What is fear and how to overcome it

What is fear and how to overcome it

Feeling afraid is very natural and in some situations, it might be very helpful and lifesaving. We are born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds that comes as survival instincts necessary to respond in situations when we sense danger or when we feel unsafe. In this way fear helps protect us from risky situations, as it makes us alert to danger and prepares us to deal with it.

Fear is an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger or response to something threatening in your environment. In starts in mind triggering a strong physical reaction in the body as well. As soon as the fear is recognized, amygdala as a part of the brain, which is responsible for detection of the threat, goes to work and alerts the nervous system, which sets our body’s fear response into motion.

Depending on the situation and the person fear can be diluted, medium, or intense that could cause a brief feeling or it can last longer. Most common fears are the ones from height, fear of closed spaces, fear of darkness, fear of blood, fear of flying, fear of death, fear of being judged and so on.

Growing up with fear turns into an obstructing factor for success that affects social relationship, career, business that potentially leads to a broad range of emotional and psychological problems, including shame, unhappiness, depression, anxiety, panic attacks or low self-esteem.

Almost all fears, including fear of uncertainty, fear of failure and other common fears all stem from one area: the limiting beliefs holding you back. For example, think about your biggest goal and why haven’t you accomplished it yet? If you’re like most people, the answer most probably is fear itself. Fear is the limiting factor stopping you from working toward what you want, distracts and leads to excuses, but it doesn’t have to.

Become observer

Learning how to overcome fear is one of the most liberating pursuits you can undertake, but in the same time it can be an intimidating prospect if you don’t understand the mechanisms behind them.

As a first step towards overcoming fear is we have to sit down and observe thoughts feelings and sensations. This helps us identify our fears, and then lets us move to another important step which is recognizing the fear and start using it to our advantage.

It’s easy to pretend fear isn’t impelling you and to make justifications as to why you haven’t achieved what you’re capable of. Instead of turning around and hiding from it, treat fear as a cue to take action, not an excuse. Look at your goal. If you let fear chase you away from achieving it, then you’ve effectively given in.

Understand fear and face it

Before you berate yourself for feeling afraid, recognize that fear is a normal evolutionary response. Although it may not feel like it in the moment, your body and brain are communicating with you. When you learn to read the signals, conquering fear comes naturally. Conquering fear means harnessing the fear response and using it to your advantage. Learning how to conquer fear begins with finding your center.

In order to overcome fear, we have start using it to our advantage and understand that fears are nothing more than states of mind and the state of mind is subject to control and direction. Accept the fear as a piece of information instead of a threat to your survival, let it become your ally, a critical source of guidance to reach your full potential.

In a cognitive behavioral therapy, to change the system, aside from understanding it better, it’s necessary to gradually come into contact with your fear — to face it, safely. The exposure will create a new form of reasoning, which consists of creating new, safe memories about your fears. In time, the brain learns those situations don’t always need to alert you to “escape” to survive. Slowly, your automatic thoughts become different, calmer feelings and behaviors.

Adopt a growth mindset

One of the most powerful tips to overcome fear and anxiety is to adopt a growth mindset and setting compelling goals. Oftentimes the process of overcoming fear becomes obstructed by uninspiring or elusive goals we set for ourselves. To turn this around, ask yourself: what does the life you desire and deserve look like? Is it just a “someday, maybe” plan or do you actively work toward it? Is it something that is attainable and you’re willing to commit to? Hence, to overcome fear is very important identifying whether or not you’re creating a compelling goal. Ask questions: if you accomplish this, will you feel fulfilled? Conversely, if you don’t accomplish this, will you be lost? Remember that being comfortable with what you don’t know and continuing anyway, is the foundation of a growth mindset.

Everyone experiences hardships in life. It doesn’t matter whether your setbacks are personal or professional, what matters are the lessons you take from those experiences and how you apply them to your future. Instead of letting a fear of uncertainty due to your past experiences dictate your decisions, actively choose to learn from those painful moments to be in control of your own life.



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