Dealing with Fear
We are born fearless ….A child would try just about anything, …. until he gets inundated with ‘don’t touch that’ ‘don’t go there!’, ‘No!” … thus begins the programming for a lifetime of the many shapes and sizes fear comes in - Being afraid to try something new, making excuses because its too hard, not wanting to risk getting hurt, not wanting to be vulnerable – soon enough, just like that, we are no longer fearless.
Fear can cripple us, stop us from doing things that we were designed and made for, diminish us and hold us back. In my opinion, the worst thing about fear is that feeling of a loss of control - meanwhile the reality is that we ALWAYS have control.
So how do we deal?
Face it – What are you afraid of? Maybe write it down even. Acknowledge it and consider these: What is the worst that could happen in that situation? How much fear is from your own mind versus the reality of the situation? So what if I ‘fail’? So what if I fall? So what if I get hurt? These are legitimate questions that help me characterize my fear and in so doing, de-mystify and put me back in control and better equipped to protect myself or act in line with what works best for me That feeling of angst doesn’t change the situation in any way, so take control of what's in your control – your mindset, re-adjust your mind to think different about it.
ACT – There is something so powerful about action. Imagine, a daunting, complicated project or goal that you don’t want to face because you think you cannot do it, cant do it well or don’t have a clue about. Determine the simplest task towards your goal and Do it! It removes the mystery, empowers you and makes you feel capable of … something. Once you have started, the law of momentum helps you to continue. Imagine facing a condition that paralyzes you with fear – act, no matter how insignificant. Action in a positive direction , whether it's reaching out to encourage someone else in a similar situation, speaking out or doing an activity that is part of accomplishing the task, always helps me deal with fear.
Keep Going – When I drive in foggy weather, I focus on the part of the road immediately visible to me and drive accordingly. Thinking about the foggy parts further ahead is scary and distracting because I cant see, so I focus on the path that’s illuminated and as I drive, the rest of the road is uncovered. The best way to walk through fire is to keep going.. you may slow down, but don't stop. Once you take the first step, and the next, you can then make a plan - It doesn’t have to be complex, it doesn’t have to account for everything, it just needs to cover your immediate next steps so that you have a reference to keep going. As your plan unfolds, you will keep building on it and soon realize that what you once feared – has become an experience for you. An experience that others can benefit from.
Seek Support – My biggest support system is my Faith. I find what the scripture says about the situation, what I’m empowered for and what God is capable of and meditate on it. I speak it out and repeat it until I believe it - yea, sometimes when I start, I don't believe it. Other support systems are Family and friends – People whom you trust and who care about you and will speak positively to you. Speaking to someone about something you are scared of paints a picture and makes it less of a monster. Support also comes from external perspectives from therapy, books, groups or others who have experienced what you have been through and may have more insight from that experience to point you to a better path to deal
Regardless of if the fear is about something I was scared to accomplish, was afraid would happen to me or a situation I found myself in, I find that the steps above help me a great deal no matter the face, shade or type of fear.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears (Psalms 34:4)