Understanding fear is necessary to overcome it. Identifying its origin is a key step that allows you to put into practice exercises focused on this particular feeling. Here’s how to overcome your fears.
What is fear?
First, it is important to understand the mechanism of fear. If we take its literary definition, fear is described as a feeling of alarm, of strong anxiety in the presence of a threat or danger. It can also be described as a feeling of fear or a state of fear in a given situation. But fear is above all part of our four primary emotions which are anger, joy, sadness, and finally, fear.
Today, we tend to classify it as a “negative” emotion when it used to be useful for human survival. Indeed, prehistoric man was above all guided by his instincts in a dangerous and rather hostile world. Originally, fear is therefore an automatic emotional alarm signal. Thanks to her, we have the reflex to flee when we feel our life threatened.
Why are we afraid?
It is essential to differentiate between the real threat and the imaginary danger. Indeed, in our modern society, our negative thoughts are most often the source of our fears. They lead us to imagine the worst and they cause confusion, stress, hesitation, anxiety, and sometimes even panic and anxiety attacks. Previous experiences can fuel these stray thoughts, like bad memories. These create false beliefs and blockages, because they bring us before the unknown.
We would like to be able to take control and keep it in every situation, especially when we are anxious in nature. This simple idea reassures us, but it is only an illusion. The unexpected is recurrent, and we will always be forced to leave our comfort zone. Feeling a form of apprehension or fear is completely normal. On the other hand, this feeling should in no case paralyze us or make us lose our means.
Know how to identify your fears
Generating awareness is the first step to overcoming your fears.
Unearth your greatest fears
You have several options for determining your fears. First, you can list your top five fears. Here, you have to stay centered on your person, and not on your loved ones. Then ask yourself: are they really founded and realistic? It is a simple exercise, which will nevertheless ask you for a certain reflection centered on your emotions. These fears may have been there forever, or since a certain event. They may not all be explainable, but they are rooted in you.
A little more difficult: identify your unconscious fears. They can concern commitment, change, the passage of time … These fears are especially diffuse and do not manifest themselves as much as the primary fears directly linked to instinct. If you want to spot them, you will have to take the time to think about them and to remember the situations that aroused a form of discomfort in you. List these moments and describe the emotions you felt: was it really fear? How did you really feel?
You can also create a table with two columns in which one column will be reserved for your fears and all your darkest ideas on a subject of your choice (family, work, love, etc.). In the second column of your table, you will place all of your dreams related to this same subject. Using this method, you will be able to draw a parallel between your false beliefs and your goals. The idea is to remove the blockages generated by unrealistic fears. Of course, you need to be sincere and thoughtful during this exercise.
The fears that block your projects
Among the fears you feel, some are likely to block your personal or professional projects. Here it is essential to identify your fears if you want to move forward, and start working to overcome them. Otherwise, your efforts are likely to be in vain and your projects will never materialize. List your projects (having a child, getting a promotion, buying a home, etc.) for which you feel blockages, apprehensions, or fears. These are the ones you care about, but for which you fail to take action for a variety of reasons.
Once your list is established, ask yourself the right questions: what are the positive aspects if your situation remains the same? And what will be the negative aspects if your situation changes? This exercise is able to uncover certain blockages, fears, and false beliefs related to your project. It is therefore up to you to question yourselves about their validity and their influence in your life. These fears should no longer hinder your personal or professional development.
The fears that keep you from achieving the life of your dreams
Assume that you only have a few months or weeks to live. This is certainly not pleasant, but exercise is very beneficial in raising awareness of the fears that drive you. What do you think is becoming essential as your supposed death is fast approaching? Do you have any regrets, or remorse? Did you really live the way you wanted? Do you have more to do? And most importantly: are you happy?
Of course, here it is a question of listing only the elements on which you can act. Events beyond your control and over which you have no influence do not count. For example: did you abandon projects you wanted? For what reasons? If you could go back, would you do things differently?
For this exercise to work, you will need to show the utmost sincerity towards yourself. Assume your share of responsibility: the objective is to allow you to move forward. Be honest. In this context, there is no point in wanting to incriminate others for your own decisions, or to take into account external circumstances. Fate has nothing to do with it.
How to overcome your fears?
Having identified your most sincere and deepest fears is an essential first step. If you have succeeded, then you will have to mobilize your will to overcome them.
Confront her fears
As a general rule, the best way to overcome your fears is to face them directly. To show courage is above all to move forward despite your fears. Confronting them will allow you to get rid of them. Grab your courage with both hands and get out of your comfort zone. You will be able to give yourself the means to concretize your projects and your desires. But for this, you will not need to embark on too radical a change. You just have to go in small steps. Set yourself small daily challenges as well as achievable goals over longer periods of time. Take small, but meaningful actions to move slowly without being discouraged.
Accept your fears, and learn to control your reactions. In the previous section, you have uncovered your main fears and your biggest dreams. Now take a few moments of calm to relax and close your eyes. Imagine what life would be like without all these fears. To help you, focus on a particular situation. Imagine yourself in a context that scares you, such as when you have to speak in public for example. Learn to visualize this scene from a purely positive point of view. Feel comfortable and confident. Soak up positive thoughts and let go of your dark ideas: they no longer need to be!
The secret is in the repetition
Overcoming your fears is something that will naturally last over time. To make this possible, you will certainly have to repeat your actions until all of your fears are gone. Little by little, each action will transform into a new habit that will take root in you. Of course, this approach requires commitment and persistence on your part.
Overcoming your fears is unfortunately not a magic wand. For this to work, we must give ourselves the means, and mobilize courage. If releasing your fears is going to take time, don’t hesitate to reward yourself from time to time! Congratulate yourself, appreciate your efforts and treat yourself to keep your motivation intact over the days.
You already have all the keys to overcome your fears, it’s up to you. Never forget how much they can hinder your dreams and ruin your life. Don’t let them control your reactions anymore. Take control of your fears by identifying them and taking the time to understand them. You will then have all the leisure to get rid of them by choosing to face them. You and only you can do it!