Do Not Fear Your Fear, Move It Along

· January 3, 2017

Feeling fear is normal. This is because the brain of all living beings, when at risk, instantly reacts in self-defense. In other words, in dangerous situations it instinctively activates a protection system against possible attacks or situations that may cause an imbalance.

In humans the way to tackle fear is the result of the confluence of instinctual mechanisms and learning that has been collected in various situations. In this sense you could say that when facing a threat the survival instinct is activated at first, but also a learned mental process leads you to act in one way or another.

Fear is that little darkroom where the negatives are revealed.”

-Michael Pritchard-

girl hugging a bear

However, reactions to fear vary from one person to another. Some people act aggressively while others stand still and draw a blank when trying (or not) to design a possible solution for the danger they are facing. There are also those who are cold-blooded and able to think quickly to avoid or face the threat accurately.

The human being has a complex psyche. Fear isn’t always a response to a real threat. Sometimes it is a reaction to thoughts or fantasies that arise from traumatic experiences and fester in the mind. These give rise to fears of dangers that do not exist, but can be very invasive and even socially disabling.


Fear is a force that can be transfigured

There is a universal truth: fear is overcome by facing it. Very easy to say, but very difficult to implement. In fact, fear is an emotion with great power and if you can transfigure it into an inner strength that allows you to move on, you will become a more secure and freer person.

When you face a situation that creates tension and have the firm intention to overcome it, ask yourself a few questions that can help you: Why did you feel that way? What memories or feelings came to you at that time? How did you react or in what part of your body feel that apprehension hiding?

The answers will allow you to define fear and avoid a similar situation from recurring. So the first thing is to realize why the apprehension appears. In this way we can identify its causes and the role in plays in the situations we experience. Becoming aware of the causes allows us to assess whether it corresponds to a real danger or an imaginary imbalance in our lives.

What to do when faced with fear?

girl in the brush

In order to identify the nature of the fear you feel, you need:

  • To pause and surround yourself with a quiet environment where you can reflect on the fears that you suffer. Just try to take a deep breath and calm down so that your consciousness will flow better.
  • More than anything, do not feel guilty for feeling scared and remember that this is normal, you can defeat it little by little.
  • Trust yourself. Remember that in this fear is also a learning experience about yourself and can turn into a wonderful teaching.

Do not look at fear as an enemy because it is adaptive. In reality, many big mistakes are made out of fear, but it also carries out great feats. He who is afraid to fail, sometimes makes a little more effort. He who is afraid of losing freedom, may face formidable risks in order to preserve it.

  Courage is made of fear. What is the difference between someone who is a”coward” and someone who is “brave” is simply a decision. It’s not that the “brave” one isn’t afraid, but rather he decided to move it along instead of avoid it.

This is not at all an easy process. It is achieved as the great achievements in life are obtained: with persistence, patience and step by step. The only determinant in relation to fear is that there is a genuine decision to overcome it. There is no other way to achieve that than by designing a strategy that makes you feel comfortable enough to look it in the face.

Learning from fear

If you fight against fear irrationally and without understanding its foundation, you can probably handle it immediately and easily. However you are not getting it from the root, so it can reappear at any time. Fear has to be thought about, it is not good to let yourself be carried away by reckless outbursts without much awareness of what you’re doing.

man intertwined in sheets

As the popular adage says, “Fear is an action and courage is a reaction.” Remember this during the times you feel petrified, immobile or unwilling to continue with your plans. Otherwise, you might regret paying attention to fear and not to your true dreams and desires.

Don’t forget that fear is expressed physically and mentally. Physically you can fight it with good breathing techniques in times of crisis. It is a method that can help you better perceive your body and identify the changes that operate in it so you can control them.

But this is not enough. You have to talk about it and express your feelings to others, write them down or just look into a mirror and talk to yourself about what happens. These are ideal resources to find the balance you need. Fear is not overcome by hiding from it; so do not be afraid, move it along.

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