There’s so much information available online to support you if you have a problem with fear – resources telling you how to overcome it.
Millions of people search for tips on this topic in the hope of finding something that might solve their fear related issues.
We all understand the fact that fear keeps us from doing phenomenal things, living the life of our dreams. What we need to know is HOW to deal with fear. But time and time again we get stuck, at a loss for how to move forward. Many tips we read sound great, but applying them can be tough. Once fear grips your mind and body, you can end up feeling paralyzed, right?!
Maybe we need to first stand back and look at fear in a new way, in order to finally have enough freedom and capability within ourselves to start applying all the tips and tools to conquer it.
Let’s start by asking a powerful question…
Is it fear, or our attitude towards fear that really bothers us?
1. Let’s identify what’s wrong
There is a single problem, the solution of which can take us one step ahead towards conquering our fears.
The problem that I’m talking about is the lack of understanding of the inevitable emotion called fear.
Fear is a normal thing. You don’t need to fear your fear! 😄
In psychology, it is defined as a spontaneous response when our mind perceives that there is a threat in front of us.
Imagine walking through a forest and a leopard leaps in front of you, or you wake up and suddenly find your house on fire. Your immediate response is fear. You cannot deny or avoid it. And it’s quite healthy and very helpful in such situations!
But, unfortunately, fear comes up in situations where we don’t need it, and it’s not helpful. Fear originates from different sources – your past experiences, your beliefs, your present situation. Different sorts of fear have different names in psychology, and they have different levels of severity. Whatever the type of fear, the good news is that step by step you can learn how to process and release it.
2. Find the way out, don’t run away
The first step towards our goal is acceptance – accept that you’re afraid, because it’s normal for a human being to be afraid.
When you accept it, you’re no longer fighting against it, then there is only one choice left for you: confront your fear.
When you face your fear, your mind is not paralyzed anymore. Your reasoning faculties are wide awake and you are in a position to find the solution to your problem.
Swami Vivekananda, the famous Indian monk, once narrated a real life experience that occurred in Varanasi, when he talked about facing one’s fears.
Once he was walking down a narrow lane in the old city when a troop of aggressive monkeys blocked his way. He started running and the monkeys chased him. All of a sudden, a stranger appeared in the alleyway and called out: ‘Don’t flee. Face the brutes’.
He turned to face the monkeys, and immediately they fled, leaving him alone.
Our fears are like those monkeys. They haunt us if we keep running away from them. When we face them, they evaporate.
3. Observe the details
If we look closely at each of our difficult emotions: anger, hatred, jealousy, sadness, disappointment, we can find only one reason behind all of them – fear.
There’s fear of failure, fear of getting abandoned, fear of loss and so on.
We all want to take bold steps towards a better life, but fear keeps us within the vicious circle of doing nothing.
Our apathy towards doing something remarkable is a result of nothing but fear. The more we understand the way fear plays out in our lives, the less mystery there, the more empowered we are to deal with it.
4. You have to do it anyway, and that’s the only way
I had wasted a vital year of my education due to fear.
I was unable to study even a single topic because I was afraid of failing in the engineering entrances.
Once I got hit by a car while crossing the road! It was a terrible accident but miraculously I survived with some scratches and a fractured rib. Afterwards, for many months I felt my heart pounding whenever I crossed the road, but I had to do it anyway. You cannot avoid crossing the roads no matter how afraid you are!
As a result of this, I learnt to face my fear every day, and gradually, the fear came under my control.
5. Take charge
You are much more capable of making your life extraordinary than you actually think you are.
It’s time to recognize your fears, accept them, face them and defeat them.
Keep your mind focused on your purpose. Go ahead, conquer your demons and come out victorious.
Whenever you notice you’re having a problem with fear, just remember these wise words from Swami Vivekananda…
Be a hero. Always say, ‘I have no fear’.
I’m an IT professional in love with reading and writing. I observe how life unfolds before me, and most of my spiritual lessons come from my own experiences. The Vedanta and Yoga philosophy is my guide on the spiritual journey that I have taken. I love writing short stories and poems too.