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Don't fear your fear



Don’t fear your fear.

Fear is a signal, the same way pain is.


When you feel pain, something is happening that you need to pay attention to, e.g. it's telling you to stop touching the hot pan with your bare hands, or look closer at your relationship. You probably heard about the condition called CIP (Congenital Insensitivity to Pain). People affected by it don’t feel pain therefore can get injured very easily. Their body doesn’t send them warning signals.


Fear is similar. It's telling you that there is something that is worth your attention. There is something that your brain classifies as potential danger and sends you messages to stay alert, avoid or face it.


If we try to silence the fear, we don’t do ourselves any favor because the trigger is still there, and we just spend our energy on ignoring it.


Instead, let's invite the fear to the table. Look at it, listen to what it's trying to tell you, give it a shape and define its impact.


Some fears can be irrational, like my fear of spiders that makes my heart race at the sight of a tiny spider in the bathtub. It is there despite me knowing that the poor creature is harmless.


But exactly this knowledge - that I overreact and my brain can get crazy when there is no real danger, is really helpful. Because it's a fact that helps me understand that there may be other scenarios, other fears that are just a result of my imagination or automatic reaction of my body to non-existing danger. So, I hunt for them, prove them irrational and move forward.


And if there are reasons to be anxious – finances, finding a job, our health – facing them is crucial. You can’t fix something that you don’t know, and using a hammer or switching on and off is not always an option.


So, take a deep breath. Sit down. Ask questions. Make your fear as specific as possible. And then ask yourself, "What is the first thing I can do now to make it better?"


It's not easy, but it's doable. And you don’t need to do it alone.

You are not alone.


I'm sending you my love!

Barbara

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