Fear: Is It Your Boogie Monster?
There are really only two kinds of fear. There is true fear, fear of physical harm, fear for one’s life, like when you lose control of your car or when someone holds a knife at your throat or points a gun at you. That’s gut wrenching fear of the most valid type. It invokes the fight or flight response mechanism built into all biological life forms as a basic survival tool.
Fortunately, we are not regularly faced with the life threatening fear, as say our ancestor’s feared being some sabre tooth tiger’s lunch.
And, there is the non-life threatening fear. This kind of fear is made up, where there is no apparent threat to life or limb. It might be better characterized as anxiety rather than fear. It’s the stories of the boogie monster or the fear of public speaking. It’s the fear of being embarrassed, rejected or humiliated; the fear of change – none of which is fatal. Yet this kind of fear, the made up fear, can dominate and limit one’s life. Does this other fear make it any less real to us? Probably not because we tend give it so much credibility.
Fear of failure seems to be a biggie. Why? So you attempted something and failed at it. You’re human and humans are far from perfect. You miss a step and fall down, you spill things, and you say things you wished you hadn’t. Humans make mistakes and fail. It is part of the living process.
However, how you view failure makes all the difference. Failure is a tool to living; it is the experience you take forward never to fear making the same mistake again. Failure is part of living and fearing failure could translate into being afraid of living.
Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat. People can develop specific fears as a result of learning. This has been studied in psychology as fear conditioning. A good question to ask is, if fear is a learned emotion can it be unlearned? Of course it can.
Procrastination can be a direct consequence of fear. Someone who is fearful will contemplate the “what if’s” in life to the point of immobility. Fear will limit your ability to move forward, develop, improve or follow your dreams. Overcoming any fear will free you to pursue your dreams and desires, your personal development and self improvement with vitality.
The antidote to fear, as Susan Jeffers wrote, is to “Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway.” Develop courage by facing your fears and pushing through them. It may not be an easy thing to do but there is joy and fulfillment on the other side. That’s a promise.
It is beyond the scope of this text to coach you how to overcome your fears. There are ample professionals trained to help you successfully work through your fears. If you are true to yourself and your dreams and think that fear might be holding you back then you owe it to yourself to seek the help to conquer your fears.
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.
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