If you stop and think- our lives are replete with stories and examples of overcoming what we thought were insurmountable hurdles. The lives of babies fascinate me. To be toddlers and have no fear of anything! They will walk in a den of lions without crying- their heart rate won't increase, they won't scream for help. They know no fear! The only time you will hear a baby cry is when they are hungry or need a diaper change. But- somewhere along the line, they LEARN to become afraid. If fear is a learned behavior, chances are it can also be unlearned.
Fear is a learned behavior.
Imagine taking a hot, steamy shower. While in the shower, you step on what feels like a giant snake. Immediately, your heart starts beating fast, and you burst out of the shower only to find that you were actually standing on a rope. It is this fleeting moment that we call fear. And, just like we can practice exercising our muscles to get stronger, we can also practice unleashing those fear muscles to get emotionally stronger and bigger. What does that mean? Fear and Insecurity are potent emotions. They are known as a negative state of being.
What does fear do to us?
The feelings of fear can cause physical pain and make us lose control. In our heads- fear can cause stress that causes the adrenal gland to secrete a hormone (cortisol) that floods the body and hijacks normal body functions. Stress can cause insomnia, muscle and joint pains, headaches, eating disorders, irregular menstruation, increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, depression, self-esteem issues, inability to sleep, rash, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, stomach pain, headaches, eye twitching, etc. In our bodies- fear can cause acid reflux, constipation, poor digestion, headaches, stomach pain, stomach cramps, heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, etc. So, what do we do when we feel fear creeping upon us?
How to overcome fear
Our greatest teacher is fear. It shows us where our fears lie- and what we indeed are capable of. The potential for us to learn from our fears is endless! Let's examine some of the most common fears plaguing many of us and trying to overcome them. The key is to make them your friend- and never, ever fear them again. Fear of rejection- Do you struggle with being rejected? I'll bet you have in the past. It can be excruciating and even debilitating at times. The issue isn't necessarily the rejection itself- but the fact that we get so invested in what people think of us. It is not that we will never be made afraid- but the real question is, what do you do when faced with fear?
The hard part of overcoming fear is that fear is a natural response to threats or danger. Trying to eliminate fear is impossible. However, there are many ways to deal with fear. Here are four techniques you can use: Distract yourself from the fear- build a distraction around your goal and focus on it until the fear subsides. For example, you might make a list of the things stopping you from making a significant change in your life. If your goal is to lose weight- you might make a list of the foods you should eliminate, the foods you should limit, and the exercise that will enable you to achieve your goal. Repetition is vital- repeating a statement or instruction over and over again can also be very helpful. Repeat the instruction in your head and repeat it out loud. Face your fears head-on-One of my favorite poems reads, "when you're up against the trouble, meet it squarely face to face." Whatever challenge you are facing- don't run and don't hide. Confront the challenge and never be afraid- no matter what it is. Stay in the moment- your mind is a powerful tool. Many times, when facing difficulty, we tend to think the worst is going to happen. We convince ourselves that some unfortunate circumstance is going to occur in the future. When, in fact- the future hasn't happened. It's only happened in your mind. Staying in the moment means that at this very moment- all is well, yesterday is a memory, and tomorrow isn't real. Believe in the dream that is in your heart- and never let anyone tell you it can't be done.