Understanding how fear works
UNDERSTANDING HOW FEAR WORKS
What is fear all about?
When picking up this topic of “fear”, I realised that just saying or reading the actual word – fear – can trigger uncomfortable emotions within. It amazes me how much power and control this emotion holds within all living beings.
I guess the reason is that fear has been associated as a precursor of harm – or rather potential harm – that we of course do not wish to experience. It is something that alarms us, puts up our defence mechanisms and activates the “fight or flight” response (with fear it’s usually the “flight response”).
As per the dictionary: Fear is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. So, actually fear is not a bad thing, as we have developed this experience since time immemorial to defend ourselves from “imminent danger”. In other words, fear was developed to protect us – same as the experience of stress.
Fear prompts us to be cautious, to pay attention, to be focused, to think more about something before we take our next step of action. Fear can make us more aware and more careful and assist us to avoid things that can otherwise put us in difficulty or threat.
So, fear is actually a good thing. Fear becomes a problem when it gains control over us and rules our emotions, our thoughts and disturbs the balance of our bodies. It becomes a problem when it is exaggerated in our eyes and perception and it immobilises us, takes our clarity and common sense away from our perspective. The reason we get a strong grip on fear is because of its original perception of being protected.
Fear has been “conceived” to stop us from taking specific action. When there is a real danger it works well for us. Like when we become afraid to walk barefoot in grounds that are known to have poisonous snakes, because there is a real danger of being bitten to death.
However, there are fears we all hold that do not have a lot to do with the reality but, they are based on what our subconscious is perceiving as danger which then activates its defense mechanisms. These fears are based on past experiences we personally have had, or we witnessed others having or someone has related them very graphically or emotionally to us, especially during our childhood.
This is why we do not all have strong fears or “unreasonable” fears about the same things. Some are afraid of heights, some of the water, some of airplanes and some of spiders. There are also fears that affect our progress and success like fear of failure, fear of public speaking, fear of letting our star shine.
As I mentioned above, fear is a limiter. That’s its job: to limit us; to block us. However, blocking us in a way that increases feelings of anxiety and frustrations and does not let us achieve things that we have liked to achieve otherwise can be a detrimental experience in our lives.
If you want to find out what are those type of fears that do not allow you to move on and claim what is rightfully yours as a self empowered being, spend few minutes and observe what are those things in your life, or in your thinking or belief system, or in your memories that when you bring them up in your conscious mind set off an alarm, wave a red flag in front of you and give you the experience of being halted. Your conscious mind most likely will be able to tell you what is a realistic fear and what is not – as long you don’t let it start justifying those fears that then start to look real.
When you discover your “unreasonable” fears and you feel that you are ready to break through them, you are then ready to find ways to eliminate them or effectively master them.
If you feel you could so with some help with overcoming your fears contact me here to have a chat as to if and how I can help you. In the meantime check the different coaching programmes that I offer.
Next time I will share with you some ways you can do that.