Monday, June 16, 2008

Five Truths about Fear

We fear being alone; we fear being crowded. We fear the doctor; we fear living with health problems. We fear the opposite sex; we fear not knowing the opposite sex. We fear making decisions; we fear of not making an impact. We fear problems; we fear opportunities. We fear failure; we fear success. We fear job interviews; we fear unemployment. We fear asserting ourselves; we fear not asserting ourselves. We fear being pushed; we fear being pulled. We fear breaking up a relationship; we fear staying in the relationship. We fear meeting someone; we fear meeting no one.
Wow! Talk about a crazy list of contrasting fears! The truth about fears is they are crazy and irrational. What fears do you experience which you think are unique to you? What are the fears that drive you crazy?
As you've seen in the beginning of this article, we fear one side of the story while at the very same time we can fear the other side of the story. It is possible to fear talking to someone new, and fear not meeting new people, at the same time because fear hides the truth.
The experiences fear gives you are a smoke screen. It makes you irrational. Fear hides the truth from you. Literally, the acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear doesn't want you to know the truth about itself and yourself.
The fears we experience are immobilizing. They paralyze us from taking action and achieving what we want. We can want something, but fear sends what seems like the equivalent of a massive electromagnetic pulse through our body as it shuts down our physical functioning.
According to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, there are five truths about fear. Whatever it is you fear, provided that the fear is not physically dangerous like doing drugs, the following five truths apply:
Truth #1
The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
Our ancestors experienced fear because they were threatened from dangerous animals or life threatening environments. Fear has its evolutionary purpose as it serves to protect. Whatever it is you fear, the fear tricks you into thinking it is danger. It tells you the thing you fear will cause pain. It tricks you into thing you won't be able to handle it.
Don't be one of those people who expect to live a fearless life. As Thomas Leonard so bluntly and wonderfully put it, "Fear is natural. Be with it." Fear can, and will, diminish in the things which you immerse yourself. However, once you explore new unknown territory, new fears will arise. I know it isn't nice to hear that, but I'm hear to tell you the truth about fear that fear doesn't want you to know. It is far more comforting and exciting to experience growth and live in fear than to live paralyzed by fear.
Truth #2
The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
Truth number two sounds contradictory to truth number one, but be assured that both truths are still truths. Fear will always exist in your life, but it doesn't have to exist in the things that you do. When we do the thing we fear, whether it was a facade or not, we come to build confidence in our ability to handle the situation. Fear decreases.
We fear because uncertainty looms in our ability to handle what gets delivered to us. "Fear comes from uncertainty." said William Congreve. "When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear."
Anthony Robbins said, "Do what you fear, and the death of fear is certain." Action will conquer fear any day of the week, month, and year of your life. By acting in the face of fear, you transform the uncertain into the certain as the unknown becomes known.
Truth #3
The only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do it.
When filled with a fear, we reason to ourselves that we will take action when we feel better about ourselves. "When I'm ready, I'll…" "If I can… then I'll…" "I'll wait till I'm…" Stop waiting for whatever it is you are wanting to change. Change your ability to take action.
While self-esteem boosts you ability to take action, go the quicker and more direct route: take action to boost your self-esteem. The feelings of confidence will then build on themselves, like a good financial investment, leading to more and more positive feelings about yourself. Stop wanting to be a fearless public speaker before doing public speaking. Do public speaking to be a fearless public speaker.
The myth of truth number three, "I'll feel better about myself before doing it", is reverse thinking to the truth. You will not feel a better person, or have more self-belief in your ability, until you do the thing which you fear. It is when you dive into action that you begin to feel good about yourself; not the other way around.
Truth #4
Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I'm on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.
It is very comforting and reassuring to hear truth number four. Reassuring statements have a danger to delude one from reality and the hard truth. Nonetheless, it is truth that everyone else experiences fear in unfamiliar territory. Every public speaker and writer I have known suffers, or suffered, from fears and insecurities of the judgments of others.
Fear is hardwired into the human mind. Fear wants you to think that your fears are unique psychological problems. Fear is an educational problem. Draw comfort from knowing that those around you, and those who you envy, also experience or once experienced the very fear you feel is unique to you. It is the insecurities we feel and deem unique to us that unite us.
Truth #5
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.
Although fear encompasses uncertainty, the certainty of living a fearful life is more scary. The fear of being ill is more scary than seeing a doctor. The fear of having a divorce is more scary than addressing a tough relationship problem. The fear of having no friends is more scary than approaching someone. "Courage is not the absence of fear," said Ambrose Redmoon, "but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
Repeat each of these truths at least 20 times every morning and night. When you continually affirm the truth, you will accept it as truth. You will no longer be tricked by fear. I'm excited to have finally revealed the truth about fear to you.
Don't let fear fool you. It is after all False Evidence Appearing Real. Follow the five truths in this article and you will see the light which fear hides from your eyes. The truth exists, you just need to see it.
Live a fear-filled life!Happiness,

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