Is Fear Holding You Back?
Fear can be useful. It can literally save your life. Or protect you from physical danger. It can help us make wiser decisions when it comes to our safety. This reaction by our lower brain is normal and useful if you’re being chased by a bear or being shot at on the street or threatened with physical violence.
Why Fear Isn’t Always Useful
However, most days, fear is not useful. It only seems to be useful. But it can actually be what’s holding us back in life. Let’s say, for instance, that you try something new…something outside your comfort zone. Your primitive brain freaks out and kicks in with red sirens and stop signs. But if you’re not in physical danger, it’s completely irrational. It’s when we have these irrational fears, that’s it’s best to use our higher, more evolved brain which is a little more logical and rational.
When faced with irrational fear, we have two choices. We can allow the fear to stop us in our tracks or we can remember that it isn’t going to hurt us. We’re not going to die. The worst thing that can happen is a feeling…a vibration in our body caused by chemicals released from our brain.
And it’s all caused by the thoughts we’re having.
“I might fail”
“They might get upset with me”
“This might be uncomfortable”
“I might be embarrassed or humiliated”
“I might be unhappy if I make this change”
“I might not be good at it”
What To Do About Fear
We can overcome these irrational fears by deciding not to believe the thoughts that are causing us to feel this way. We can choose, instead, to understand it, find out why it’s coming up for us and then changing our thoughts.
This kind of fear is not a signal to stop. We can take action anyway, and often we should. It’s necessary to be fearless in order to take action. We can take action even with fear. This can be one of the most powerful things we can do in our life. Just bring fear along for the ride. Allow it to just be there…you can even give is a name. Then, tell it to get in the back seat.
Some of these fears can be stubborn and hard to change, but the key is to take action anyway. When we take action, we get to prove those fears wrong. We realize that we didn’t die. Everything turns out fine. And the worst thing that happens is an uncomfortable feeling that is only temporary.
Most of what we are afraid of is not life or death. It’s only our own feelings that we are afraid of. The great news is that those feelings are completely within our control.
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