“Fear puts people in the hospital” – Les Brown
Fear is a primal instinct, passed down from our ancestors to ensure we survive in a variety of dangerous situations.
Fear, from a scientific point of view can be categorised as either biochemical (how our bodies respond automatically, e.g. fight or flight or other physical responses) and emotional – the highly individualised responses that makes each of us react differently in a variety of situations.
As humanity has become more civilised, and safe, we often find ourselves no longer fearful of nature, but of that which is around us.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of acceptance.
Fear of success.
Fear of our own deepest, and darkest dreams and desires.
Much of what we fear can be summed up in a single idea, the fear of the unknown. Ask anyone you know what scares them, chances are it will be something they have no control over.
As humans its hard to appreciate and understand when we lack control of certain situations it doesn’t mean we lack control of our own destiny.
Answer me a question, what do you truly fear? Now, why do you fear that thing? Is it because it is difficult? Is it painful? Will you be ridiculed if you try it and fail?
This is why it is important to expose yourself daily to difficult situations and take the path less walked – it builds a stronger person. A less fearful person. Confidence is built, you are not born with the ability to overcome difficult situations, it is created through the constant and consistent mental process of pushing yourself and stretching yourself, both mentally and physically.
I can do things today that 10 years ago I could never imagine myself doing, in 10 more years I will be able to do things that today I cannot see myself doing – this is because as a person, I overcome my fears slowly and consistently.
I grind my fears down, so they cannot grind me.
Often, our own minds will flood with thoughts that create or increase our fear of a situation – the longer you think about it, the more that fear increases. In some situations, it is completely reasonable to weight up your options, but often a small fear can spiral into a large fear simply because we allow our minds to overtake themselves.
Instead of allowing a fear to overwhelm you, and mentally dig itself into your mind, take action. Stop ignoring the fear, stop making excuses for yourself. Do the thing you are afraid of doing, it will build your confidence, your character and allow you to achieve so much more in life.
I’m talking comfort zone here – don’t dwell in this space for too long, or you can find yourself slipping back into fearful ways. Repeatedly exposing yourself to situations you and uncomfortable with, such as public speaking, will acclimatise you to this situation, eventually you will have no fear at all.
Stop overthinking, start doing.