What scares you? How do you overcome that fear?
Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions. Fear is a natural survival mechanism that allows the body to trigger awareness of immediate threats and trigger the flight-or-fight response.
Just as fear creates strong responses in emergencies, it can also take effect in non-threat situations such as an exam, a date, or a new job. What is the similarity between these common, non-life-threatening situations and, say, a house fire when you’re in the bathtub? Answer: all of them release the same natural response, whether it's real or perceived.
Fear can be temporary and pass, but it can also last much longer and create adverse effects in the body. It can affect your ability to sleep, eat, concentrate, and most importantly, to enjoy life (1).
These are some of the symptoms of fear (2):
All fears are learned. No individual is born with fear. Therefore, fear can be unlearned by practicing self-discipline continuously.
In the next section of this post, we will cover techniques on how to recognize fear, and how to overcome it. It takes an immense amount of self-awareness to realize what causes you to fear something, how it feels, and how to overcome it.
Notice what makes you anxious. Is it a small fear, such as a bad hair day or walking into work late with stuff in your teeth? Become aware of your worries and take mental notes of all of them. If you journal, make notes on your fears, the places where it took place, and how you felt.
Ask yourself questions about what you fear:
Visualize yourself performing with confidence and proficiency, in the place where you feel fear. This is crucial for building self-image. Feeding your mind positive mental visuals of you doing your very best. The images you feed your mind will be accepted by your subconscious, and help change "I can't" to "I can."
Know that you're mentally prepared to tackle fear and instruct your body to do so as well. Walk the talk. Carry yourself as if you're entirely unafraid in a scary situation. Stand straight, move confidently, smile, and let your nonverbal communication do the talking.
Don’t let fear make you unhappy for another minute. If you continue to sit with this feeling of dread, you become the fear. This is very intuitive. Your ability to face, deal with, and act on your fear in spite of how you feel in the situation is your key to breaking free. If the fear is a specific person, identify him or her and resolve the fear of the situation immediately.
As you move toward your fear, you will feel less constricted by that feeling, and it will become easier to manage. The fear will lessen as your confidence increases. Soon your fear will lose its control over you.
One of the greatest feelings in life is the awareness that you can control fear more than you ever imagined. It'll free your mind from worry and enable you to focus on what matters in life.
By facing fear, I don’t mean that you should start base-jumping or become a total badass. What I mean by “overcome your fears” is observe as your fear arises, rather than simply react to it or let it become part of your life. The key is to be consistent.
I’m not saying that I mastered this in one sitting. Eventually, you will stifle all the false stories in your head that hold you back. You’ll let go of your fears and the stories that used to bring you discomfort.
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Call it intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling: if we followed it, we just might be a lot happier. Intuition is a skill we are all born with, but one we submerge in the business of modern living.