What is fear?
Fear is an unpleasant and often very strong emotion that is triggered when being physically, emotionally, or psychologically threatened. This perceived danger causes the body to prepare for fight or flight and interestingly can result from real or imagined situations. The body reacts to fear by increasing the heart rate to pump blood to the muscles and brain faster, increasing respiration to supply the blood with more oxygen, increasing the size of pupils to enhance vision, and slowing down the urinary and digestive systems to reduce distractions.
Why do we have fear?
Although most people spend their lives trying to avoid the unpleasant feelings of fear there are justified reasons that this emotion is programmed into our nervous system. From the time of infancy, fear has been functioning like an instinct equipping the body with the ability to recognize and prepare for dangerous situations. Fear exists as a form of protection but as we age and become wiser it can inadvertently cause a lot of damage in our lives if not managed.
Why do we need to overcome fear?
The reality is that every path to success is riddled with uncertainty and uncomfortable situations that can trigger the feeling of fear. Over time we develop a comfort zone which is a schedule or lifestyle that is consistent and makes us feel safe. The idea of departing from this zone causes that internal fear which unfortunately prevents many from pursuing greatness. Overcoming this discouraging emotion and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable will create an unstoppable mindset that can attack any challenge, win or lose, and learn from it. Feeling uncertain or fearful should not be repressing, rather it should be viewed as positive because it reveals a lack of knowledge or preparation which can be overcome.
Common fears that are holding you back
- Public speaking
- Being judged
- Being alone
- Being perceived as weak
- Feeling unintelligent
- Looking foolish
- Being different
How do we overcome fear?
There are a few beneficial coping mechanisms for dealing with fear such as controlling your breathing, visualizing a happy place, talking to someone about your feelings, etc. but there is only one definite solution. Facing your fears is by far the best and quickest way to overcome a fear that is preventing you from greatness. Accepting the feeling of uncertainty that is connecting with a specific task and proceeding with that task until completion is key. Learning how to continue to function as intended with the overwhelming feeling of fear will ultimately help you conquer the fears while maintaining progression towards success. The more a task filled with uncertainty is faced head-on the less afraid you will become, eventually resulting in the elimination of the fear completely which creates the sense of fearlessness.