Overcome Fear by Spinning It

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Spinning Is A Physical And Emotional Exercise

The exercise called spinning is used to eliminate fear and change the way that we feel about a variety of things. It uses imagination, physical activity, mental calculation and a variety of other methods to get our whole body working together to overcome the negative emotion.

Spinning is one of my favorite techniques to overcome fear. I use it all the time, whenever I find something that is blocking me or stopping me from being successful. It’s a great tool to quickly deal with and eliminate fears.

The Spinning Exercise

Probably the easiest way to explain spinning is to walk you through the exercise step-by-step. Please don't just imagine or just think about doing the exercise, physically act it out.  It will be many times more effective by physically doing it as opposed to just imagining it.

After the exercise, I’ll explain how it part works in eliminating fears.

Step 1

Pick a fear that you have in your life. Start with something small. Not the worst fear you have. I know you want to get rid of those major fears but for now pick something in the range of about a 5 or less on a scale of 1 to 10 . Since this is a brand new skill that you’re learning, we don’t want to overwhelm you by picking something huge and nasty at first.

Imagine you experiencing that fear. Really feel it. See in your mind’s eye. Experience all the circumstances and events that causes that fear to plague your life.

Step 2

Give that fear a number rating from 1 to 10,, with 1 being no problem at all, and 10 being overwhelming. Remember what what you rate it as.

Step 3

As you feel that fear, you’ll notice the fear is also located some place in your body. You may feel it as butterflies in the stomach or something rising in your throat.  Create an imaginary attachment between the fear and the place in your body where you feel it.  Identify the spot in your body where that fear exists.

All emotions affect our body in certain ways. Our mind uses locations in our body to trigger things it wants us to remember.

All emotions affect our body in certain ways. Our mind uses locations in our body to trigger things it wants us to remember.

Imagine that fear existing as a mass of energy someplace in your body.

Step 4

Now that you’ve identified where that energy exist in your body, notice that it has a color. What color is it?

Step 5

With your hands, reach-in and grab hold of that fear energy and pull it out and hold it in front of you. Keep grabbing and pulling until you get it all, that stuff hides.  It may hide behind something or in other places, get it all.

Keep pulling and grabbing and get it all out in front of your body. You can take as long as you want. Make sure that you got it all.

When you’ve got it all, I want you to look at it again. Did it change color?

Step 6

As you hold that mass of energy in front of you, you will now notice that that it is moving. It’s spinning in a certain direction, notice which way it’s spinning.

Let’s test it to make sure you got the right stuff. In whatever direction it’s spinning, spin a little faster in the same direction.

How does that make you feel? You’ll probably notice that you feel more fearful.

Now spin it in the opposite direction. You should notice that you feel better as you spin it in the opposite direction, less fearful.

What I want you to increase the speed of that spin.  Spin it with your hands faster and faster. Keep spinning it until it takes on a life of its own. Spin it so fast that nothing can change the good feeling that you now feel.  When the confidence feels unstoppable, slam that energy back into the spot where you pulled it from. You will feel a rush of energy, and the fear that was represented by that energy is now gone, replaced by confidence.

Doesn’t it feel amazing.

Step 7

Rate that fear again, on the same one to ten scale. You’ll notice that it probably is reduced by quite a bit. It may be 0 and gone away all together.

If you still feel some of that fear, you can repeat the exercise again and reduce it even more.

Now let’s talk about the psychology behind spinning.

The Psychology Behind Spinning

Imagining fear makes it a thing that can be changed

The first thing I asked you to do was to feel a fear. Nothing happens in our life without an emotion attached to it. By feeling the emotion we are telling our mind and body that this is what we want to deal with.

By asking you to identify and rate the fear, we are nominalizing it. We are  moving it from an emotion that nebulous and can be sometimes overwhelming, and making it into a object that we can look at it and examine. Now that it’s a object we can change it.

As with anything, this fear now has characteristics. It has a location. It has a color. It has movement. By noticing each of these characteristics, we are further transforming this fear into something that is tangible. Something that we can manipulate and change.

Giving it rating on the scale of 1 to 10 we make it more defined.

This tactic is used in hospitals all the time in relationship to pain. The nurses and doctors will ask you what is your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Rating it makes it something that we can look at it objectively, as opposed to something that is is all-encompassing and beyond our control.

Fear Resides In The Body

In Western Society, we have this tendency to separate the body from the mind. Logic and and emotions are thought to be things of the mind, Pain and other physical symptoms are are thought to be parts of the body. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything that we feel has a corresponding place in the body where we feel the effects of it. Fear cab affect us as an ache in the pit of the stomach, or butterflies in the chest, or a rising feeling of doom in the throat. We may all feel it in different places but we feel it in the body.

By asking you to identify where that fear located in your body, we are uniting the mind and body together. There are multiple reasons for this.

Physical Action Beats Willpower Every Time

If we think we can overcome fear by sheer willpower, we are sadly mistaken. Willpower isn't strong enough. If you are feeling sick or are exhausted or haven’t had anything to eat in a while, your willpower just won’t cut it. Roy Baumister in his book on will power talks about will power being a finite resource. It is dependent on the amount of blood sugar in your system and the amount of sleep you had.

If you’re depending on willpower to overcome your fear it’s not going to work all the time, if at all.

An Experiment In Feeling Good

Let’s do another experiment. I want you to imagine a time in your life when you felt very powerful and unafraid. Assume the posture of that time. I want you to stand like you stood at that time, feel like you felt at that time.

Notice your posture, how you standing or sitting.  It's probably very upright and straight.

Now without changing your posture, I want you to try to feel bad. Notice that you can’t do that. If you want to feel bad, you’ll have to change your posture. 

 The posture of feeling bad and depressed is slumping with you head down and curling up.  Think about were most people work.  Slumped down in front of a computer screen in a cubicle.  It's no wonder so many are depressed.

The exercise works the other way too. Remember a time when you felt bad or depressed or fearful. Assume the posture and body position of that time. I want you to sit or stand like you did. Let your body go to like it was when you felt that bad emotion or experience.

Now try to feel good.  Notice how difficult it is to feel good when you maintain the posture of feeling bad. Willpower alone cannot make you feel better.

Let’s try one more thing. Stay with the feeling bad emotion but change the way that you sit or stand into the posture of feeling good, while trying to feel bad. Notice how difficult it is to keep feeling bad when you assume the posture of feeling good.

Physical activity beats emotion every time. That’s why we get the physical body involved in this spinning exercise. Moving the body and performing the actions of pulling out the fearful emotion changes the emotions.

We are teaching the body and the mind that you have control over that emotion. You can move it. You can change it.  You can overcome your fear.

Physically Manipulating the  Energy Teaches Our Body That We Can Control Our Fear

Turning and spinning that imagined mass of energy and noticing that it changes, shows us that we have control over those fears. They’re not something that control us but we can control them.

By spinning the mass of energy in the opposite direction were using a paradigm that we all understand. It’s like a faucet, if we turn it one way more stuff comes out, and we turn it the other way it shuts off. Spinning it in the opposite direction, we’re taking the fear and turning it off and not just turning it off, we are turning it into confidence.

We spin up that confidence to the point that it feels to our mind and body that we are filling ourselves with positive energy. Slamming it back into the place where the fear existed,  we now replace the fear with confidence.

By asking you to feel the change, you’re looking for a change. And by rating it again you notice the difference. Now you feel more empowered and less fearful.

There’s another exercise that I do with people that changes the way they  feel, just by rating it on a scale from 1 to 10. If you want to learn about this exercise, click to go to the rating exercise.

It’s very important to do this physically. Imagining it in your mind can help to an extent, but by involving the whole body we are using our entire set of resources to cause change.

If you’re still feeling a bit fearful, you can do the experiment over again. It will further reduce the fear each time you do it. If you get stuck at a point where you can’t seem to get rid of it, there is probably some type of lesson that your mind wants you to not forget. We can keep the lesson and get rid of the fear and negative emotions by doing the TV exercise.

As I mentioned before, spinning is one of my favorite exercises. I do it all the time to be able to get over things that stop me from doing what I want to do. It’s a great way to remove fears from your life.

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