that fear is coming from and how it can serve you, that increases your awareness, and there’s value in that. You extract the value from the fear by being aware that you’re experiencing a fear, not letting the fear consume you, not feeling overwhelmed by the fear, knowing that the fear is not you, fear is not reality, it’s just something going on in your mind or in your body or both. And you can be aware of it and aware of the lesson, the value you can extract from it, but you don’t need to remain afraid.
In fact, there’s a quote from the famous Polish scientist. This is Marie Curie, famous Polish scientist, nothing in life is to be feared, only understood. That’s a great quote, in my opinion. Nothing in life is to be feared, only understood. And my way of saying that is that while it’s good to be aware, you don’t need to be afraid, it’s not necessary to be afraid. It’s valuable to be aware, but not necessarily to be afraid.
So, some strategies that I personally use and this is going to be the last episode in the Fear series. I mentioned last week, I might do two or three episodes, but I realized next week is December 30th. And so, we got to do a Best Year Ever episode, like December 30th going into the New Year, so I’m going to do a How to Have Your Best Year Ever episode. For those that don’t know or you may remember, we’ve done Best Year Ever live events, we did six years in a row. And then, this year 2020 is the first year we ever took off, although there is a rumor, Jon Berghoff has been texting me about doing a virtual Best Year Ever in January, so I don’t know. We haven’t actually had an in-depth conversation, but that is a possibility. I was resisting it, but John’s a good salesperson. He’s convincing me that I might want to do it.
So, anyway, we actually have a lot of people that were in the Best Year Ever community last year or for the last six years that are like, do it, do it, we want to do it. So anyway, I’ll let you know on that, but first, the strategies again, we’re going to close out this Freedom from Fear series, two-part series, two-episode series, with I’m going to give you guys a handful of strategies. Most of them are more mindset strategies that you can write down and you add your affirmations if you want. And then, I’m going to give you an actual practice.
One of the savers that you can specifically implement, I’m going to give you the nuance to how to implement it, to free yourself from fear. So, here’s a few different strategies though, number one, when you experience fear, you’ve got to embrace it and acknowledge it or in the other order, though, acknowledge it and embrace it, acknowledge, okay, this is a fear, right? Be aware and embrace it, don’t resist it. In fact, you can go as far as to love it, to again, embrace it, welcome it, “Hey, fear What’s going on?” Literally talk to it.
I was reading the book Fear by, I mentioned last week, I can’t pronounce the author’s name, Thich Nhat Hanh or something. I should actually Google how to pronounce the name, that would be smart, but anyway, I was reading the book and one of the things he talked about is talking to your fear, literally having a conversation with, “Hey, fear, good to see you.” And all of a sudden, when you do that, the value in that as corny as it may sound, is that when you do that, you all of a sudden create this relationship with the fear where you don’t feel consumed by it because you’re talking to it. It’s separate from you.
And so, “Hey, fear,” and this could be out loud or you can do it and say and if people are at your house, you don’t want to be weird talking to your fear, but you acknowledge it, you embrace it and say, Hey, thanks for visiting. Thanks for protecting me. What can I learn from you? What are you here to tell me? What’s the message with a value I’m supposed to extract? What’s the lesson, the message to walk away from? And in doing that, talking to your fear, naming your fear, and embracing your fear, it has no power over you. Greet it with love, it has no power over you.
The second strategy I mentioned earlier, but I just wanted to repeat it, it’s replace fear with faith, replace your fear with faith. Remember, fear is created out of your perception of an inability to handle a future circumstance, we’ll replace that with faith. I can handle anything that comes my way. There is nothing that I cannot overcome. So, therefore, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m committed to overcoming blank, achieving blank, doing this no matter what, there’s no other option because I’m not afraid, there’s nothing to fear, I cannot fail, I can only learn, grow, and become better than I’ve ever been before. Use affirmations to replace your fear with faith.
Third strategy I’ll share is what I would call opposition thinking. This is a concept I learned from Robin Sharma. Robin Sharma, you may have seen him in the Miracle Morning movie. He’s one of my mentors from afar. We did meet once when we filmed him for the movie, but for the most part, I’ve been reading his books for years and he’s one of the most brilliant authors and teachers of all time. And Robin Sharma taught a strategy I learned many years ago from him called opposition thinking.
And opposition thinking, it’s a very simple strategy. When you find yourself experiencing an unpleasant emotion or you find yourself experiencing fear or self-doubt or insecurity, opposition thinking is you simply ask the question, what would the opposite of that thought be? What was the opposite thought of I might fail be? I might succeed. Well, that feels different, I might succeed. And for most possibilities, there’s just as likely a likelihood as the things that you’re afraid of are actually going to go well.
My fear of death of cancer for the time that I had it before I used these strategies to replace it, to get free from it, which I really did, but when I had that fear that I could die, the opposition thing was wait, I can live. You know what? That feels better. That thought, that focus feels a lot better. The power of opposition thinking is that when you’re experiencing a thought that doesn’t feel good, that doesn’t serve you, that causes you to suffer, that causes you unnecessary stress and anxiety and fear, you can ask yourself, what’s the opposite of that? And then, just as the thought is the opposite of the thought that’s causing you those stressful, painful emotions, the opposite thought will bring about the opposite emotions, therefore, positive, hopeful, inspiring, optimistic emotions by simply changing your thinking, using opposition thinking. So that is a strategy I highly recommend.
And again, you can put that in your affirmations to remind you, you could say something like, whenever I experience a thought that doesn’t serve me or causes me inner turmoil, I will ask myself, what is the opposite of that thought? And then, I will dwell in that emotional state, I’ll dive into that possibility, that paradigm, instead of the one I’m afraid of, because again, it’s good to be aware, but not afraid. And when you dwell in fear and remain afraid, it has so many detrimental consequences, which we touched on today and we talked a lot about on last week’s episode.
And then last, but not least and this is the practice that I want to invite you to bring into your Miracle Morning or into any part of your life, any part of the day and it’s the practice that I’ve been touching on for the last few, I don’t know, weeks, months, I don’t know how long, I don’t have a good perception of time, but it’s funny, my wife will always tease me, I’ll be like, yeah, it’s been six months since that happened. And she was, sweetheart, either, she goes, that was 10 days ago or she’s like, that was three years ago. It’s like, I’m always way off. So, anyway, in six months, that’s usually my default. I’m like, I think it was like six months. And she said, No, it was like 10 years ago.
But anyway, here’s the point. I’ve been talking a lot about emotional optimization meditation. Now, what’s really neat is I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from you, from our listeners, from members of the Miracle Morning community in the Facebook group, from people that watched the movie because I talked about this in the training that went on after the world premiere, the movie, the live experience. Emotional optimization meditation or what people are already coining, it’s funny, I saw in a few posts, EOM, I’m like, what’s EOM? And then, I figured it out. I’m like, oh, EOM, it’s a thing now, okay, cool.
So, anyway, emotional optimization meditation is where you ask yourself, which emotion would best serve me in this moment, on this day, at this time in my life, and then you create a stimulus that inspires, instills, evokes that emotion within you, a stimulus being a thought, an image, a memory. So, if you experience the emotion you want to experience is excitement, you think of what gets me excited or when was the last time that I was excited about something. And you think of that thing and you visualize it, you imagine it, close your eyes and you set your timer, once you’re in that emotional state and you just, it’s a funny word, but marinate, you marinate in that state. And what you’re doing is you’re creating new neural pathways that make being in that emotional state easier and more natural and more normal, in fact, becoming your norm.
So, if you want to be happy, you use emotional optimization meditation to feel happy every morning and it’s like training for your mind and your nervous system in the same way going to the gym is training for your muscles, so that they get stronger. Well, in doing the emotional optimization meditation, your emotions get stronger, the emotions that you are intentionally choosing to integrate into your EOM, your emotional optimization meditation. So, what does this have to do with fear? So, what I’m encouraging you to do is to replace fear with the emotional states that you want to experience and use EOM, emotional optimization meditation, I’m not comfortable enough to say EOM yet without reminding you what it stands for, but use your emotional optimization meditation to reinforce the emotions that serve you. And what’s a great nuance to this is to use this with the opposition thinking.
So, when you think, well, what is the opposite of feeling fear? Or what are the thoughts that cause me fear and then, what are the opposite thoughts that cause me the opposite of emotions, whether that opposite is love, or joy, or optimism or whatever your opposite of fear is? And then, once you get that emotional state, what I would do is, you can’t just ignore the fear, going back to what I said earlier about acknowledging your fear and embracing your fear, I would actually start your meditation by just taking a few moments, maybe 30 seconds or a minute to think about the thing that you’re afraid of and to greet it with the opposite emotional state. And then set your timer and sit with it, marinate in that state. And if you can even visualize the thing you’re afraid of while being in that state, I think it’s that much more powerful because now you’re creating new neural pathways specific to the fear and conditioning a new emotional response to the fear, the object of your fear and the emotional response is no longer fear. It’s now faith or excitement or optimism or resilience or whatever it is. And if you do that every day, that object of your fear will no longer evoke fear within you, it will evoke the new emotional state that you have chosen.
So, those are my primary strategies for you to give yourself freedom from fear. The question is, will you do these things? Did you write down the affirmations? Will you read them every day? Will you update them as needed? And will you practice emotional optimization meditation with this nuance that I gave you to begin your meditation by first visualizing the thing that you’re afraid of, the object of your fear? And then, asking yourself, what’s the opposite of that? What’s the opposite emotional state that accompanies the opposite of the fear that you have and then get into that state and embrace and experience the object of your fear with the new emotional state.
Do that every day for, I would imagine you’re going to see results your first day doing this, I shouldn’t say imagine, I’d done this. Through experience, I can tell you, as soon as you start doing it, you’re like, Whoa, this is so cool. I am thinking of the thing that I’m afraid of that normally causes me fear and/or anxiety, but I’m greeting it from an emotional state of love or confidence or whatever peace of mind, whatever it is for you. You go, Wow, this thing I was afraid of for so long, I’m no longer afraid of it, there’s no fear.
And I think if you watch the Miracle Morning movie, a good example of this, if you watched the movie, and if you haven’t, it’s on Amazon, by the way. And by the way, if you speak a foreign language, I don’t have the list in front of me, but Italian, French, German, simplified Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, what else? I’m forgetting the others, but it’s on Vimeo. So, the only way right now to get it and translated into languages, it was for us to do it on Vimeo. So, you can find it on Vimeo, but if you want it on Amazon Prime, it’s in English right now on Amazon and we are waiting for Amazon, not to complain, but they’re taking a long time to get the languages figured out.
So, anyway, that was a tangent. Where was I going with that? Oh, if you watch the movie, there was a scene where I was bawling. I was in the hospital, I had been on pain management for, I think, like 10 days at that point, where I was in so much pain, there was no removing the pain. There was simply making it as tolerable as possible, but it was horrific. In fact, I would just do anything I could just to sleep all day, every day because I could not handle the pain, I mean, I did, but it was so unbearable. And if you watch that scene in the movie, I’m in tears. I’m like, literally I can barely talk, but I’m talking about how this doesn’t change how grateful I am for having cancer because I do believe that if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.
And I’m saying all this while I am experiencing horrific pain. And so, the point is, you can respond with any emotional state so long as you condition it, which is what the daily emotional optimization meditation does. I had conditioned the state of gratitude for so long in my life, for well over a decade that even in the midst of the most difficult time in my life, it didn’t change my state, my emotions were the same. Physically I was in pain. Emotionally, I was at peace with all of it. I was practicing equanimity as my mindfulness mentor Julianna Raye teaches. So, that’s it. That’s my strategy for you in terms of how you can begin to gain freedom from fear.
And it’s not a long process, like I said, day one of doing this emotional optimization meditation with the nuance of visualizing the object of your fear while you respond in the optimal emotional state that you choose, immediately, upon doing that, you could have a fear that has consumed you for years and you realize, wow, I’m in control. I’m in control of whether or not I suffer from fear from this thing that I am afraid of. I don’t have to greet that thing, that thought of that thing with fear, I can greet it with love and patience and peace and optimism and all the things.
And then, combining that with your affirmations, if you integrate that in your Miracle Morning every day and you do that, I’m telling you, I’m promising you, but I would really love to hear from you because don’t take my word for it, like I want to hear what your experience is. So, please in the comments below this podcast or last week’s podcast, halelrod.com/355, that was last week’s episode.
Today’s episode, you can find it halelrod.com/356 and please leave a comment below or write a review on iTunes like, whatever is easier for you. I would love to hear from you how this landed for you. So, right off the bat, if you’re listening to this now, please leave me a quick comment at halelrod.com/356 for today’s episode. And if you want to come back and let me know how it works for you after a few days or after a week, I would love to hear that, too. Anytime you are teaching or sharing something, nobody’s here, I’m talking to a microphone and a computer. I don’t know if this is going to land for you, if it’s going to impact you, I hope that it does, though, I really, really do.
That’s it and then, next week, we’re going to talk about How to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever after the blank show that we had in 2020 for a lot of us, a lot of people. So, maybe you had a great year in 2020, I hope you did. I mean, in a lot of ways, I had one of my best years ever, but it was the most difficult year ever which seems to be one in the same. I think I’d love to have just the best year ever, that’s just easy and fun and did, all right, like not a lot of challenges, but let’s shoot for that for 2021.
All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, I love you more than you know, I really do. I really appreciate you. I’m grateful that you listen today. And if you haven’t left a review for the podcast, please do so on iTunes. And if you haven’t watched the Miracle Morning movie yet, you can get it on Amazon Prime, you can rent it or buy it there. And if you don’t know, I don’t have a link for it, but if you go to Amazon and you just type in, Miracle Morning movie, I think it’ll come up for you. So, love you guys and gals. I will talk to y’all next week when we talk about how to have your best year ever in 2021. Talk to you then.
To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!