What are your biggest fears in life?
Fear of failure? Loss? Financial ruin? Have you encountered some of your fears? Most of us spend so much time and energy worrying about these things, however, when confronted by our fears we learn that we are strong. Eventually, we grow from the experience. We have choices in our lives. We may not have control over external events, but we have a choice and we have control over how we react and grow from them.
We All Have Fears
We all have fears–fear of public speaking, fear of snakes, fear of dying, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of success…Fears can be based on many different things but one thing all fears have in common is that it triggers a reaction in your body. When you are faced with fear or you are thinking about fear, cortisol and adrenaline levels rise; your heart starts racing and your breathing becomes more shallow. Animals, after facing a fearful experience, will shake themselves to rid their bodies of the physical symptoms. Then, they’re off! Biologically they are made to get rid of this fight-or-flight (or frozen) feeling soon after the threat has left them. Humans however, tend to hold onto the thoughts and subsequent physical symptoms of their fears long after the threats have passed. Thinking about your fears can become paralyzing. Analyzing the fears, going over the different scenarios and the “what if’s” is counterproductive and creates additional stress from the stories that you create in your mind about your fears. And that’s just it–they are stories about your fears. If you change your stories, you can change the way you view your fears.
Confronting Our Fears
How many of us put off our dreams because we are afraid? How many of us have a fear of failure, of success, or fear that we are not enough? How many of us have a fear of truly loving another?
It is only until we confront our fears and act in spite of them that we learn life‘s greatest lessons. Sometimes, our fears confront us without any warning or preparation. For example, we lose our job, find out a partner is having an affair, or someone close to us has a serious illness. We are broad-sided suddenly and plunged immediately into having to deal with our fears. And yet, if we deal with our fears in a healthy manner, we come out even better than before. We are stronger, more confident, more knowledgeable and wise. If life were always easy, we would not have anything to compare it to–and it would be a little boring. Being fearful and confronting our fears allows us to remember our strength, our fortitude, and to recognize those around us who are truly supportive and loving.
When we confront our fears, we learn that we have unimaginable strength. When we confront our fears and learn from them, we have taken the next step in life to a better place. It may not feel like that initially, but inevitably we will look back and see that it benefited our life in some way. Focus your thoughts on your dreams, your goals, your blessings. Choose to focus on these thoughts instead of listening to your fears.