It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about FEAR, so let’s revisit it from a different perspective. Webster’s dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat (2016). The key word here is belief. You may be thinking, “hmmm…where do these beliefs come from?” Great question! You probably won’t believe it, but these beliefs come from you. It comes from your experiences; things you’ve heard and seen and believe to be true.
Related Post: How to Start Living Fearlessly
For example I have a selective (LMBO!) fear of heights. Yes, selective because I will hop on a plane real quick to travel the world without any fear about being high in the air (until that turbulence hit…yikes! But that’s not often). But when it comes to rollercoasters I’m scared and will gladly hold my friends’ bags while they ride. My belief is that airplanes are much more safe while my belief of rollercoasters is that it’s dangerous and I could die, get stuck, fall out, vomit, or hurt myself. Yes…all of that! Maybe a tad bit extreme, but its exactly what I think and believe to be true when it comes to roller casters.
These beliefs came from growing up and seeing my mother refuse to ride rollercoasters because of her own fear of heights, yet she was also a traveler that would take a plane over driving or a train any day. My family traveled a lot every year; thus I was frequently on an airplane. When I was 4/5 years old riding an airplane my parents said I was scared out of my mind. But with facing this fear every year I became comfortable with the very thing I was so afraid of. I was reprogramming my mind and body to respond in a different way to airplanes. I was no longer full of fear and anxiety because the beliefs I had were repeatedly proven to be false. I’ve been on airplanes for 24 years and I didn’t get hurt. I’m now very comfortable with the very thing (i.e. airplanes) that I feared and believed was going to take me out of this world.
What fears do you have?
What are the beliefs that you have that are fueling your fears?
When are you going to face that fear?
When are you going to challenge yourself/your belief(s)?
Have you seen people do the very thing that you fear and they were successful?
I will be the first to tell you I’m a work in progress. I faced my fear of heights again last year by parasailing in Hawaii. I still need to face my fear of heights as it pertains to roller coasters. That day will come soon. And of course fear is more than just heights. We can go deeper and find fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of loneliness, fear of success, fear of abandonment, fear of vulnerability, fear of being un-popular, and the list goes on. If you have any of these fears ask yourself the questions above to uncover what this fear and belief(s) is deeply rooted in and make a plan to confront it head on. The lesson in this is the more we face our fears head on, the more we challenge and change our beliefs and the more we feel empowered to face other fears/beliefs head on. And when this chain reaction occurs; change, growth, and increased self-awareness takes place.
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