I remember with great clarity the day I realized the negative impact of fear on my life.

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, and I headed out on some errands before meeting friends later for lunch. I had a great weekend planned that I’d been looking forward to for some time.

The blossom was out on the Magnolia tree, the air smelled fresh and full of sunlight, and everything should have been perfect.

There was just one problem. My mind was full of fearful thoughts churning around my head, reminding me that I was worried about my finances.

At the time, I had many projects in the development stages, and I was uncertain of their success. My income was far from steady, and I could not relax, knowing that I could not take care of the following month’s bills.

Plus, I was determined to buy myself my first property in the next year, and that dream seemed far from on target.

Before I even reached the store, my body had completely tensed up in a state of anxiety, panic, and fear.

One thought led to another, and in a matter of minutes, I had allowed my brain and body to be taken over by the closed energy of fear.

Instead of joyfully starting my great, sunny weekend, I felt paralyzed and depressed.

I felt disconnected from my ability to create and worried that I didn’t have what it takes.

In just a few seconds, the fearful thoughts I was having about money completely changed my mood.

I was doubting my gifts and talents and felt entirely powerless.

Fear had me in its grip.

At the time, I did not fully grasp that it was within my power to stop entertaining those fear-based thoughts.

Our brains are such peculiar and incredible organs.

My habit of worrying about money meant that my brain wanted me to entertain those fearful and debilitating thoughts. Because that was what it was used to doing.

And as you probably know by now, energy flows where attention goes. My repeated focus on those worries just made them bigger and brighter until they were all I could see.

Things changed for me after that weekend. I realized that my thoughts had such a huge, powerful impact on the way I was feeling, emotionally, physically, and mentally.

That was when I chose to redefine my relationship with fear.

I realized that fear gets stronger when we lose trust in our connection to ourselves. When we give our attention to the stories within, that may or may not be true.

Most of us allow fear to have a driving seat.

Most of us allow fear to control and dictate too much of our lives.

Fear is not going to go away. We need fear as part of our emotional range and as a healthy response to certain situations as we navigate our lives.

What we do not need is fear running the day-to-day show.

And most of us are allowing fear to have too much power. Giving your power over fear weakens you and stops you from following your dreams.

It stops you from taking action, makes you feel things are impossible or that you are incapable of getting where you want to go in life.

It stops you from feeling supported by the Universe and clouds your judgement.

You forget about the powerful creator that you truly are.

You forget that you have the responsibility for your own life.

So how can you begin to recognize and release your fear?

Here are three ways I learned to shift my relationship with fear.

I hope that these tips can help you too.

1. Drop into the Present Moment

Bring your awareness into the present moment. Do this by taking some deep breaths, in and out.

Breathe in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth vocally. Do this several times and take your time doing it.

What this does is, it removes your focus from fear and places it on your breath. You give yourself a break from all that worrying.

As you release the air through your exhalations, think of yourself as releasing anxiety and worrisome thoughts with your breath.

Imagine your fear leaving your body as you breathe and come into the present.

2. Give your Fear an Interview

This is a technique I created to help me reprogram my thoughts to be more positive. Instead of hiding from my fear and pushing it away, I ask it questions.

This might sound counterintuitive, but in facing what’s at the root of your fear, you can heal it faster.

I have also found that doing this in a lighthearted manner actually disempowers my fear and pulls me into a more positive, self-assured frame of mind.

For example, you can stop and ask your fear why it is there? Your fear might reply in your mind —

“Well, I am scared that I am not good enough, and I don’t know how to make more money doing what I am doing.”

And you could say,

“Oh well, I understand that. But you’ll figure it out. You have the tools to get better, and you have achieved many great things already. You are getting better all of the time.”

When you recognize and reprogram your fearful thoughts, you strengthen your connection to your heart and your higher self. Your fear feels heard and seen and understood.

Instead of expanding your fear with more fear, you diffuse it with love and compassion.

3. Check-in with your Intuition

Fear is one of the lowest vibrations there is. It can obscure what we instinctively know to be true.

Get it out of your way by checking in with your gut instinct.

Try to feel your way into the truth of every thought you have and every action you take, so that you know you are never acting out of fear.

Push away your mind’s ramblings and the stories it invents, and feel in your body if each thought, idea, belief, and action actually resonates as truth within you physically.

This is challenging, but it’s the only way to really unlock your true power and live in alignment with your best life.

The more you learn to trust your instinct by checking in with how it feels, the easier you will find it to do so as time goes by.

We have great wisdom and the ability to recognize the truth contained within us, and if we only learn to trust our hearts and act accordingly, we can create magnificent things in our lives.

One final thing — Gratitude is an excellent fear release.

When nothing else works, be thankful for the wonderful things that you have and make a quick list of all you are grateful for.

It can work to shift you out of fear and into an open, eager appreciation for life.