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Consciously Uncoupling from Fear

September 29, 2015


“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.” Will Smith, author

Conscious Uncoupling is the term created by Katherine Woodward Thomas in her ground-breaking work Conscious Uncoupling: Five Steps to Living Happily Even After. Of course Katherine’s term refers to “uncoupling” as it relates to relationships. Her work provides a guide to uncoupling in humane and respectful ways that allow former partners to reduce the pain of breaking up and avoid its suffering.

As a Conscious Uncoupling Coach I’ve been reflecting on the wider meaning of consciously uncoupling not just in relationship terms but in terms of all the things in our lives that keep us bound in all sorts of unproductive patterns: habitual ways of being, negative ways of thinking and harmful emotional reactions.

In fact, I’d wager that, despite the suffering that all of these engender, we are stuck in those ways through fear of change. In a strange way, it’s easier to stay locked into a repetition of these familiar patterns, as painful as they are, because we imagine that change will be even more fearful and painful.

But as we become more conscious, as we become more empowered and we can identify a plan for change, we might be brave enough to take a step forward into something new be it a relationship, a healthier pattern of behavior, a more positive way of thinking. We begin to understand that unless we begin to evolve out the old patterns we will never achieve our goals and desires in life, love and relationship.

What will facilitate our growing empowered consciousness is to see that the source of fear or fear itself is not based on reality or fact. That such fear is related to the “fight or flight” instinct and part of our evolutionary past and not survival-related at all in any physical sense. That the pleasure and pain part of the brain are the same and have unproductively begun to fire together. That our fears were developed in early life woundings. So that when we come to understand the origins of our fears and understand their false bases, we can begin to replace fear with love or, in the very least, with more neutral responses.

Neuroscience, mindfulness practices and programs like Conscious Uncoupling can help us develop the re-wiring tools and habits to uncouple from fear with the result that we can live more productive, contented and healthfully relational lives.