If you want to lead the life you desire, you must develop mental tenacity and confidence. You must be brave enough to make courageous decisions that define and drive your life in the direction you desire.
But so often do we find ourselves grappling with internalized doubt and fear of the unknown. We find ourselves being unable to take any major leap due to the weight of the baggage full of “what ifs”
As we sit and look back, we realize that whatever holds us back is not concrete, and it is not even external but springs from within, fear. Fear can be defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. Many mental illnesses are engrained in fear, Social Anxiety and Phobias to be specific.
There are rational and irrational fears, there’s the fear of the unknown and the fear of certain situations among others. What’s more, there is a multitude of ways to deal with fear; you can either overcome it, accept it or embrace it.
Dealing with fear releases control and helps us to learn from past failures and grow as human beings. Once you jump over this ever-present hurdle, you will become a stronger, more powerful version of yourself.
You must, first of all, acknowledge that it exists, put words to your emotions and say them out loud. Or write down what you fear. Could be you fear rejection from others and that has kept you locked in a bubble, avoiding interactions that could potentially confirm your fears.
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Control is a fallacy in many respects. This is a belief that you are responsible for the events that happen in our environment. To overcome fear, you must accept that there are things which you cannot control. A good example is a death; none has power over that. And we shall all die anyway, one way or another, nobody really knows how.
Fear of death should not be holding you back from living life; from boarding a plane, a hot air balloon or a ship. I am not implying that you should live recklessly, caution is always better than cure. But imagine all the adventures and opportunities you missed simply because you were afraid.
In situations where fear has caused you unnecessary anxiety and stagnation in life, try digging a little deeper. Ask yourself, where is this fear coming from? where and when did it start? embracing or overcoming fear means sitting down with your thoughts, meditating, reminiscing, analysing and facing the painful truths.
Socrates, an early Greek philosopher, believed that the disciplined practice of thoughtful and structured questioning enabled people to examine ideas and emotions logically to determine their validity. He came up with a tool most therapists use today, Socratic Questioning. Some of the concepts include; clarifying concepts, probing assumptions, implications and consequences and questioning viewpoints. At the end of the exercise, you might actually realize that your fears are not as strong or as scary as you initially believed.
Mindfulness has proven to be effective in dealing with many negative emotions, from anger to sadness and even fear. This is practising the power of being fully present and being in control of your own experiences.
You can use the power of being mindful to focus on the emotions and feelings behind your fears, acknowledging them when they crop up in a non-judgmental way. It also involves taking a step back with the intention of understanding those feelings and thoughts in order to embrace the fear itself.
Positivity, gratitude and optimism are superpowers! falling back to these more positive approaches through directing your brain to more positive thoughts helps reinforce your feelings of safety, being loved and being accepted.
And even helps your problem and decision-making skills. Being positive can help you both accept the fear as well as overcome it while you utilise the rational part of your brain to bring fears into perspective.
Try visualization, this involves imagining our deepest ambitions and goals as true and already in existence, thereby enabling our subconscious mind to cement this new reality as the actual one. Try visualizing yourself in the exact spot where you fear, and create a reality of fearlessness!
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