A Perspective On Fear
What comes to your mind when I say the word fear? Does it have to do with your work? Or does it direct your thoughts towards home? A romantic relationship maybe? Whatever you may have thought of, the truth is we fight this emotion multiple times in a day. And, sometimes to the point of causing anxiety, panic attacks or even chronic aches and pains.
But what if I told you, we were never meant to “fight” fear? The truth is this emotion is meant to be our security alarm system. The main function of fear is to act as a signal of danger, threat or conflict and trigger adaptive responses. This so called negative emotion is actually a vital response and simply put, if we didn’t feel it we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves from legitimate threats.
Then why does fear bring our life to a standstill? It’s simple… because we let it. It’s the power we have given this emotion by perceiving every obstacle, hurdle or discomfort as a legitimate threat. If we simplify this emotion based on the situations when we feel it, we often discover it stems from a sense of loss of control. We want to always be in control of our lives and situations. Anything that may not progress the way we want or expect; or any outcome that is different from the one we desire or are prepared for will bring fear to the fore. It’s like we have all these plans and everything must play out exactly as we have set it down to. But not every obstacle is a legitimate threat. Always remember, FEAR spells out as “false evidence appearing real”.
Let’s take a moment to define legitimate threat. Anything that affects matters of life and death, be it of people or relationships, would fall into the category of a legitimate threat. “I’m late for work, I’m going to lose my job”…umm not a legitimate threat. “What if my maid doesn’t turn up…Oh my God!”… not a legitimate threat. “He’ll never love me the way I love him”…again, not a sign of danger or threat of any kind; not sure if these even categorize as conflicts. When we put such daily thoughts and experiences into that bucket in our subconscious titled “DANGER”, we fuel fear to take charge of our decision making process.
Now, I’m not undermining what you are going through. But if every unwanted or uncomfortable incident is a matter of life and death, you are undermining your own strengths, slowly eroding your self-esteem, replacing all your capabilities with doubts. It’s time to be aware of our emotional habits. It’s time to take back our power from Fear. Only then can we live a strong life.
And what of those situations when our worst fears do come true. Yes, you could bite your nails off in despair or scream “I told you so!” Or you could believe a lot more in yourself, in your strength and in your abilities to improvise and adapt. I believe “improvise and adapt” is one of our most underutilised super-powers. Maybe I’ll talk more about improvising and adapting in the coming videos.
Coming back to fear, how about we become a tad bit more aware of what we perceive as danger, a threat or conflict? How about we become more aware of our strengths? Maybe even make a conscious choice to let go of control… to go with the flow? And how about we consciously choose to replace F for Fear with F for Faith? Faith in ourselves, in life, in the Universe.