“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” C. Joy Bell
Thank the lord the rectal examination of years’ 2016 is over.
I was finally able to leave behind the soul crushing job and zombie town I was condemned to. I was able to move onto new and better things in my life personally and professionally.
With the prospect of a new job awaiting me, I had suddenly developed a fear at the prospect of beginning.
A new job with strange working hours (shift work) left me in two minds about it all.
I was afraid of what was to come.
I was afraid the job would suck up all of my time, rendering me unable to live a full life outside of it. I was afraid I would lose my social life. I was afraid I was making a huge mistake and I would end up having an experience like last year, one that left me unsatisfied, unchallenged and unhappy.
The truth is that I am afraid of many things in life. And I’m not just referring to insects or being in a bad part of town.
I have fears towards things that are out of my control. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of being losing the people I love, fear of being unhappy, fear of hating my job etc.
Essentially…I am afraid of the things I cannot control.
It is not uncommon to feel this way. Fear has the ability to rob us of our potential and ability to act because we believe the worst possible scenario may happen should we venture into certain, or uncertain, territories in life.
The fear can be debilitating, leading us to avoid most things in life without even attempting it.
A fear of people… stops us from going to parties we have been invited to. Fear of entering new relationships due to fear of old ones ending poorly. Fear of starting new jobs due to fear of not enjoying it.
Fear has more power over us than we realize. It causes us to live ‘Half-lives’. By not standing up for ourselves in fear of consequences or not going for something because of the fear of failure.
Fear is the voice whispering into your heart saying “don’t do it or this will happen”.
But fear itself is not actually real.
Fear itself is not tangible or visible. It is nothing more than biochemicals and neurons firing inside your mind making you believe it is real. But in reality it is not a real entity.
It is a mental construct we have designed for ourselves. Every day we are conditioned by the world around us to be fearful of the unknown. We are encouraged to do what everybody around us is doing. We do this because we are taught this is ‘safe’. We are pushed towards things that others believe will lead to our happiness and should we shy away from this…we become fearful for what may be awaiting us in terms of failure, financial loss, broken hearts and more of the unpleasant stuff on life’s menu.
The methods of managing fear of course, boils down to a readjustment of your thoughts. In order to create a better reality for yourself in the moment we need to regain control of our perceptions. But more specifically, here’s how…
Bring your thoughts back to the present moment:
I’ve always been advocate of living in the present moment. To live in the past means to be living with regret and sadness over things that have happened. These can be considered as ‘past emotions’.
Fear however, lives in the future.
It causes stress and anxiety towards a self-created worst case scenario that MAY occur in the future. It is an an unknown prediction based on our perception of the world around and ourselves.
To live in fear means to live in the future.
Fear is therefore a ‘future emotion”
An imagined future filled with dread that does not even exist. It is intangible and exists SOLELY in your mind.
A dreaded future that will, in most likelihood, never succumb to reality.
To live in fear is to live in the future, and we as human beings must strive to live in the present moment. We need to do the best we can with the time given to us IN THE MOMENT since it is the only time we can make any difference to ourselves and the world around us.
Remember, “If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future and if you are at peace then you are living in the present.”
The simplest solution to bring yourself back into the present moment is DEEP BREATHING.
*cheesy I know*
But close your eyes, and take 3 long deep breathes, and while doing so, become hyper aware of yourself and your surroundings. Be aware of the surrounds vibrations of sound, the feeling of the air surrounding you, the stability of the earth beneath you.
TRULY MAKE AN EFFORT TO SENSE THE WORLD AROUND YOU AND YOURSELF IN IT!
Open your eyes with clarity and live in that single moment going from one to the next with the best possible mind-set.
Make an effort to think in terms of the present moment which leads to…
Overthinking is your worst enemy:
Overthinking opens our minds up to the worst possible thoughts.
We imagine every worst possible scenario for ourselves. By doing this we mentally torment ourselves by living in an outcome that has not even happened yet.
We all do it sometimes. We have thought patterns that persist through our lives. They usually stem from past experiences resembling those in the current situation.
Become aware of your thoughts and when you find yourself in a negative spiral of thoughts, if the thought is negative or fearful acknowledge the thought, feel it fully in the moment, accept it and let it go. Take some deep breaths and bring yourself back into the present moment and remind yourself that all you can do is live the best you can in the present moment given to you. Instead of overthinking, begin taking action. Positive action towards whatever endeavor lies ahead of you. Do no obsess over fear, instead, obsess over success.
So keep your thoughts in check because…
Our thoughts create our reality:
Keep in mind that we become what we think about. Our reality is shaped by our thoughts. By filling your mind with thoughts of worry, fear and anxiety then that is what will become of your life
because the thoughts you have today will shape your life and determine your future.
The good news behind this is that we have complete control of our minds and we can decide what we permit it to think about. When you notice yourself having overwhelming thoughts of fear, remind yourself that you are the one in the driver’s seat of your mind. Remind yourself that you choose your thoughts. Only allow your mind to think about what you permit it to think about. And the best thing to allow your mind to think of is a goal you are working towards and envisioning success for yourself in all endeavors surrounding it. . If you choose success in your mind rather than failure, then the unknown seems far more desirable. In conjunction to this, remind yourself of all of your good qualities and all the things to be grateful for in your life.
Do not choose fear, choose hope. Because the truth is…
You are good enough:
Human beings are often afraid of testing their capabilities due to comparisons to others, “I’ll never be as good as so-and-so” or simply the fear. The fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of loss, the fear of hard work, the fear of time wasted etc.
It is a vicious cycle that renders us incapable of taking action. It makes us believe are not worthy enough or smart enough or not creative enough to chase after the things we truly want. And by thinking this we simply stagnate and not take any action in our lives in order to make a difference.
The truth is…your self-worth is not linked to any action you may or may not take. It is not linked to what other people tell you or what they may think of you.
Your self-worth is determined by you and you alone.
Tell yourself over and over again that you are capable of far more than you think. Look at the world around you and see what people have achieved, they have all began from nothing and we are able to create success in their life. Why can’t the same apply to you?
Do not allow your sense of self-worth deter you from going after what you want in life. Do not allow your mind’s eye to show you images of your failure or cast you in a negative light. You are good enough. You have something inside you to share with the world.
DO NOT ALLOW FEAR TO STOP YOU FROM REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL!
So remember to…
‘The journey of 1000 steps begins with the first one’.
Often the first step is the most challenging, but surprisingly the more you walk the more you begin to run. Fear has the ability to stop us in our tracks completely and even stops us from starting anything altogether.
The best definition of courage I know is to ‘act DESPITE being afraid’. In life the best things happen when we are courageous. Because even though we have fear in our heart, we also
know by conquering this fear, we will be a greater human being than if did not attempt at all.
By taking action we seize life by the balls and show it that we will not be stopped by our fear. We show OURSELVES that we are greater than any possible outcome that may occur. And whether our outcome is positive or negative, it does not deter us from moving forward and using the present moment to achieve as much as we can.
Give up control:
Learn it now and remember it forever, there are things in life that you cannot control. There are too many variables in the universe for us to keep tabs on all of them let alone control them. We have just as little control over people and the things that happen to us as we do over the direction of the wind.
Focus on the one and only thing you truly have control over, YOURSELF!
You have a choice to not let fear overcome you and debilitate you. By surrendering yourself to the world and understanding that whatever happens, happens to you for a reason. Step out of your comfort zone and instead of focusing on the worst that can happen, imagine the best thing that can happen. The world has just as much good as it does bad, but I’d like to think theres more good out there and by thinking this you are more likely to see it.
Do not harbor feelings of fear due to the fact that you cannot control certain things in life, it’s an easy method of making yourself miserable.
So instead of running away from fear, why not embrace it. Knowing that the fear in your heart is merely a signal that you are about to attempt something awesome. And to actually do it, despite the fear, with all the hope in the world that you something good will come from it, which is MOST LIKELY WILL.
I’m not suggesting you defy all laws of common sense, there is a marked difference between learning to surf and walking in a gang infested neighborhood. Choose your endeavors wisely.
It seems that in life the only way we can grow is if we put ourselves into situations that create a sense of fear in us and instead of running away, walk towards it with openness. Whatever is waiting on the other side of that experience will not be as bad as you expect it because most fears only exist in your mind. The greatest fears in our hearts is that of the unknown. And the unknown can be better than you think if you believe it is.
So make friends with your fears. Walk with it into the unknown with bravery on the other side of you. Walk into new situations, or old ones that you fear, with an open heart and an open mind with an emphasizing belief that good is coming to you.
Because ultimately, facing your fears will almost certainly lead towards something good in your life be it through good fortune, success, happiness, love, peace or even a lesson in life you could never have learnt any other way. And what is life other than growth into the man or woman you are meant to be.
Do not let fear rob you and the world of something spectacular inside you.