Yesterday I shared an experience that illustrated how fear can get the best of us (see “Things That Go Grunt In The Night”). While it turned out to be a funny (and wet!) situation, the fear seemed very real as my imagination ran wild.
Fear, or as my friend and Life Coach Kathy Hadley reminds people, is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. And she’s right. Fear is nothing more than an illusion.
And it can be one of the biggest challenges we experience.
How many times have you been afraid to try something new? Or afraid to change something, even though your current methods weren’t working?
If you are like most, when fear strikes, you may experience physical symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, paralysis or immobilization, elevated blood pressure, increased perspiration, tense and energized muscles, hives or skin rashes, just to name a few. This stresses the body, so to combat it, the body releases stress hormones, like cortisol, into your bloodstream. If the body is stressed over a period of time, severe conditions may occur, if not treated.
So, why do we let it get the best of us?
Fear is often based in a lack of knowledge or understanding. Not knowing the outcome of a situation leaves us to our imaginations. When we don’t know or understand something, we assume. Many times those assumptions trick us into thinking the worst. The survival part of us wants to know exactly what is going to happen; it wants guarantees and safety. This lack of knowledge fans the flames of our fears, and suddenly we have a fiery monster breathing in our direction.
But fear has an enemy. The kryptonite of knowledge.
Rather than react to your fear, you can take a proactive approach by arming yourself with knowledge. Just becoming informed about that which scares you can shift everything. The “unknown” now becomes the known.
True, some fears may be deeper rooted and much more complex than anticipated; these may take more time to address and may require the help of a life coach/professional. But oftentimes, our fears will vanish simply by learning more about the things we are avoiding.
Knowledge is our ally against fear. The next time you find yourself feeling great resistance toward something, take a deep breath, get out the kryptonite and inform yourself, and then poof! That monster of fear dissipates into a puff of smoke, and you become your own superhero.
In what ways do you use your superpowers to conquer fear? Please share below.