Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear comes in many forms. All of us fear something or the other. Some of us are afraid of darkness, some fear the spiders, some are scared of people, while some fear making mistakes – the list is pretty endless.
Regardless of what the fear is, the way our body responds to that fear is strikingly similar – a chill in the spine, numb feet, frozen body, eyes wide open, a butterfly in the pit of the stomach, unconscious sweating etc.
Fear keeps us in the background
It convinces us that we can never accomplish our dreams, tells us to keep quiet and separates us from the ones we love. Fear has an unparalleled ability to freeze us in our tracks and limit what we are willing to try. Fear makes us lead a smaller life.
Truly, if we think about it – the origin of all our fears is within us, that is, our own ‘Brain’. Over a period of time it has been programmed to warn us about anything that is remotely unsafe. Under any such situation our brain takes control of our body and sends us this little reminder in the form of reactions, either emotional or physical. Fear is mainly a battle in our heart and in our mind.
Face your fear
The process of facing fears is called EXPOSURE. Exposure involves gradually and repeatedly going into feared situations until you feel less anxious.
Exposure is one of the most effective ways of overcoming fears. However, it takes some planning and patience
How to do it?
- Make a list: Make a list of all the situations, places, people or objects that you fear.
- Rate your fears: Arrange things from the least scary to the most scary.
- Facing fears (exposure): Start with the situation that causes the least anxiety and repeatedly engage in that activity. The longer you face something, the more you get used to it and the less anxious you will feel when you face it again. Be patient and go at a pace which is comfortable for you.
- Practise: Practise on a regular basis. Keep a track of your gains and re rate your fear ladder. The more you practise the more your fear will fade away and the more confident you will be.
- Reward: Facing fear is never easy. Reward yourself when you do it and use that as a motivation factor to achieve a goal. You could involve your family, friends, colleagues or work mates over here.
Facing fear is never easy. It keeps creeping back time to time, especially during stressful phases. This is normal. Keep facing and keep practising.
Remember, coping with fear is a lifelong process – It’s how you face it that matters… So LETS FACE IT AND RISE !