Over the weekend, I was listening to a song and in that song the singer states the last time she faced her fears, that she could recall, was when she was 12. This statement stuck with me because I thought, WOW? how many of us have a fear that we never even face or attempt to conquer. As I continued to ponder on that question, I began to wonder why it is important to face our fears.
So, I began to identify what is fear. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. We all have fears of some sort. Fear was meant to prepare us for a situation that may put us at harm and so the body gets ready to deal with the situation. Having fear of the unknown is quite normal. Anything that isn’t familiar to us will normally make us feel uncomfortable; despite this it is important to face our fears.
Fears are negative emotions because it can paralyze you and affect all areas of your life, and most important, fears stop people from making decisions. Many people don’t express themselves as they are. These emotions keep us in our comfort zone. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries that are not real. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Dealing with fear in healthy ways is the primary element of courage. Fears can subdue us. It can take over your life and never allow you to achieve your purpose in life.
Facing your fears will help you grow. When you fear something because it is unknown territory and you run away from it, you’re actually shrinking as a person spiritually, mentally and emotionally. You don’t grow always doing what is familiar to you. You grow through change. Doing the things you want and need to do despite the fear will help you see your strengths and what you’re really made up of. How are you going to know what you’re really capable of doing if you don’t face your fears?!
Facing your fears helps expand you in every way; you start to see all the possibilities in your life. You allow yourself to know all that is out there and this provides insight to see life in a whole different light. Since it is our perspective that shapes us, your perspective of the world will change as a result of you facing your fears. This then will change the reality of your life.
Tips To Overcome Fear
1. Identify them. What are you afraid of?
2. Take responsibility and acknowledge your are feeling afraid and Why?
3. Identify the negative source or situation. Does it come from a past experience?
4. Learn relaxation techniques. Implement skills that aid in calming your emotions.
5. Connecting with others. All fears, no matter how big or small are worse when we face them alone. Find a good friend to share your fears with. We tend to resist admitting our fears because we are afraid that the person will think less of us, that they will laugh or make things worse. Find someone you can trust, possibly a counselor, maybe a relative or trusted friend and share what’s bothering you. They may be able to help you see what you’re afraid of in a new light and they will be there to stand by you and encourage you as you take steps to face your fears.
6. Create structure. Structure gives us a sense of security because we know what to expect. There is comfort in the familiar. If you take control of what you can, it will give you a good starting place from which to face the things you can.
7. Set a plan for overcoming your fear.You must face it for overcoming it.
8. Be patient with yourself. Try again. The more familiar you become with the situation you are afraid of the fast you will overcome it.
Facing your fears is important for your overall well-being. You simply can’t afford to live on fear and what you should fear the most is continuing to live a life that you are not happy with just because you fear taking that step. Start overcoming your fears to experience the life you deserve to live. Learn to control yourself, and eliminate it.
“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” – Japanese Proverb
~Monretta Vega, LPC