What is fear? Is it real? Or is it something we make up in our heads? Is it something we can touch? What is its purpose? If there’s one topic that I’ve thought about a lot, it’s fear. That’s because I’m fascinated and frustrated with it all at the same time. For some people, it absolutely controls their every decision. For others, fear seems to be nowhere in sight. Fear is a powerful emotion. Fear is the precursor of either empowerment or regret. It’s up to you which feeling comes after fear.
Fear comes into our lives only at specific times. Usually these times are very important to us. If they weren’t important, then we wouldn’t feel fear. These are the times that we are given a chance to show the world and ourselves what we are made of. Are we going to have empowerment or regret? The choice is ours and only ours.
Fear can come in many forms. One of the most common forms is paralysis. When our ancient ancestors were faced with being attacked by a wild animal, they had three reactions. Everyone knows about fight or flight. But, we don’t talk about the third reaction as often. The third reaction is paralysis. Paralyzed with fear is the worst reaction of the three. We see this even to today. People become overwhelmed by fear and freeze up. However, the situation doesn’t have to be a matter of life or death for this to occur. Some people have dreams they wish to accomplish but are too scared to go after them. They are so scared of the rejection or what people think that they freeze up and never make any progress towards their dreams. This is paralysis by fear. Procrastination is fear. Not moving closer to your dreams is fear. Letting the world control the outcome instead of you controlling the outcome is fear. Paralysis is a dangerous place to be. Rather than freezing, take a step. Then take two steps. You’ll notice moving towards your goals isn’t as bad as you thought.
Fear is an illusion. We make it up. It’s not real. We are scared of the future, but the future hasn’t happened yet. So why be scared of something that hasn’t happened yet? Being in the moment helps to put things in perspective. Whenever you are fearful, you aren’t living in the moment. You are living in the future and your brain is playing tricks on you. It’s imagining every worst case scenario and trying to stop you from achieving your dreams. Instead of doing this, try noticing when fear creeps into your mind and stop it before you become paralyzed. Notice fear knocking at the door and turn it away. Take a deep breath and come back to the present moment. You’ll feel better and see life for what’s really happening in the present. You’ll take a step towards goals instead of being paralyzed. And then you’ll take another step. And soon you’ll realize that fear isn’t real and it was all in your head.
My favorite exercise to deal with fear is to write down my fears. It’s difficult to explain what is actually at work here, but it seems like when you write down your fears, they disappear quietly. It’s as if the act of putting your fears down on paper makes your realize how little they are. Perhaps it’s because you are visually seeing what you’re scared of and can analyze them easier. Or perhaps it’s because we unknowingly make a To Do list for ourselves and it looks more manageable on paper than it does in our head. Whatever the reason is, writing down your fears works and I highly suggest it.
Fear is the one of the most effect tricks that life plays on us. It’s a sleazy magic trick that knows how to get the best of us. We all react to fear differently. But the most common reaction nowadays is paralysis. Freezing up and not going after your dreams is a direct effect of being fearful. Instead of letting fear have its day, try writing down what you’re afraid of. Sometimes the simple act of writing down your fears make them less daunting. Don’t paralyze yourself over something that hasn’t even happened yet. Live in the moment and take on your fears.