Fear has two meanings – forget everything and run or face everything and rise.
What is fear and where does it come from?
Fear comes from us, from our own mind, head and imagination.
We should accept the fact that we are human beings, and that all of our fears are self-created.
We feel fear by thinking and imagining negative things about any important activity we pursue. However, just because we imagine those things happening doesn’t really mean they will happen, or that they will be as scary and catastrophic as we think.
That’s why psychologists like to say that fear stands for “Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.”
Because fear is actually all about what MIGHT happen – and not what WILL happen.
We are always afraid to do this or that thing because we are afraid to fail or succeed. And we always validate our decision by blaming fear for keeping us stuck where we are. But in reality, fear is just a mismanaged mind and reflects that you’re not managing your thoughts properly.
The good news is that since we ourselves are the root source of our fears, it means we have the power to overcome fear. And there are certain tactics and methods to do so.
Here’s a simple exercise for overcoming fear to show how unfounded they really are.
Make a List of the Things You Afraid to Do
The list should contain things you are really afraid of doing. It might include things such as leaving the country, changing careers, talking to your spouse about your relationship, asking for a raise, and so on….
Once you have completed your list, reclaim every fear in the following format:
I want to ____, and I have fear by imagining ____.
I want to leave the country, and I have a fear by imagining that I will regret it.
I want to talk to my husband about our relationship issues, and I have a fear by imagining that if he knew how I really felt and what I really wanted, he would leave me.
By completing this statement for all of the things you have fear about, you can see how you are the one creating your fears by imagining negative outcomes in the future.
Take More Control Over Fears
Next, take the last part – the fearful outcome you imagined – and convert it into something positive.
“Instead of having fear by imagining that I will have regrets, I will do whatever it takes to have a new and beautiful life in a new country.”
“Instead of having fear by imagining that my husband will leave me, I will work with him to cultivate greater love and intimacy in our relationship.”
Do you see how each of these statements switches the fear and transforms it into a powerful positive belief and vision?
I really encourage and recommend you to try this for yourself – and transform all of your fears into powerful visions of success!
5 strategies to overcome fear
Once you use this method and make it a daily habit, you will see the change in your life gradually. But remember, even after you complete this exercise, you will still have fears from time to time. It’s part of being human. The trick is to learn to recognize the fear, address it and allow it to dissipate.
Here are 5 additional strategies I recommend for overcoming fear.
1. Recognize Fear For What It Is
Scientists describe fear as a reaction in the body – it’s an increased heart rate, it is tensing of the muscles, for some people it’s a negative psychological sensation. Since these sensations are not pleasant, most of us would rather run away from it rather than feel it in our bodies.
In order to avoid feeling discomfort we find ways to numb the pain – some people drink instead of feeling fear, some people smoke,, some people work instead of feeling the unwanted feelings fear provokes. By staying busy we don’t have too much time left to deal with our emotions. However, keeping busy is actually just another way to escape the messages our body is trying to send us..
But if you learn how to embrace the feelings associated with fear instead of resisting them, it helps uncover the unmet need underneath the fear. Most of the time, fear comes from an earlier childhood experience that taught us something was unsafe. Perhaps someone yelled at you when you were being a playful child which taught you it wasn’t okay to express yourself. Maybe you were beaten or abused as a child which taught you aren’t lovable or good enough. Whatever trauma we experienced in our childhood presents itself as fears and limiting beliefs in adulthood.
What people don’t understand is that it’s okay to FEEL fear sometimes. It’s a natural feeling that we need to learn to eventually get to know and embrace. The first step is recognizing that fear is a natural response in the body that is triggered by a past experience and most of the time is not based in reality or actual fact.
2. Become More Aware of Your Thoughts
Emotions are from a source of our thoughts – so if we want to change how we feel, then we must change our beliefs and therefore change our thoughts. Whenever you feel fear, retrace your mental steps and examine what you were thinking.
What thoughts guided you to your feelings of fear? Once you identify them, it will be easier to resolve them.
3. Choose More Positive Thoughts
It is not possible to get rid of negative thoughts by not thinking them. The Law of Replacement dictates that you can’t replace something with nothing – but it allows you to replace it with something else.
So when you notice yourself experiencing a negative, fear-producing thought, replace it with a positive thought instead – like the exercise above.
4. Use Positive Affirmations
Use affirmations to create a more positive, success-driven mindset. Affirmations are powerful things that describe the reality you want to create – and they are a powerful antidote to fear.
How to do that?
Clearly imagine the reality you would like to create for you then form a positive statement that describes it as already being achieved, as already being yours. For example: “I am so happy and grateful now that I am enjoying my vacation with my husband and kids.”
By claiming that it has already been achieved, you create a tension between what you are claiming and experiencing physically, and what your mind knows to be more than true.
5. Charge Your Visualizations with Powerful Positive Emotions
Take this affirmation for example:
“I am so happy and grateful now that I am enjoying my vacation with my husband and kids.”
When your statement includes a positive emotion – such as happiness or gratitude – you allow yourself to experience that emotion in your body, giving your affirmation far more impact and effect.
Just as the emotion of fear can paralyze you, intense positive emotions can motivate you toward greater happiness.