Most humans are conditioned from an early age to fear authority figures. Traditionally, this is how parents won obedience from their children — by threatening punishment. While parenting models have evolved for the better, many children still grow up in environments that are essentially abusive.
Most schools perpetuate this model. Since children are told that their grades will determine their future, their safety depends on the approval of their teachers. A teacher has the power to declare a child a “failure.” This can be utterly devastating for a child.
The military has always employed ritual abuse in order to condition total obedience to authority. Soldiers are conditioned to so deeply fear the disapproval of their commanders that they will consent to kill, or be killed — even in wars that they do not believe in.
In such ways are humans conditioned to give away their power, and live in constant fear. You must live your whole life for the approval of others. Disapproval feels unbearable. Like rats in an experiment, you have been conditioned to experience disapproval as terrible pain, and a threat to your survival.
No human can truly be free until he frees himself from the bondage of fearing disapproval from authority figures.
Meditate today on the ways you feel fear around authority figures.
Do you fear “people in charge”? Do you experience physical fear responses around parents, teachers, bosses? Do you desperately crave the approval of others? Does disapproval make you go crazy?
It is very possible to change this pattern. The first step is becoming conscious of it.
One practice you can do is to imagine yourself in a situation with a feared authority figure. It can even be someone who is no longer alive — many people are still giving their power away to people who longer exist on this plane. Imagine a worst-case scenario: they are screaming at you, perhaps threatening you with harm; you have failed them. Notice the physical fear and emotional sensations that arise.
Now, take at least ten slow, deep breaths. Inhale, and exhale deep into your belly. Calm your body down. Show your body that nothing bad is actually happening to you. You have not been harmed. You are okay. There is no real threat; it is all in your mind. Even if you experienced abusive situations in the past, right now at this moment, nothing bad is happening. You are perfectly safe.
If fear of authority figures is a major issue for you — and this is the certainly the case for anyone who grew up in even a mildly abusive environment — then it would be very useful to practice this technique frequently. Over time, you will cultivate the skill of mastering your fear in the presence of authority figures.
If you break the habit of fearing authority figures, you will reclaim a vast amount of power in your life, and live far more fully.