We often associate fear with negative connotations but this need not be so. Fear can actually be a very useful thing. Fear is natures self preservation system that warns us of immediate dangers, enhances our awareness and keeps us safe.
The physical symptoms we get when we are scared are not dissimilar from the ones we get when we are excited, think about the sensation you got last time you went on a rollercoaster or the feeling an actor gets before they go on stage.
Fear is, therefore, a natural and useful physical sensation that is not always a negative symptom. In fact, the act of being afraid is a largely subjective experience, depending on what you attribute the physical sensations to will decide on whether it is positive or negative experience.
Any kind of feeling depends upon a point of view, in the same way we don’t all react the same to films, music and even people. This makes the world a much more fun place, I’m sure you agree. When it comes to fear, we need to challenge who we are as people if we are experiencing too many negative, fearful feelings.
The type of fear I am referring to is the type of fear that stops you from applying for a job or going up to someone in a club and talking to them. For this type of fear, we need to challenge our core value system to find out why we are being so hard on ourselves.
If you are overly self critical, apprehensive about trying new things or suffering from a lack of confidence, the chances are you are fearful of something such as failure or rejection. Fear is the cause behind all of our limiting belief systems; it holds us back from achieving our true potential and paralyses our confidence. In order to conquer fear, we must look at the root cause behind it, namely us!
Negative fear stems from our fight or flight instinct, as revealed by numerous studies. Experiencing fear in a healthy way is essential to overcome it as a negative feeling. It is from our beliefs and attitudes that we attribute meaning to the world, so examine your core beliefs first. There are probably some beliefs you hold about yourself that you just take for granted such as fear of failure.
The fear of failure is perhaps the most common fear of all. In small does it can actually be helpful to drive us on to greater success, but in large doses it can paralyse the spirit. Fear of failing is often the underlying cause behind most of our anxieties. More often than not, this fear is also attached to the need to be loved, to be seen as a success not a failure.
Conversely, letting this fear get out of hand will result in limiting behaviours. To beat this fear, new beliefs need to be installed.
First of all, rather than seeing failure negatively, failure should be seen as part and parcel of learning. After all, how else are we expected to learn if we do not make mistakes? Replace your existing fears of failure with a fear of not gaining new experiences.
Avoiding failure means closing yourself off from a world of possibilities. If you fear failure because you are worried of letting other people down, remember that loving yourself is the best starting point for being all that you can be.
We have briefly touched upon the fear of failure being linked with the fear of embarrassment. Sometimes you avoid things because you are worried about looking stupid. You may avoid things like public speaking, offering an alternative point of view, talking in a meeting, because you fear ridicule.
This overly self conscious behaviour is linked to a belief that everyone else is better than you, so it’s time to convince yourself otherwise. It is in childhood we learn how not everything we do is approved of. In fact the way we are treated in childhood has a direct influence on the way we seek approval from others later on in life.
If you were put down a lot for speaking up as a kid, it is time to readdress the balance. Rewrite your internal script with the belief that everyone admires someone who has the bottle to speak their mind, even if they don’t agree with it.
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