Recently I’ve been reading a book called Letting Go by David Hawkins. It is an incredible, life-changing read, and I highly urge you to get yourself a copy if you’re struggling with your past. The whole concept behind the book is that human beings harbor tons of negative emotions which hold them back, one of which is fear.
Think of how many things that fear has stopped you from doing. Has fear stopped you from talking to that pretty girl? Has fear crippled you, and prevented you from seeking out a new job? Has fear stopped you from living life to the fullest?
Fear comes in many forms—fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of retaliation, fear of loss…but all fear has one thing in common. It all stems from one common place, and if you learn to see it for what it is, you can live life fearlessly.
In this article I would like to dissect the emotion of fear, and how to overcome it—if you’re a man who lives in anxiety, this article is for you.
Fear Holds You Back
Before I begin to really dissect what fear is, how it operates, and how to get rid of it, I would first like to hammer home one point: fear causes you to miss out.
I would have never had multiple relationships with beautiful women, had I been too afraid to approach them and introduce myself. Had I been too afraid of rejection, I would have never gotten to know them.
I would have never started Masculine Development had I been afraid of failure. I would have never been able to make a living helping other men enhance their lives, if I had been too afraid to pull the trigger.
Fear comes in many forms, but they all hold you back:
- Fear of rejection prevents you from putting yourself out there
- Fear of failure prevents you from taking on new challenges
- Fear of embarrassment prevents you from improving your weaknesses
- Fear of ANYTHING prevents you from living life.
Unfortunately, despite the negative consequences of living in fear, this is the default state for most men. Most men are too afraid to go out and try something new, lest they bruise their ego. You see this a lot with pickup.
So many guys cling to this image of “I’m a total player,” and don’t want to go out and potentially get rejected by a girl, which would shatter their ego to pieces. Plenty of guys refuse to go to the gym, too—because they’re afraid of fully accepting their weakness or obesity.
Fear is the enemy: it prevents you from living life to the fullest. Therefore, if you want to be the best man you can be, you must learn to live fearlessly.
The Root of Fear
In order to get rid of fear, you must understand the root of fear…and interestingly enough, it isn’t what you’d think. A lot of mainstream psychologists and self-help gurus would tell you that fear is a root in and of itself.
They would say that the root of sadness is fear, the root of love is fear, and so on and so forth. However, Dr. David Hawkins (and I as well) would disagree with this—in many ways, the root of fear is actually anger.
Yes, you read that right: the root of fear is anger.
Let us use an example to clarify. Let’s take a fear that is very common for a lot of men: approaching women. So many guys have difficulty talking to beautiful women that they don’t know. Why is this?
Well, a lot of guys would say that they don’t want to get rejected. That’s only on the surface, though. If you dig deep, you’ll find that most of the time, it’s because at some point in your life, a girl made you angry.
Maybe when you were in middle school, and you asked a pretty girl out to the dance—maybe she gave you a harsh rejection. You probably felt sad and depressed, but you were also very angry at her for making you feel this way.
Fear of talking to women is really just anger towards women for making you feel bad.
An Example to Clarify
A while back, I was at a party with my buddy. We were walking around, meeting people and flirting with the girls, when one girl hit me in the face. She didn’t even intend to hit me in the face, she was talking and made a gesture that accidentally hit me in the face.
So, I jokingly said: “Haha did you just hit me in the face?” expecting her to apologize, but be cool about it since I didn’t take her action personally. But, instead of being a normal, emotionally healthy human being, she actually got mad at me.
“Why were you standing there?” she spat. I didn’t even know what to say. What the hell was this girl talking about? Then, to make matters worse, some chode who was probably trying to bang her spoke up: “Yeah, dude. Why were you standing there?”
Great, thanks dude. I just looked at them puzzled and confused, because after all, she’d just smacked me in the face. She then proceeded to spill her drink on me while angrily glaring at me.
I was pretty taken aback. It felt pretty awful to have someone hate you so much for no reason.
After this little event, I found it very difficult to talk to women—even weeks afterwards. I was going through a plateau in my game, and I didn’t realize that it was because of this girl.
I kept getting rejected; I couldn’t understand how just a couple months ago, I was pulling girls within 15 minutes, and now, I couldn’t even talk to a girl I didn’t know. What was the cause? Well, after doing some deep introspection (a part of game is reflecting on your experiences) I came to the root of the problem.
I was angry at this girl for treating me the way she did, and I hadn’t let go of the anger.
This was causing my current fear. Upon realizing this, I was shocked to say the least. And in fact, it brought up a lot of other issues I hadn’t dealt with. I was angry at one of my ex-girlfriends for cheating on me, I was angry at a girl in middle school…I was angry at a bunch of girls that had hurt me in the past.
But, once I accepted this, I got over my plateau and my game went to a whole new level. This is the power of accepting your anger; it will eliminate your fear.
The Levels of Consciousness
The reason why accepting your anger works so well for getting rid of fear is because anger has a higher energetic potential than fear. In other words, it’s easier to take action when you’re angry than when you’re afraid.
And, what’s more, is that when you accept your anger, you can then move up to courage, which makes it even easier to take action. This is all elaborated in what Hawkins has coined the “Levels of Consciousness,” which he talks about in depth in all of his books (particularly Power vs. Force, however, which is one of my favorite books on spirituality).
The idea is that each emotion is correlated with a certain level of power, or level of consciousness—they’re more than emotions though. Each level is an entire way of life, and ideally as you get older and grow as a human being, you transcend your previous world view and move onto the next.
Take, for example, the state of apathy; it’s very low down on the levels of consciousness, because when you’re apathetic, it’s extremely difficult to bring about change in your life. If you’re apathetic, you just don’t see the point in things.
This is why apathy has a low log, coming in at 50. It’s important to understand that this is more than just a mere emotion, however—it’s an entire lifestyle. It’s an entire world view.
You’re apathetic about your job, so you don’t try to get a better one. You’re apathetic about your mind, so you don’t read books that expand your intellect. You don’t see the point in working hard to build a better life, or learning game to go find the girl of your dreams. You’ve almost given up.
Blasting Through World-Views
But, say that you decide to make a change in your life—something pushes you to improve. You don’t know what it is, but you feel as if there’s an invisible force pushing you to change things, so you do some introspection. After months of intense meditation, you discover that you were really just apathetic, because the world hurt you so deeply early on. Maybe you had a terribly abusive childhood, or you were very severely bullied.
So, because the emotions were too painful to deal with at the time, you just shut them down and repressed everything—this is what caused you to be apathetic. It was a defense mechanism, a way to avoid dealing with painful emotions.
Then, just like that, you get blasted through to the next level of consciousness; you move onto grief.
Because you brought up the negative emotions, you’re no longer apathetic. You feel an intense feeling of grief—pain, suffering, anguish, hurt, sadness, loss. It isn’t pleasant, but at least you now have more power than you did before.
Before, you were too apathetic to have any power in your own life. Grief isn’t much better, but it’s leaps and bounds beyond where you were. So, say that you deal with the old emotions and fully accept them. After spending some time to do this, you get catapulted into the level of fear.
Now, you’ve let go of the old negative emotions, but you’re afraid of feeling them again—you’re afraid of confronting your parents, of getting bullied, or of getting rejected, because these things are what caused you so much pain before.
But hey, at least fear gives you more power than grief. Now, you can take action to try to avoid these things and prevent them from happening. But, say that you aren’t satisfied…say that you don’t want to live life in fear anymore, so you want to move on.
Most men, unfortunately, live in a constant state of fear. They’re afraid that they’ll lose their jobs, they’re afraid of looking dumb, or of being rejected. They’re afraid of their emotions, they’re afraid of admitting to their failures, and they’re afraid of living life.
This will not do. I lived in fear for a very long time, and now I’m going to show you how to move past fear.
Remember, however—this is much more than a simple emotion, it’s an entire way of life. When people are stuck in the fearful level of consciousness, they exist in a constant state of anxiety. They’re always trying to avoid pain rather than seek pleasure.
This is the key to moving past fear: when you’re in a state of fear, you’re always looking at what could go wrong.
- I could lose my job!
- I could go broke and become homeless!
- She could reject me and hurt my ego!
- I could look stupid!
- Could, could, could COULD
The fundamental shift between fear and desire is that with fear, you look at what could go wrong. With desire, you look at what could go RIGHT!
Take a look at some of the examples below; on the left is what a fearful person might think, and on the right is what someone in the desire level of consciousness might think:
- “I could go broke if I start that business!” vs. “I could make millions!”
- “She could reject me!” vs. “She could accept me!”
- “I could look stupid!” vs. “I could look cool!”
- “I’m afraid.” vs. “I want that!”
Do you see the subtle shift? Now, obviously being in a state of desire isn’t ideal, but remember: this is about slowly moving forward and getting better. You’re not going to reach “enlightenment,” overnight, and frankly only a handful of people have ever reached that level (even Einstein only reached level 499).
Which World-View Are You In?
Out of all of the books that I’ve ever read, Power vs. Force was definitely one of the most life-changing ones. It was Hawkins’ first book, and it laid out the framework for his “Levels of Consciousness” theory.
Beyond this, Letting Go (the book I mentioned at the beginning) is what’s helped me move up the scale the most. Power vs. Force gives the best explanation of the levels, whereas Letting Go is the best guide to transcending them.
I want you to look up onto the chart and ask yourself: “Which level am I in?”
If you’re like most men, you probably calibrate at around 100 (the level of fear). If this is you, the best thing for you to do is accept you fear. Fully accept it. Sit alone, by yourself, and meditate (if you don’t know how then read my quick guide). Notice the feelings that come up, that you’ve been ignoring.
Then, once the emotions come up, let them in. Experience them in their entirety. Maybe you’ll cry, or start to hyperventilate. Maybe you’ll experience a surge of anger at yourself for missing so many opportunities, and you’ll start to yell and scream.
Whatever happens, fully experience it—don’t resist it. Don’t hide from it.
It can help to state out loud what you’re experiencing. “I feel terrified,” or “I’m afraid that I’m going to die alone,” or “I’m angry at myself for not keeping my commitments,” or whatever it is. Fully accept it. Even though it may be painful, acceptance of your negative emotions is the only way to transcend old ways of thinking.
When you repress emotions and refuse to experience them, you hold yourself back—let the fear in, and embrace it. This is truly the only way to move on with your life.
In summary, most men live in a state of fear. They’re afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, afraid of social pressure, afraid of criticism, and afraid of fear itself.
But, if you wish to live a fulfilling life, it is crucial to fully accept the fear and experience it in its entirety. Let it in. Embrace it, and it will set you free. Eventually, once you learn to accept your fears, you will slowly start to move up the levels of consciousness.
Eventually, after months of accepting your emotions and getting in touch with yourself, you’ll break through to the critical point: the level of courage. From here, your life view is one of hope. It’s one of happiness and positivity.
I’ll be writing a lot more on how to transcend old world views and move past negative emotions in the future, but for now, I recommend that you meditate every day—I make it a priority to meditate 40 minutes a day, sometimes more.
Trust me. It will change your life. As always, I hope that you guys enjoyed the article, and I’ll see you next time.
Just wanted to say thanks for this article. I read it last night, then went a head and downloaded “Letting Go” to my Audible. I’m about 4 chapters in so far and already got so much food for thought.
I always considered myself somewhat well-read on the topic of spirituality and consciousness, but strangely, I’ve never heard of this author before. So thanks again for the recommendation.
His consciousness scale is really interesting. Although it’s just a mental model, it’s immensely useful to understand the world and ourselves. I gained clarity on my rocky relationship with my father, and why I had so much repressed anger throughout my twenties despite my best attempt to act like a good boy.
Another thing that became quite obvious to me while listening to this book was that some cultures are clearly higher on the consciousness scale than others.
I’m currently an immigrant in a Nordic country and I would describe the society collectively as at least 250 or above. In recent years there are so many new comers here whose level of consciousness oscillates somewhere between 125 and 175. This gap between the two groups produces more misunderstanding and conflict than most of the world is aware of – the media won’t talk about it. But it’s simmering under the surface.
I have no idea how to help the troublemakers to level up so that everybody could get along here. I’m not sure if it’s even possible. Because when people think that all the answers they need to know were written down in a book 2000 years ago, then there’s not much discuss with them.
But I will take the next step on my own journey for sure – the only path I have control over. I’m probably going to check out Hawkins’ other books as well. I definitely felt a surge of anger after my 29th birthday for wasting so many opportunities in my twenties, but I’m not going to let this happen again.
Glad that you’ve gained so much out of the book 🙂
Yes, this is definitely something that the media doesn’t want to talk about. The only thing that you can do is just accept them for what they are, my friend. Trying to change someone will cause them to unconsciously resist you.
The best way to change the world, is to first change yourself – read Power vs. Force (another one of Hawkins’ books). Talks about how just one human being at the level of 1,000 can permanently alter the course of human history
Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna were the only 3 human beings who ever calibrated this high. Einstein, Nietzsche, and Aristotle were at 499, so as you can see, just improving yourself by a hundred points or so has a HUGE impact on the world 🙂
Once the mind quietens down from meditating, how can I direct the meditation to focus on bringing up these emotions and work through them? I’m new to meditation so I’m not sure how to direct it effectively. What kind of questions have you asked yourself?
Great question. What you’ll find is that if you just focus on your body, the emotions will come up.
For example, you might feel a sinking feeling in your chest. Then, ask yourself: “Is this sadness? Fear? Guilt?” and really FOCUS on the feeling.
Soon, it will amplify, and you can fully experience it. After you fully experience it, you will feel a huge surge of relief and energy – this means that you successfully released the emotion.
Also, remember this: 99% of the thoughts that come up during meditation are really only reflections of underlying emotions.
Fearful thoughts, angry thoughts, guilty thoughts, etc. are only coming up due to underlying emotions. Once you get rid of the emotions, the thoughts stop bothering you 🙂