When was the last time you tried something that you were really afraid of but went all in? How did you feel after you gave it your all and still failed?
Lousy? A little less brave? Depressed? Anxious? Vulnerable? Like a Rock star?
There is a relationship between fear, vulnerability and courage. There's a relationship between fear and failure. It is never stepping outside of the comfort zone, the walls we have put up, the cocoons we have nested, the cages we have created with big signs that say , "STAY OUT". In comfortable spaces that sign says, "STAY PUT!" There goes our flight anf fight response.
Let's get something straight, fear is a good thing, it protects us it says, warning let's explore this for a bit. However, when fear is hijacked, on overdrive it turns into anxiety and everyday normal fears then become an everyday threat. Fearful thoughts become irrational ruminating thoughts that reinforce negative messages such as , " I told you so." "This is why I don't take risks." "I knew this was going to happen" " I will never ever try this again"
And then instead of going out again into the world, we say we failed, we become conditioned to believe that the risk is just not worth it. Our amygdala becomes activated and this new fear stimuli becomes recorded.
What are the magical steps we can take to face our fears?
There are none really but these steps can help us deal with fear.
- Calm down physically. Fear and anxiety cannot live in a calm body
- Face your fears. Avoiding them just gives fear power.
- Look at the evidence supporting your fear. What are the chances that the worst case scenario could happen.
- Breathe. I know I said it but you have to breathe through it all. Take a breath.
- Talk about it. Don't give it power, talk about it to listen to others perspectives.
Now sometimes a therapist or a counselor is not always available. You can always walk in nature and try going for a walk to decrease anxiety. We may not always have mountains in our grasp but nature can always just be a walk in a park. Nature has been linked to reducing stress and anxiety and offering a space to be grounded. Whatever you do, it's important to do in a healthy way that reinforces positive thinking, reframing and coping solutions.
Remember that F.E.A.R means False Evidence Appearing Real. So let's take steps to be a little more vulnerable, a little more courageous and a little less fearful.