Dealing with Fear

Often times, we know what we need to do to get what we want.
We just have this feeling – labeled fear – that prevents us from doing it.
Maybe it’s the fear of rejection. Or, maybe the fear of failure.
Whatever it is, it’s the cause of so many crushed dreams.

“Don’t worry.” “Don’t panic.”
“Everything will be fine.”
That’s what we keep telling ourselves and others who experience it – as we feel pity.
Well, because we’ve been conditioned to view fear as a weakness, as something we shouldn’t experience.
See, we know how fear feels, but we don’t really know what fear actually means.
This is partially what makes it so difficult to overcome.
How can you overcome something that doesn’t exist?
Danger might exist in the real world, but fear doesn’t.
If we begin to look at fear for what it really is, we’ll realize that it’s merely an act of imagination – a story in our minds.
To create fear, we have to use our mental faculties.
It has no source outside ourselves.
Sure, there may be triggers outside, but the actual cause is within – thoughts of what “may happen”.
If we don’t use our faculty of imagination, we don’t create fear.
Easier said than done though.
Especially when we’re in a habit of producing these visions.
So, the practical way to go about overcoming it is to do the opposite of what most people do.
Instead of trying to escape the feeling, we should dive right into it.
(I’m NOT suggesting diving into danger. I AM suggesting diving into an emotion.)
When we start feeling the feelings of fear, the best thing we can do is to direct our attention to the fear – to the thoughts associated with the feeling of fear.
Not in such a way that we’re immersed in the thoughts, but that we’re observing them.
Some people might be so identified with their thoughts that they won’t be able to immediately do this.
For these people, just realizing that the fear is a creation of the imagination while experiencing it is already a big step.
What’s the story we’re telling ourselves?
Chances are, we’re projecting ourselves into the future, thinking “this is what’s going to happen to me”.
But, the reality is, the imaginary scenarios we create will probably never happen.
Even if it did, dealing with the actual situation will be way easier than what we make of it in our minds.
The better we can learn to observe this pattern of creating fear, the easier it’ll be to discover the irrationality of it.
Once we do that it’s incredibly more simple to break its model and begin using our imagination differently.
In the end, we do this to ourselves by way of attaching meaning to certain situations.
When we begin to change what things mean to us, we begin to change our reaction towards it.
And, since we already know what we need to do, we can take that as a sign that it means we’re one step closer to getting what we want.
We just need to overcome that feeling within.
“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
– Plato