It is uncertain times indeed.
They say it will pass
Things will change.
That has not been the case!
Times are still uncertain
The more time passes, the more uncertain they get.
With uncertainty comes emotions.
Some of those emotions can be vicious.
The most vicious of them all is...FEAR
It was always there as a ceaseless reminder of all the mistakes and failures waiting for me.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have the intelligence, motivation, or drive.
I had all of that!
Though when it was time to take action, I was paralyzed…as if I was behind an invisible wall.
And I mean EVERYTHING!
As you can guess, none of that worked.
It masked the fear momentarily...
…but the second it was time to act, fear would comeback as strong, if not stronger...
Ready to stop me dead in my tracks!
I was always looking for ways to get the same results without having to confront my fears.
In fact, I would go out of my way, spending considerable time and energy, to do things to avoid or bypass fear.
Although avoidance brought better results, it was time consuming and draining.
When I was avoiding fear, I was hiding from the world, making little progress in life.
Several years ago I heard someone give a speech and she said:
Fear is like a snot, you gotta get it out.
This summarizes most people's approach to fear.
They see it as something that needs to be removed or eliminated.
The reality is, you can't eliminate fear
It is always there, every moment of the day.
When you enter a room, fear streams up and down your body to help you maneuver through everything inside. When getting too close to a table or chair, fear will run up that side of the body to indicate an object is close.
When you see someone sketchy walking down the street, a twinge of fear will warn you to be careful.
The same will happen as a reminder when you leave the oven on.
Fear is even there when talking. It helps you to select the right words and say them in the right way to make sure you make sense.
Fear is coursing through you all the time
Fear is YOU!
How you act, react, and behave is a direct result of fear.
To remove or eliminate fear is to remove or eliminate your very existence!
Fear is not there just for the sake of being there or to make your life miserable.
There is a purpose to fear and that purpose is to communicate with you.
Going back to the previous examples, when you see a sketchy person walking down the street, the mind releases fear to communicate the possibility of danger.
The same when you leave the oven on.
Fear seeks to be heard
The problem is most of us have not been taught to listen to our emotions, like fear.
We have been conditioned to tune or shut it out.
Tuning or shutting out only makes the fear grow louder and stronger.
Since fear is designed to get our attention, when we don’t pay attention, it tries harder to get it.
Even the most hair-raising, terrifying fear seeks only to be acknowledged—not necessarily acted upon, but merely acknowledged.
Here in lies the secret to managing fear...
Did you hear that?
The way to get a handle on fear is to listen to and acknowledge it!
Not to suppress, hide, run away from, or “ignore” it.
But to simply listen.
In this blog, you will learn 3 simple ways to do that.
Say I’m feeling fear or I have fear
As with any thing, you can’t move past a problem unless you admit it.
Though there is a deeper reason why you want to verbalize the feeling.
It’s because fear is an emotion that is set off by the limbic system, responsible for emotions.
Words are a form of thought that come from the neocortex, the center of logic.
Verbalizing fear disengages the limbic system and activates the neocortex
This reduces the intensity of the fear.
It won’t magically remove the feeling, but it will tone it down enough to be rational.
You’ll be surprised just how much this simple act can reduce the overpowering sensation.
Anytime you’re anxious, nervous, stressed, or scared, verbally acknowledge it by saying, you know, I’m feeling fear right now or I’m a little nervous
You don’t have to say it out loud or to someone, thought that helps.
You can simply say it in your head.
As mentioned, the common reaction to fear is to push away, suppress, or ignore the feeling.
As also mentioned, that only makes fear grower louder and stronger as it tries harder to get your attention.
Instead of ignoring, suppressing, or pushing away the feelings, go into them.
Close your eyes and notice:
All of these are manifestations of fear, so notice and pay attention to them.
Focus on the feeling, and not the thinking of the feeling
Fear is a feeling.
When you are thinking, you are not feeling
It is important to experience the feelings.
That means, disengage from your thoughts and focus on the sensation.
Anytime you notice verbal thoughts, stop them and go back to the feeling.
Observe what comes up
For example, you might have visions of:
These are cues to the outcome you fear.
And that is the purpose of sitting with the feelings, to notice what they are communicating.
The more you sit in the feeling…
the more you’ll understand what’s driving the fear…
...and the more the intensity of fear will start to fade.
Once the feelings fade, you can take action, instead of feeling paralyzed, which leads to the next step.
What is the worst thing that will happen if the fear transpires?
Often fear makes consequences feel more severe than the reality
Will it really be as bad as it seems?
A. If the outcome will not be as bad as it seems
There is not much you need to do.
All you needed was to listen to the fear, and in a way, thinking about the worst-case scenario does that.
By doing so, you should feel a calmness wash over you.
B. If the outcome is as severe as it seems
Think about what you will do to fix the situation.
If what you fear transpires,Think about the next person, group, company, or organization you need to contact or the next step, task, activity, or action you need to take.
Remember I said fear wants nothing more than to be listened, well...
-- > Planning the next step is listening! <--
It is saying “I hear you and we have a plan for this.”
When planning, it helps to imagine you are planning for someone else.
Doing so will keep you from getting stuck in your story about the fear.
There you have it: 3-simple steps to release from fear's clenching grip
Step 1 - Verbalize the fear by saying, I’m feeling fear or I have fear
Step 2 - Close your eyes and observe the feelings.
Step 3 - Think about the worst-case scenario and the first step you’ll take if it transpires.
That is to ask in 10 years, will any of this matter?
More often than not, it won’t.
Think about everything you feared 10 years ago.
You barely think about them.
Some yes, but most no.
That's how the ones now will be like 10 years from now.
I like to take this to the extreme, by asking, will this incident matter 10 thousand years from now?
When you think about it like that, most fears seem meaningless, and in many ways, they are.
You will survive
You will not be left in the wilderness on your own.
You just have to be conscious of finding the next person or group.