It’s unfortunate when people permit fear to be a deciding factor in many of their important choices, goals and dreams. Understanding what fear is and what it isn’t may help you get more control over your own fears in life.
Some people have a higher threshold for fear than others and that’s why some are daredevils and thrill seekers and others of us live far more sedate lives. Fear is a natural instinct that we are born with. It’s our flight or fight response which gives us two choices, we can flight or flee from a situation where we feel threatened. As you will see both of these following statements spell the word fear. Choosing flight is to Forget Everything And Run or choose to stay and fight, Face Everything And Rise.
It’s normal to experience fear when faced with danger.
It’s also important to understand that there are two types of danger. There is real danger and there is perceived danger. When you look at it rationally you’ll see there’s quite a difference between the two.
An example of real danger is when someone is threatening and pointing a gun at you. Perceived danger is when you imagine or think about the possibility that someone may threaten or confront you with a gun. The first scenario is it’s actually happening and the second scenario is just a thought. It’s also something that may never happen to you in your lifetime. Let’s consider health, it’s one thing discovering that you have a life threatening disease, it’s another thing to fear that one day you may get really ill. In these examples the first situations are real while the second are perceived.
You need to become rational around your own fear and how it can be holding you back. Now we know that we all experience some fear, it’s our internal survival system in action. And there are times when it’s a good thing as without fear we may have done some pretty stupid and dangerous things. In other words fear can be a protection mechanism, it can keep us alive by alerting us to imminent dangers.
Fear is a physical feeling and fear is also imagined.
The imagined fears are often related to life experience. Many are afraid to venture into new experiences even though they may be frustrated with their present situation. A lot of people have a real fear of flying which can limit their choices, especially when it comes to career or vacations. Some manage to overcome these limitations by finding alternative ways to travel.
Fears come in all sizes with varying depths of intensity which means that people generally do not demonstrate the same type of fear to the same thing. Because it’s not a one-size-fits-all it can make facing fears more difficult. When working on overcoming your fears it’s important to take the first step by acknowledging and admitting that you have a specific fear. It’s also worth remembering especially if you’re a parent that you can pass these fears onto the next generation. If a parent has a fear of spiders, flying, dogs or heights etc often their children sense their fear, so it’s very common that they too will have the same fears. Therefore it’s really important that you do your utmost to overcome irrational fears.
Irrational fears can turn into much bigger issues like anxiety, panic attacks and phobias which can cause you to have extreme reactions to certain situations.
Fear is often mistaken for self doubt.
Self doubt can come up at the most inconvenient times and once it manages to creep into your thought process it can be a real mood changer and confidence shaker. Obviously you need to do your best to stop this from happening. The very knowledge that doubt and irrational fear is all brought about by thoughts which brings on the feelings should help you rationalize your thoughts and give you more control.
Doubt is different from fear.
You may have doubt about a decision you’ve made either in a purchase you’ve made, a career choice or even a relationship you’re pursuing, but it’s not the same as fear. Embrace your decisions and take a leap of faith. Give things a chance to work out.
Make a list of your self-doubts and also make a list of your strengths. You may have a self doubt about your capabilities to do a specific task but when you take a real good look at your skills you may realize that you actually are capable. As you focus on your strengths and see how many you actually have, this will help alleviate your doubts.
Fear can cripple you if you allow it.
So if fear is a feeling we need to be able to overcome that feeling. The feelings are brought on by our thoughts so we need to be able to control and change our thoughts. When you adopt a mindset of taking action in spite of fear you’ll begin to notice that your life will improve. You’ll be able to implement lasting change and take full control of your choices and your life.
Here are some common non life threatening fears that many people have
- fear of speaking in public
- asking for a promotion or a pay raise in your job
- asking someone you really like out on a date
- investing in something important like a house
- moving to a new place
The good news is that you can learn to manage many types of fears
- identify your fears by making a list of the top five
- put them in order of your most fearful to your lease fearful
- face your smallest fear first and gradually work your way up to your biggest fear.
- Take baby steps to face and overcome your smallest fear.
- Once you overcome your small fear go back to your list and work on the next one
- keep on going until you have overcome as many fears as possible.
- Deep breathing exercise is important and very helpful
- Don’t allow self-doubt to creep into your thoughts
- Use your imagination to conquer your fears
- Envision yourself going through the situation you fear before you actually do it in real life
- Write out your thoughts and feelings
Remember that many fears are outgrown by adulthood
You can’t control all of your life but you can control certain events and how you react to them
Keep in mind – The only power fear has is the power you give it!