We have a saying that fear is hollow and there is nothing around it, so it actually does not exist.
But after I have read a lot of stuff on the internet I have found out that I was full of it.
One little story for the beginning.
When I was like 8 or 9 years old, my father took me to this aunt from America, which just move there to enjoy the old age or something. So the lady bought a new stove and it was not working or something and the adults were talking about something that I did not understand, but all I could see is that if you touch some part of this appliance there would be light going on. As a kid, you are fearless since your experience is low and you do not associate your actions with consequences.
So, my goal was to keep this light going on strong, I don’t know why but it seems to be important :). The trick was that part that kept the light on was an electric heater and the light was only light if you press it. I have pressed it and held it….. Yeah and I have burned my hand and cried like a little girl.
Would I do this now? Of course not, but that was a lesson I have learned. But you see this fear (or lack of it) kept me from touching a hot stuff. A lot of other fears will keep you away from doing something else.
This fears may not be justified and it’s holding you back from your true calling.
How to find out if you are afraid
Well, not every fear is in plain sight. There is something that is called invisible scripts, that holds us back like “I could never have my own company”. “There is no way that I could run 42 km”. There is …. You get the point.
Many people have done it so why do you think you can’t? There are people without legs climbing the biggest mountains, there are kids that create companies that work well and there are old people (like 90 +) that are vital as we are now.
It’s a fear based thinking. To run 42 km you have to train. You have to be tired, your muscle will be sore, you have to give up yourTV shows or drinking with buddies to make some time for training. These are all feelings that you need to address to commit to this. Fear of being uncomfortable.
Fear of success is one of the most strange ones. We all like to be successful, but there is one feeling that we don’t like. What if this stuff works, what if my company starts well, will I have any time for anything else, what to do next, what, where, how…
Our brain goes in overdrive and anxiety comes in and we just abandon everything and go back to our safe zone and continue to live our life.
We say, that it was not meant to be, I’m not made for this and other stuff, but the truth is that we are afraid, we get paralyzed and we can’t move we can’t think and that scares the crap out of us.
Irrational and rational fear
So these are irrational fears, we are afraid of what the future will bring, we worry what we will have to worry about. But there are also ration fears. Like fear of bears. Yes, those are dangerous and can hurt you. So this is the same system that prevents us from doing stupid things but this one is somehow entitled. Do you need to overcome your fear of bears? I guess if you live in the wilderness where you can meet him it would be a smart thing. If you live in the city not so much.
What to do?
- Acknowledge your fear. Admit to yourself that you are afraid. That it is okay to be afraid and that you are able to do something about it.
- Understand your fear. Why is this happening? Is it transferred from your parents? Some kids are afraid of the dogs simply because parents freak out every time they see a dog and start screaming at child “Don’t touch him!” So kids go in defensive mode after this automatically even when they grow up.
- Give it another go. You just may had some bad experience about something. I hated fish when I was young, but after awhile, I started to eat fish again. The taste that I remembered was just a case when I did not know how to eat fish or which part of the fish is to be eaten.
- Get to know the facts. If you have the fear of flying, check the statistics of accidents (here I will help you http://www.statisticbrain.com/airplane-crash-statistics/ ) as you can see there is one aginst 29 million odds that you will die. If you compare this to cars “Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.” Your fear is based on not knowing how the stuff works. 300 tons of metal and plastic 10.000 km in the sky can be scary stuff.
When you face your fears, you will be in shock. So it is important to keep your mind clear. You can do this with breathing and convincing yourself that everything will be okay or distract yourself.
I had a flight fear a little bit myself. When traveling on Boeing and big airplanes it was OK, but then I went to Las Vegas and travel by small plane to Grand Canyon. This lump of metal had propellers and the ride was bumpy as hell. The flight took an hour and a half. After 15 minutes I was all worried up what will be if we fall down and every time the plane shook (and it was ever 5 sec). I hold my arm rest a bit stronger. I have realized that I can not survive like this, so I let it go. I said to myself “fuck it if I die I die, I can’t help it now that I’m up here”. My brain needed some convincing but after 5 minutes I was relaxed and enjoying the flight and every flight after that.
If you would like to train, your body and mind to get used to something not so pleasant, and to not be a big shock to your body when it happens there is a great exercise that everybody can do.
Take a cold shower, if you think you are tough then do it ice cold. For us wimps you can do it in a more humane way, that is that you go into the shower and open first warm water and then gradually, got to the cold one. When you reach the cold one, don’t just suffer through, try to relax your body, try to control your breathing. I know It is not easy, but it is not meant to be 🙂
The worst thing that could happen
For the end of this, when facing fears, remember what’s the worst thing that could happen. What can you do to prevent it and learn all the fact you can about your fears?
Over to you
What is your fear? Do you manage it or hide it? What is your experience?