Why do we experience fear -or call it anxiety or worry- almost every single day?
Why do we so often feel uncomfortable?
Why do we feel uneasy in so many situations?
I highly recommend reading Susan Jeffers* on this topic. In ’Feel the fear …and do it anyway’ she so clearly describes why we feel it and what we can do about it, how we can learn to handle fear and not be petrified by it.
The first insights/truths she teaches are already, on the one hand, very comforting, but on the other hand still a bit scary too. 🙂 Let me elaborate.
Susan Jeffers states** the 5 truths about FEAR:
- Fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
- The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something, is to go out and do it.
- The only way to feel better about myself, is to go out …and do it.
- Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, so is everyone else.
- Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.
I think it is comforting to know that it is normal to feel fear, and to know everyone else is feeling this too. And yet, it may seem ‘scary’ (here comes the fear popping up again) to know this feeling will always be part of our life. We sometimes may get the impression others do not feel fear, or they may claim they are never afraid but I think it’s all about how we define ‘fear’ and how we handle this feeling. Some people just do not label this experience of facing something new as fear, they call it ‘charting new territory’, ‘discovering’, ‘being curious where this road will lead to’, … and as they do not label it as fear, they are not inhibited by it either.
Every new situation our subconscious mind does not recognize as something we already experienced, gets labelled as ‘dangerous’. That is a good thing as it makes us alert and protects us from getting hurt, hence the name the Protective Self. BUT we can override our subconscious mind with our conscious mind by analyzing this new situation and realizing it is not harmful, it will not get us killed or sick. Seeing the situation for what it is, realizing it is unknown but not dangerous, will get us unstuck. Making a plan to go step by step through this new experience and grow along the way, will make you overcome your fear.
Breaking through this wall of fear by doing the unknown, will make you stronger and more confident in new future situations. Every time you will encounter a new situation, you’ll recognize this feeling as ‘okay this is something new but I can handle this’ instead of backing away from it because the unknown of it scares you.
You can claim: ‘I don’t need to grow any more, I’ll just keep doing what I know’, and that is fine BUT life will always throw you a curveball when you least expect it to. Nobody can live a life in which no new situations occur: we all get sick from time to time, we all encounter set-backs, we all lose people we love, we all have to deal with unexpected circumstances at some point in our life. That is where truth number 5 becomes a reality for all of us. Fearing you won’t be able to handle things, is a very paralyzing feeling. When on the other hand, we practice ‘handling new situations’, then we don’t have to fear future unexpected experiences anymore as we now know, we can handle them.
‘Feel the fear’ will always be there, so the clue to living a joyful, less fearful life is to learn how to handle it.
Practicing doing unfamiliar things, listening to positive messages, writing down affirmations and repeating them throughout the day, meditating to calm down your over active brain, … are all things that will bring you to the ‘…and do it anyway’ part of the title.
The more you stimulate your brain to hear, see, believe positive input, the more you’ll be able to handle all that comes your way.
As dr. Wayne W. Dyer so nicely says***
Believe it and you’ll see it.
Believe you are able,
believe you are not a helpless person,
believe life is beautiful and
you’ll start seeing the good in what you before considered a very negative situation,
you’ll start seeing you can handle life,
you’ll start seeing yourself as a worthy person and
your confidence will start growing day by day.
The more confident you’ll start to feel, the less afraid you’ll be of life, the more joy you’ll have in life because you now know all will be okay. That does not necessarily mean all will work out the way you had it planned in your head, but it will work out just fine and you’ll be okay.
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*’Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway.’, ‘Feel the Fear and Beyond.’, Feel the Fear Power Planner.’, ‘End the Struggle and Dance with Life.’, ‘Embracing Uncertainty.’ By Susan Jeffers PhD.
**’Quote from Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway p.22’, by Susan Jeffers.
*** ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by dr. Wayne W. Dyer