Who has not felt the cold clammy hand of fear grip one’s spirit and paralyze our actions mid step? Sometimes this happens right at the moment when we are on the very verge of accomplishing our greatest success! Foiled by the Enemy again!
Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most of us are enslaved by some kind of fear or the other. Like many of you, I have encountered fear in many different forms.
The fear of being stuck in a permanent cage, unable to fulfill my true potential, the fear of not living up to the expectations of the people who matter most to me, the fear of loss of my loved ones, the constant fear of being insignificant or of the things I give my life to not mattering to the world.
Accepting Good Fear
There are some healthy levels of fears that are good to have, they are nature’s warning signals to protect us from danger and keep us safe such as not playing with fire or running into fast moving traffic. Our instincts also protect us from many unknown dangers that we may not have previously encountered. We avoid breaking the law due to a fear of punishment. Our conscience also is a wise guide as we navigate the many temptations we may come across for fear of having to live under the constant oppression of our own moral compass.
Some Causes of Fear
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. ~ Japanese Proverb
1. Predominantly it is the Fear of the Unknown – what lies ahead? Will it be good? Most of it is imagined and therein lies the danger of magnifying reality completely out of proportion with the facts. It is famously described as “False Evidence Appearing Real”. Very few fears are based on our own actual experience, instead it is based on what may have happened to other people. Is it possible that it could also happen to us? To deal with the unknown we must acquire knowledge about that particular circumstance.
2. Lack of self confidence and belief in our own capabilities could have us misguidedly believing in our weakness and helplessness when faced with some real situations. We must strengthen our Faith muscle so that we can cope with situations as they arise in the best way possible and with all our resources of wisdom, experience and inspired actions.
3. Guilt about our own Lack of Action ~ We may not know all of the actions we may need to take, but taking one step at a time, will reveal the next one and before long we will have conquered the fear that paralyzed us in the first place.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it. That is the quickest and surest way to conquer fear. ~ Dale Carnegie
Facing your Imagined or Real Fear
* Change your perspective on the problem ~ Honey, just shrink that monster and crush it like the bug it is! Be the giant you were meant to be!
* Focus on one fear at a time ~ trying to deal with them all at the same time is a losing game. Play to win!
* Play at being Sherlock Holmes (or your favourite detective) and engage all your intellectual and emotional resources to correctly identify the source of your fear and to come up with practical or out of the box solutions. Elementary, my dear Watson!
* Ask for Assistance ~ That is why you were not created as the sole inhabitant of this earth! If you are stuck in your own mind and can’t see your way out, then step out of it and access some one else’s mind for a change. Their fresh perspective can often shine a light on something that is obvious to all but you!
*Persist until you vanquish the Enemy! There is no point to losing the battle. Play to win. At all costs! And all the obstacles will melt away before the power of your resolve or your sheer persistence will wear them down!
*Escape into something you find enjoyable ~ sometimes just stepping away from the fear will unleash a new rush of positive enrgy and creativity and optimism to deal with the fear that dwelling on it will not!
* Pray, Meditate, Read something inspirational – Spiritual sustenance is vital to build the reserves of courage we need to do battle head on with the enemy of fear! Believing in something larger than our fear will weaken its stranglehold on you and your life.
There is no doubt that we will continue to be assailed by new fears all the time, the nature of life and our human frailty will always present this challenge.
Fear is the prison of the Heart ~ Anonymous
The trick is to strengthen and free our hearts and to discipline our minds to see the real rather than the imagined fears and to break through every barrier put up by fear to move powerfully towards a destiny of fulfilment and happiness that we all deserve!