by KANCHAN AGARWAL | 18 MAY 2018
Fear is known to hinder the flow of intelligence. While some fears are rational and can in fact be an empowering tool in situations where survival is the goal, the majority of our fears arise due to thinking too much or not thinking at all. The acronym False Evidence Appearing Real is an accurate way to understand what fear is. This being established, it is safe to say that an action performed under the direct influence of fear might be irrational due to its overwhelming quality. The compounded form of many such small actions might look like toxicity, insecurity, distrustfulness and the tendency to worry endlessly. Hatred is given birth to marking the victory of greed, envy and ignorance which according to Buddhist teachings are humanity’s true enemies. This is how our irrational fears can easily manipulate our sense of reality and we develop several patterns of fears — fear of failure, fear of loss or death and fear of an unhappy past repeating itself. While these fears are valid in a way, they are still irrational fears. Our fears hold us back from actualizing our full potential and making our dreams come true. Today, they are affecting our personal growth, our life experiences including our work life and the relationships we are in. The more we focus on them, the more we are held back. The more we ignore them, the more embedded they become. The danger of keeping fears is that we might begin to identify with them, if we are not already.
Now, let’s take a moment to evaluate the place of fears in our lives. Knowing that living in fearful conditions can affect the power of our brain which is basically the CPU of Human System, knowing that fear is nothing but fiction we create to amuse ourselves sometimes, do our fears deserve the power we give them? Instead of allowing them to suppress us or escaping from them, would you rather not face your fears and become the hero of the story of your life which you are writing right now even as you are reading this?
How can you face your fears? They are such a fearful thing. They can make us feel out of control and make us forget that we always have a choice. So remember that when a fear is busy taking over your senses, you need to think about what to do. Knowing what to do in the face of fear will give you the power you need to face your fear. The next step is to step out of the image of a victim. Indulging in fear and indulging in it as a helpless victim is counterproductive. What you need to do is take charge and look at it as an opportunity to grow. It’s time to take back the remote control of your life from them wretched creatures fears.
Your 10-step guide for rationally tackling irrational fears:
Become self-aware and be willing to change
The first step to change is the willingness to change. If you need to, make a note of the reasons you want to no longer live under fear. This will give you a sense of purpose and keep you on track.
To develop self-awareness, begin with simply observing your patterns. Make a list of your fears with the aim of overcoming fears consciously and this will help you understand your patterns and think clearly in fearful or anxious situations. Try to understand the roots of your fears. It is common for fears to be rooted in childhood events and it is just as possible to grow out of them as stronger, wiser and unbeatable people. You might make astonishing discoveries about yourself by simply raising questions like “Which childhood incidents affected me in a negative way? How did those experiences change the way I continued with my life?” Then ask yourself “What kind of a person do I want to be? What kind of a life do I want to live?”
Take one day at a time
The tendency of fear is to overwhelm us. Hence, the most logical approach to beating fear is to break it down into smaller, manageable pieces. Keep in mind that by deciding to face your fears daily in small proportions, you are committing to greatness. Don’t forget that the greatest heroes were not born but made. Let there be a day in your journey of self-empowerment when you look back and say to yourself “it’s amazing how far I have come!”
Knowledge will save you
It will save you from your fears because you will understand and know true from false, happy from unhappy, good from bad. When you are facing a new challenge or a situation which makes you anxious, work on killing your ignorance with hard facts and knowledge and that will give you the confidence you need to act rationally in a terrifying situation.
Replace fear with gratitude
There is nothing as life changing as gratitude. Only if it was spoken about as often as fears are spoken about. The secret to happiness is being thankful for what you have and not complaining for what you don’t have. When you think about what you don’t have, there starts a series of complaints about what else you don’t have and you are left with a sense of void. But being grateful for what you do have creates abundance as is the way of nature; and that is a power no one can take from you.
Positive Thinking and Self-affirmations
Our thoughts and the way we talk to ourselves affect our moods and our behaviour. Thus, when you are working with your fears, think of what can go right instead of getting trapped in the thoughts of what can go wrong. To achieve that, it will be helpful to develop a healthy relationship with yourself by improving the quality of the conversations you have yourself. How intelligent are they? Often our behaviour remains governed by voices in our head imprinted from our childhood experiences. You can change that by replacing them with soothing and encouraging voices of true friends, favorite artists and great minds.
Self-love is being the first one and the last one to stand by the lovely person ‘you’. It means accepting yourself for who you are first and then making space for growth. It is showing kindness to your own self. To beat your fears, focus your attention on things which stimulate your intelligence and make you smile. This will empower you.
Include yoga and meditation in your life
It is said that when you own your breath, no one can steal your inner peace. Those who have experienced the benefits of yoga can claim this saying to be not only true but probably also the most empowering thought to live by. Yoga is designed for wholesome transformation such that its regular practise can align the entities of the mind, body and soul and empower us to see and experience reality as it is. It can teach us to harness our inner wisdom and intuitive resources which is far more valuable than popular media would agree to. In times of stress, take a deep breath and pay attention to the moment — let the truth will reveal itself.
Body Strength and Excessive Energy
Our behavioural tendencies also arise from excessive energy in the physical body. Sometimes, this might be our body’s way of telling us that we need to get rid of thoughts, feelings or just plain energy which are not serving us — that which is not useful to us. Perhaps, there is more to sports than keeping us agile — they also keep us sound.
Practise emotional intelligence
As empowering as it might be to acknowledge one’s emotions, there is also the risk of getting carried away by them. This can hold us back from making the right decisions. What we need to understand is that emotions are transient by nature and are at times, even products of our own creation. Hence, it can be only so productive to act purely from an emotional place. But then again, combine emotion with logic and reason, and imagine the possibilities. A clear mind and a pure heart together might just be the formula to change the world for good. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions or have found yourself to struggle with their influence, try maintaining a journal in which you can write about what makes you anxious and what makes you excited. This will support you in dealing with your emotions independently. Nonetheless, it is always a wonderful thing to pour your heart to a friend who understands just what makes you, you.
Keep yourself occupied, especially with creative arts
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, there it is.
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