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Recognizing and Overcoming Subconscious Fear

I know that I was meant to be here, and I know that I was born into fear. But I will stand tall in the lion’s den, cause I know in my heart I am one of them. ~ Satsung, I Am

Fear - it’s something we all experience. It's an energy that gets lodged into our minds and hearts,

causing us to feel anxious about the future or paralyzed in the present. Fear can hold us back from

taking risks and growing into our fullest potential; it can hold us back in conversations because of a deep sense of insecurity that runs through us. It can direct our path in life, causing us to make choices that are not in line with who we want and need to be. Fear affects each one of us on a daily basis, but how can we identify how it manifests in our lives and if we’re able to do that, what do we do about it?

To understand and overcome the subconscious fear within us requires deep self-exploration and inner

work, but the freedom that comes from operating without the fear we’ve held on to for so long is more

than worth every effort. When we overcome the fear that holds us back, we get to experience what life

feels like without that heavy baggage, and make decisions without the veil of fear guiding us to familiar

or easier things. Fear clouds our perception of ourselves, others, the world, our life, our purpose. When

we overcome the subconscious fear that plays a role in our life, we open ourselves up to seeing things as they really are.

If you feel like fear might be playing a role in your life and you want to overcome it, you have embarked

on a path that is often treacherous, but always fulfilling. Identifying where our fear comes from often

involves facing things we might have been avoiding or accepting things we have been denying, and this can be a difficult, even painful process. But the more we learn about our fear, the more we can

understand ourselves and our tendencies, and where fear may have misdirected us. In this post, we’ll

talk more about subconscious fear and how it affects our lives and learn about ways we can identify and work with it to enjoy a happier, more authentic life.

hands with smoke representing subconcious fear

Recognizing the Signs of Fear

There are two kinds of fear: One arises from the threat of physical danger. This happens when you

almost get side-swiped by a semi on the highway, or when you see your child get hurt. This type of fear

is a natural response to danger, and it is a critical part of our human survival instinct. The other is

subconscious fear, fear that is not related to a current event. This enigmatic force, rooted in the depths

of our psyche, manifests itself in mysterious and unpredictable ways throughout our lives. Fear that

resides in the subconscious realm may manifest differently compared to the fear we experience in the

face of tangible danger, so identifying its presence within us can pose a greater challenge.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can have a profound impact on our lives. It's not always easy to

recognize the signs of fear, especially when they are buried deep within our subconscious. For some,

fear may show up as avoidance or procrastination, while for others, it may manifest as physical

symptoms like increased heart rate or sweating. Those of us who are extra lucky experience fear on all

levels, presenting a particularly challenging onion to peel. The subconscious fear we hold plays a

significant role in the trajectory of our lives, if we let it. By becoming more aware of the ways in which

fear can impact our behavior, we can take steps to overcome it and live with more courage and


The human experience is a complex one, and fear is one of the many emotions that can shape our

worldview, perception of ourselves and others, decisions, and ultimately, our life path. Fear can

manifest in a variety of ways, from a general sense of unease to specific phobias that can be debilitating. When we allow fear to dictate our actions, it can hold us back from reaching our full potential and living our best life. However, it's important to note that fear is also a warning, a sign that there is something we need to acknowledge, something we need to heal. In this way, fear can serve as a motivator that drives us to become the best version of ourselves.

Signs of Fear – Physical
  •  Muscle tension and/or pain

  •  Frequent headaches or migraines

  •  Insomnia or other sleep problems

  •  Loss of appetite

  •  Decreased interest in things like sex, social activities, etc.

  •  Teeth grinding or subconscious tightening of the jaw

Signs of Fear – Mental/Emotional
  •  Distractibility and/or disorganization

  •  Avoidance of risk

  •  Fear of success/failure

  •  Overly strong emotions, emotional overwhelm

  •  Intrusive and/or ruminating thoughts

  •  Feelings of depression, guilt, shame

For me, fear manifests in the form of anxiety, and all its unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms.

It affects my decision-making; I’ll aim low out of fear, or too high in an attempt to overcompensate.

More recently, I learned that fear often presents itself to me through anger. It’s easy to look at these

issues at symptom-level: You’re having anxiety? You should probably see a doctor and get a

prescription anxiety medication. You make inconsistent decisions? Obviously, you have a mood

disorder of some sort; there’s mediation for that too. Anger? See previous answers. When we consider

applying the lens of fear to these issues, we can start to look at different solutions. This is not to say

that conquering fear solves all of life’s problems……but it definitely helps.

Finding the Root Cause of Fear

Before we can overcome our fears, we must first understand where they come from. Fear can be

rooted in childhood experiences, past traumas, current stressors, and many other things that are often

just part of the life we were given. Somewhere along the course of our life, something happened that

scared us, to the core. It may have been a single event or an ongoing threat, or even a combination of

the two. We hold on to this fear well after the event has occurred, and it gets lodged deep within our

subconscious. When we’re faced with a similar situation, or even simply have thoughts of a similar

situation, the fear response happens without our knowledge or control. Months, years, and decades of

this creates an automatic response that infiltrates other areas of life.

Understanding the root cause of our fears can offer valuable insights and serve as a springboard for

personal development. By openly acknowledging and delving into the origins of our fears, we empower ourselves to effectively confront them. For instance, if we realize that our fear stems from witnessing our parents engaging in conflict during our upbringing, we can actively work through that experience. Similarly, if our fears are rooted in feelings of inadequacy and a lack of self-worth, we can directly address these issues. By directly addressing these tangible aspects, we can make the insidious concept of fear more manageable and approachable.

Fear and Ayahuasca

Identifying and facing fear is especially important when working with Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca brings to

the surface things that are holding us back in life, and for many of us, that’s fear. We might be able to

push it aside in our daily life, but during an Ayahuasca ceremony that is no longer an option; we are

often forced to see things we’ve stuffed down, covered up, or maybe even aren’t aware of. Most of the

ceremonies I’ve participated in involved coming face-to-face with intense fear. At first, I was very

confused by this; why was Ayahuasca trying to scare the shit out of me? When I tried to fight the fear or

look away from it, it became worse.

The times I stayed with the experience and forced myself to look at what was scaring me, I was elevated to a place of healing I had never accessed before, or even knew existed. Although I felt growth after each ceremony, I was still unclear on why the growth sometimes needed to come in the form of terror. I started to see that fear was a theme in my ceremonies because it is a theme in my life. Fear oozes from my pores, and has been affecting every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember. Ayahuasca is teaching me, slowly but surely, that overcoming fear and staying in the present moment are my lifelines, and need to be at the center of my attention.

Ayahuasca has a way of showing us the purpose in our pain, and this can be extremely helpful when

working with fear. Ayahuasca can help expand our perspective, allowing us to see the intricate tapestry

of our lives from a broader vantage point. It offers the insight that the challenges and obstacles we face

are not random or chaotic, but rather integral components of a divine plan. When pain and suffering

don’t scare us, we won’t experience the fear that comes with anticipation and avoidance of them. We

can begin to appreciate the interconnectedness of all our experiences and gain a profound sense of

reassurance that everything is ultimately unfolding as it should.

Strategies for Overcoming Fear

  • Self-reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth and understanding, particularly when it comes to examining our subconscious fears. While most of us are aware of our surface-level insecurities or anxieties, digging deeper into the root of our fears can provide a greater sense of clarity and empowerment. By taking the time to reflect on past experiences and examining our thoughts and emotions, we can begin to unravel the complex motivations behind our fears. It's not always easy to confront these hidden fears, but acknowledging and shining a light on them is the first step in overcoming them. In this way, self-reflection can be crucial for anyone looking to confront their subconscious fears and move towards a more fulfilling and authentic life.

  • Challenge your mental stories – Fear often arises because we tell ourselves a horrifying story about how something will turn out. In these moments, it's important to remind ourselves that these stories are not reflective of reality. It's also crucial to recognize that things seldom unfold as we anticipate. Embracing this understanding can help shift our perspective from being consumed by fear to simply observing it.

  • Strengthen your connection with Source – Connecting with Source, the divine energy that flows through all things, can be a powerful tool in overcoming subconscious fear. By tapping into this energy and embracing its wisdom, we can learn to release negative thought patterns and fear- based responses and tendencies. Ayahuasca is amongst the many transformative tools that can help build and strengthen this connection. It can guide us on a journey of self-discovery and introspection, providing insights that enable us to align more closely with our spiritual essence and the greater cosmic energy of the Universe.

  • Bring the subconscious into your conscious – By identifying how fear manifests for us, we can start to see patterns in our thoughts, words, and behaviors that we can pinpoint as fear responses. This brings a previously-unnoticed concept into our conscious mind where we can separate ourselves from it and redirect with mindfulness.

  • Change your perception of fear – Although we’ve been talking about fear in a negative way, it’s important to remember that fear is also a sign. Subconscious fear doesn’t arise from nothing, so we can think of it as an opportunity for deeper exploration and understanding of ourselves. Seeing our fear as something we can benefit from helps us be more willing and motivated to face it.

  • Try a guided meditation or hypnosis – Visualization can be extremely helpful in understanding the nature of our fear. These techniques allow us to access our subconscious mind, where our fears reside, and help us become more aware of them. Once we bring them into our conscious awareness, we can address them and release them. Guided meditation and self-hypnosis can also help us develop coping mechanisms to manage our fears when they arise.

With conscious effort, we can become aware of our fear, determine where it comes from, accept it, and

work towards overcoming it. It's not an easy task, but there is no meaningful reward without effort.

Taking small steps can go a long way in gradually building strength and confidence within oneself. If fear is biasing your decisions or holding you back from seizing opportunities, then it’s time that you took a stand for yourself. Use self-reflection as your ally to know the root cause of your fears and take positive steps to conquer them. Life isn't meant to be lived in constant turmoil; instead take control of fear before it takes control of you! If fear is affecting your life, take time to study it, reflect on it, and take steps to overcome so that you can live life more confidently and happily!


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