“Fear.” What feelings does this word bring up for you? Why?
The word usually brings about feelings of nervousness, anxiety, discomfort, or even sadness. The feeling of fear often has negative connotations, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Fear can be paralyzing for those not sure how to harness its power.
Fear is perceived in our thoughts, felt in our bodies, and seen in our behaviors. When we experience the feeling of fear, our amygdala gets to work. It alerts your nervous system, producing stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, causing an increase in our heart rate.
Fortunately, we can transform fear from feelings of discomfort to feelings of empowerment and possibilities with a simple mind shift.
Recognizing The Feeling of Fear
The feeling of fear is often a good thing. Fear can alert us when something is wrong or point to danger, cautioning us to be careful. What we shouldn’t do when the feeling of fear comes about, is to ignore it altogether.
Often, though, fear is mixed with other emotions. It takes patience and introspection to become able to recognize the physical feelings that the word ‘fear’ brings to our body. When this happens, pause, and try to re-frame the thoughts that the sensation of fear elicited in your mind.
Be thankful that fear kept you safe in the past when it was necessary. Then ask, “Is this a time when fear is protecting me or is this a time where fear is preventing me from moving forward?”
In other words, instead of connecting the feeling with the thought of “this is too risky”, train your mind to say, “this situation may hold huge possibilities for creating something amazing.”
This differentiation will take practice, but don’t get discouraged, you will get there.
Types of Fear
Primal fear is the type of fear that is programmed into our brains through human evolution. These are fears such as spiders, snakes, and heights. This is a type of fear that the human species shares.
Rational fear is justified because there is a real, immanent threat. This fear is a mechanism designed to protect us when there is a sense of danger. When we experience rational fear, it’s best to remove ourselves from the situation as soon as possible.
Irrational fear doesn’t make sense to the logical brain, and greatly varies from person to person. Phobias, fear of failure, and fear of change are the sort of irrational fear that we want to harness and transform into possibilities.
With Great Possibility Comes Great Fear
Did successful people become so without feeling fear? Everyone feels fear, but successful people choose to conquer their fear, rather than avoid the things that cause them discomfort.
Don’t allow irrational fear to cause you to miss out on your full potential.
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” -Suzie Kassem
How Do I Start?
The first step is usually the most difficult; so, it should not come as a surprise that knowing where to begin taking active steps to conquering your fears and turning them into possibilities could be challenging.
This is a time for honest and deep reflection. Here are several questions to ask yourself to start:
- What is something that I really want to do?
- What is holding me back from taking this step?
- Which of the things holding me back are rooted in fear?
- What are all the positive possibilities of moving forward?
- What is one thing that I can do right now to bring me closer to achieving my goal?
Give yourself permission to be bold, honest, and nonjudgmental.
You’ve completed the hardest step, and it will only get easier each time. Congratulate yourself for beginning your journey towards facing your fears and prepare yourself for the amazing possibilities that are on their way.
If you need additional help in beginning your journey, are looking for extra support, or you get stuck along the way, please reach out to me for a move past fear session.