If you talk to most people, their biggest fear would probably be clowns, snakes, or heights. Fears are something that everyone has, at varying degrees and on varying topics. However, fears aren’t only limited to the surface, what horror movies are made of. Fears come in all shapes and sizes and for most people, their deepest fears are a bit more ingrained. Fear of failure. Fear of spontaneity. Fear of rejection. These things seem even more scary because, they make up our reality.
With Halloween just around the corner, fear is all around us. It’s important though, to look at what we’re scared of when it strikes November 1st, and what stays with us for the rest of the year. Today, I wanted to talk about how fear affects our daily lives, and what we can do to conquer our deepest fears.
So, what exactly causes fear? Fear, defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”, shows us what fear really is. We aren’t scared of something…we are scared of what it will do to us. Take fear of failure for example. It’s not really the moment of failure we are afraid of, instead, it is scary that failure may cause a lack of motivation, a lack of opportunity, or worse, a lack of support from others. Since we are scared of failing at something, we never even try to do it. At some point, fear gets in the way of everyone’s life. There is always that little voice inside your head saying “what if”. This voice is actually very important because it keeps us safe and checks our impulses. The problem however, comes about when that voice gets too loud, and stops us from doing the things that makes life great.
When it comes to our fears, there are a few steps to take to overcome them so that we can live more fully. The first step, is to recognize what your individual fears are. A good way to do this is to take out a piece of paper or your phone, and write a list of all the things you would have done in the past month if you were not afraid. At first, this can seem difficult, but think back to the little things. Maybe, you would have said hi to that pretty girl in the halls, or gone for a sunset swim with your friend, or signed up for that art class you saw a flier for. Then, go through your list and ask yourself “what was I afraid of?” Once you know your fears, you can work through them for yourself.
In my opinion, the best way to conquer your fears, is to face them. Now, whether it’s slowly or quickly will depend on the person. Just as someone who is afraid of heights will have to face that by going to high places, someone who is afraid of rejection may have to go out of their way to put themselves in a vulnerable position. Again, my favorite way to do anything is to make lists. If you have a fear of spontaneity, write a list of all the spontaneous things you can do. The minute you step outside your comfort zone, you begin seeing things in a new perspective and overtime, the things that once seemed terrifying become…normal.
Conquering fears is generally not at the top of most people’s priorities. Although, what many don’t notice is how fear controls them in day-to-day life. If we continue to use fear to guide us, we will end up living a life full of regrets. Instead, always look to better yourself and with the new week starting, challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone and let go of fear.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Happy Living 🙂
Featured image by @melwasser on unsplash.com