Photo Courtesy of exfordy
Every morning we wake up and face a new day with new challenges. It’s human nature and this is the course of life. Even if I was not always prepared for whatever fate has given me to carry on my shoulders I struggled and I managed to get all things to an end.
One of the greatest challenges I faced was fear: fear of change, fear of making wrong decisions and fear of holding my point of view. This instinct of fear can mess up our lives distorting the way we look at ourselves and at the people around us. From definitions, fear is a pre-programmed emotion that acts as an instinctual response to potential danger. And this instinctual response causes different physical reactions, because when we are afraid, the adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol are released into the blood stream.
We can say there are two types of fear: healthy and unhealthy fear. For example if we are afraid of spiders or if we are afraid of not succeeding something, then we have an unhealthy fear. This fear is unproductive, it’s stressing us and it’s repressing our actions, blocking the normal course of things. On the other side, if we are smoking a lot and we are afraid of putting our health in danger, then this is a healthy fear. This healthy fear could motivate us to take better decisions and to better organize our life.
Unfortunately, what we face most are unhealthy fears. “The most destructive element in the human mind is fear. Fear creates aggressiveness” says Dorothy Thompson.
As I mentioned at the beginning, fear is the instinctual response to potential danger, therefore we must analyze and manage the “potential danger” in order to stop being afraid.
- See beyond the danger. When we face a potential danger we panic and this makes us take wrong decisions or run away from responsibilities. What we should do instead is take a deep breath and think of all possible consequences and implications. Many times, things are not as bad as we think they are.
- Take a positive attitude. We are strong enough to manage all the problems and nothing can stop us.
- Expand our comfort zone. There are three important zones where we can be situated: the comfort zone, the learning zone and the panic zone. Let’s think of it as three circles one inside another. The unexpected gets us out of the comfort zone and into the learning zone which leads to the panic zone. It was proved by scientists that operating on the edge of our comfort zone is the best place to learn and grow. As long as we are “inside” it’s ok, but if we face a new and different situation we get out of these zones and move into the panic zone. We have to learn how to behave and how to manage the new situations without being afraid of taking wrong decisions. After all, is practice and learning that make these transitions less scary, resulting in an expansion of the comfort zone.
- When you want to give up, do one more step. This step is about pushing our limits and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. We never know we will succeed unless we actually try.
- Do not avoid or postpone tasks and activities. I often find myself postponing and delaying certain activities just because I am afraid of the result. In the end, we still have to do that thing and with time passing it might become even harder and we won’t get rid of it. More that that the pressure and the stress will become more intense. So let’s do things at the right time and feel a great release indifferent the result.
- Don’t be afraid of competition. We are just competitors – like all the others. We don’t have to give up fighting just because we are scared. Just because we can’t read fear on our competitors’ face this doesn’t mean they are not scared. The first rule in winning is to participate!
- Strengthen your will with religious beliefs. If you are a religious person, then you should know that fear is not a God’s will. God wants us to be strong and to carry our problems with strength. Take some time to say a prayer and “have a talk with God”.
- Get enough sleep. Usually when we get into these situations, we neglect one of the most important things: sleep. If our body does not rest enough, there will appear another variable, fatigue, which will aggravate our situation even more. Sleep enough because it’s vital to be fresh when you take important decisions.
We might all have some fear about the future and about the unknown but we must always keep in mind that “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” (Sven Goran).
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