Do you ever wonder why you don’t chase a dream or goal? Why don’t you get up and leave to take that job across the world? Are you in an abusive relationship you can’t seem to escape? Have trouble opening yourself up to others?
When fear drives your brain it can feel suffocating and freeze you into an anxiety of choices on rather to fight or flee. It is what can keep us safe or keep us from growing into more rewarding areas of our life.
My last doctor visit revealed that I finally conquered a long time struggle with high blood pressure. This makes the third and final medicine I have officially been able to free myself off since starting the BBLC almost two years. The truth is, I have never been mentally and physically healthier in my life.
I have to admit conquering and controlling my health in this manner has been an empowering journey that I’m very proud of; But hidden in the depth of it all is an emotional journey with a path of hidden shadows from the emotional abuse I’ve endured over the years. This emotional turmoil is the last puzzle to fulfilling a mentally healthy me.
From these repressed, subconscious emotions, that unfortunately surface at the worst times, fear pursues and can hold me back from relationships and career goals. Fear has been used to control me for so many years that if I don’t consciously recognize and do the work I will allow fear to fester and hold me back from all areas of my life. I have given myself only one option: “You will walk straight into the shadows until you find light. The light has ending with possible sunshine and rainbows.”
Fear doesn’t always relate to those abused. It can happen through other unexpected traumas in life, heightened anxiety of real or imagined events, and environmental dangers.
Fear is an instinctive response in humans and animals with the intent to keep us safe. Fear is important for evolution and survival. So, when does something born inside to keep us alive and thriving turn against us?
Fear can easily hold us back from happiness when insecurities and anxiety become dominant and it is not navigated through. For example, if you don’t go after that new job that would make you happy because you are afraid of the pay decrease and how it will affect not only you but your family. This type of fear is a source of survival and protecting your tribe in today’s world since you are not likely to go hunting or foraging for berries. However, with decisions like this you are able to weigh the pros and cons. Creating an educated decision alleviates some of the anxiety and lessens the fear response.
However, if fear of failure is held onto and not logical worked through, it can hold someone back. Anxiety is your body’s indicator something bad could come which then will heighten the fear response and enhance anxiety. If the fear is faced and worked though, running toward instead of running from, the uncomfortable anxiety will lessen as similar situations present themselves through life. You are training your brain to desensitize to a type of event that you associate with danger when you know, you are in fact, not in immediate danger.
This desensitization can also work with other fears of snakes, spiders, bugs, mice or of any other animal. It also can carry on in the work place, the more you directly approach the “scary boss” and educate yourself on what makes the boss scary to you, you can desentized yourself to that fear and overcome it, creating a more manageable environment.
It is an ongoing mental game, training your brain to face fears that aren’t going to cause you bodily or psychological harm. If there is a fear you have, where you are in a situation that is harmful to your well-being it is important to teach yourself to fight through it and do everything you can to use the fear in a way that will keep you protected. Fear is meant for: survival. If you are in danger, in any way, use your fears to survive (and escape).
If you listen to fear and accept it to hold you back you can never reach your full potential in life. It goes back to the quotes which lead to the intent of: One who tries can not fail. Roy T. Bennett’s is one of my personal favorites.
The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tries. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.Roy T. Bennet
All of these types of fears filter into career and relationships in all areas of life rather it be family, friends, spouse, boss and even children. We communicate with people in our lives based on what we have been conditioned for survival. If there is trauma in the past anywhere from childhood to adulthood it will filter into other areas of life.
Sometimes these fears are unseen or unknown until a situation arises causing the brain to associate the situation as danger and triggering the fight or flight mode. When a subconscious fear is triggered one can walk away scratching their head. (PTSD can be in relation to these subconscious fears.) To work on overcoming this, face the uncomfortable situation and choose to understand why the event caused a reaction. If your anxiety is on a severe level, I suggest working through these fears with a health professional. Find a professional that has expertises in navigating you through your personal type of trauma.
It holds merit to say, “The best way to beat fear is to face it.” Exposing yourself to feared situations and fighting through them will desentize the brain to those fears. Fleeing from feared situations increases anxiety, causing the anxiety to become more severe when the situation prevents itself again. Freezing is a choice in between to decide rather to fight or flight. If frozen, use this moment to assess the situation and understand if you are really in danger.
Fear is a normal part of life, it is how you deal with that fear on how your courage will grow. Embrace your fear and welcome the challenge when it arises. Work through fears, knowing the only probable, real danger is living in a world of “what if’s.”