It seems we have made fear a part of our way of living. We are always afraid of one thing or the other. These fears include but not limited to; Fear of what people think of you, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of tomorrow, fear of loneliness, fear of the unknown, fear of sickness, fear of panic, fear of love, fear of marriage, fear of the wedding day, fear of sex, fear of drowning, fear of flying, public speaking, fear of what people would say, fear of criticism, fear of unfaithfulness, fear of commitment, fear of reproach, fear of poverty, fear of asking a girl out (hard faced girls of nowadays..lol), fear of marrying the wrong person, fear of imperfection, fear of exams, fear of Police or LASTMA (My Lagos people would know better), fear of armed robbers, fear of being raped, fear of fraud, fear of being abused, fear of HIV, fear of witches (that old woman in the village), fear of heartbreak (a girl’s biggest fear), fear of not being appreciated, fear of a lecturer,fear of the landlord, fear of Boko Haram and so many more.
By definition, “fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined… ” Fear is such a powerful emotion that it can simply override all other feelings, logic or priorities.
In essence, fear is an illusion inexistent in the physical world, it is neither tangible nor visible. But it exists in our minds and manifests through our actions. These internal fears almost certainly cause external problems in our life, relationships and family. When our actions are founded in fear, we almost always make poor decisions which can have undesired consequences on us and others. Fear leads us to act out of desperation, frustration and anger. Fear produces stagnancy because it causes us to battle against ourselves. The rational part of our brain wars against our agitated emotions, and the struggle for the stronger of the two causes great stress within us. We worry that our worst fears may come true. And exactly that which we fear, ironically, we bring to life. In dealing with fear, there is the ‘Me’ part and the God part. For the first part, we will be discussing how to overcome fear from within by our personal decisions. Incorporate these four steps to fearlessness into your everyday life and feel your fears melt away:
F — Face The Truth: Face the truth of your fears. Face what scares you head-on. I remember a friend that said she was really a shy person and standing in front of people scared her silly. The only way she could overcome this fear was to face the fear head-on and make the fear understand that she was not going to give in to its paralyzing effect. To overcome her fear, she “fear fully” joined the ushering department in her church. The first few weeks were like hell because anytime she stood she felt “everyone was looking at her, maybe because her hair was not fine, maybe because her dress was not stylish enough, maybe because she wasn’t fine enough”. So many of such thoughts went through her mind but after a while, she got used to it and now she can stand in front of anyone without feeling a tad awkward. If you are afraid of drowning then learn how to swim. If you are afraid of public speaking then start practicing speaking in your class or office. If you are afraid of rejection then start doing things that people would say NO to you so you get accustomed to it. If you are afraid of asking a girl out for fear of rejection, why not ask her out for the hope of acceptance. She might say no but she might also say yes. If you are afraid of heartbreak then why not fall in love and if it doesn’t work out then you know you tried and he/she isn’t for you.
Learn to separate necessary concerns from baseless fears. Chances are that many of your fears are unwarranted in the greater scheme of your life. Remember, the unfortunate events which you fear will happen do not need to happen.
E — Erase Negativity: Many times, your fears stem from your own negative experiences or from witnessing the hardships of those around you. So people are afraid of heartbreak not necessarily because they have been heartbroken before but because they have seen a close friend heartbroken which has scarred them. Some other people are afraid of divorce because their parents or relations have been through a nasty divorce. Some people are afraid of public speaking because when other people talk they either stutter or are laughed at. Some people are afraid of death because they have seen a loved one die.
What you must remind yourself daily is that your past is your past, and whatever happened in your past, which makes you afraid today, must be dealt with and its mental imprints removed permanently.
A — Affectionately Believe in Yourself: I saw a report where thousands of people in America were asked what there were afraid of and more people were afraid of public speaking than of death. Can you imagine that? Why are people afraid of public speaking? Simply because they think they are going to stumble, stutter, make a fool of themselves. We are afraid of interviews because we have the believe the prospective employer is doing us a favour hiring us. Hell No. You are doing him/her a favour because no one has what you have, no one can do what you can do, no one can ever be like you. Take this self believe to the interview hall. By the way, the people interviewing you don’t have two heads or they don’t they use the toilet like the rest of us. Believe in your self jarey. Self awareness and self confidence eradicates such fears. Say to yourself “I know who I am and I know I can do this”. You have to work on your self-esteem. Fear arises from not believing enough in your own abilities and talents. When you constantly live in the mindset of “I can’t do it” or, “I’m not good enough,” you narrow your window of success to a very slim opening and inadvertently put yourself down.
Continuation: 4 Steps To Overcoming FEAR (The God Part)
A wise man once said that FEAR has two meanings; Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours.
I specially appreciate Cynthia ‘Orish” for her contribution towards the completion of this article. Thank you dear
Overcoming Fear in 8 steps by Dr. Carmen Harra