Fear is something we use to protect ourselves.
When we enter into an unknown area, our sense of fear increases.
We want to survive to see another day. In this way, fear can help us determine
whether we should move forward or go somewhere else.
But that same fear can hold us back from experiences that may advance our lives.
Our brain is wired to fear the unknown. Yet most of us will need to venture into the unknown to accomplish our goals or to get out of unwanted situations.
One way to overcome fear is to read about others who have faced similar situations like the one you fear.
See what steps they took and try to fit what they did to what you would like to do. Not every solution will be viable, but if you search for multiple ideas from different people, you may find a set of ideas that will work.
Know that usually most of what we fear is not as bad as we first believe.
In other words, when we try something out that we were afraid to try, we may discover it was much easier than we thought it would be.
This won’t happen in every case, but with a fair majority, it will.
Think about those times when you said to yourself, “that wasn’t so bad!” There are likely to be many of those in your life.
Create a mental vision of what your situation would be if your fear were removed.
Continue this vision for as long as it takes to reduce or eliminate your fear. The very act of believing the fear is not real can help convince your mind that there is nothing to be afraid of.
There are circumstances where we should take heed of our fears.
Jumping out of a 50-story building is going to kill you unless you are somehow very lucky.
These kinds of fears must be respected and acknowledged. Other fears, like asking for a raise, buying a house for the first time, or starting a new business, all have the potential of positive outcomes. These are the types of fears that we need to try to overcome.
Fear can cripple us in other ways.
For instance, if you have a lot of experience in your job, you can get caught up in avoiding new experiences since you’ve already “done it all.”
Your experience tells you that these new situations will not work. This is also the reason why inexperienced people try things without fear. They have no bias associated with it.
No one enjoys dealing with fear, but it really is a necessary part of a fulfilled life.
Learning to trust your instincts and your inner guidance is an important skill.
There are, however, many times when your mind can play tricks on you.
When your body and mind are under stress, it may be difficult to see the difference between good thoughts and those that arise from fear.
When Not To Trust Your Thoughts
Even in difficult circumstances, you probably have a gut feeling about what’s truly right or wrong.
However, it’s a good idea to try to recognize the situations where you tend to have trouble thinking clearly. That way, when these situations do come up, you can start working on solutions, instead of giving into the cloudy fear-based thoughts.
The best line of defense is to practice remaining calm and ask for help when you need it.
After all, having two minds striving for a rational solution is usually better than one!
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You probably shouldn’t trust your thoughts in the following situations:
- When you’re under stress – We often don’t recognize how detrimental stress can be to the mind and body.
Stress can cause you to make hasty, unwise decisions.
Stress can take over your body and produce hormones that alter your thinking patterns and cloud your judgement.
- When you’re feeling anxious – There are varying degrees of anxiety that can affect anyone at any time.
When it takes over in a strong manner, such as when you’re dealing with crippling fear, it can lead to erratic, irrational thoughts or even panic.
- When you’re having negative thoughts – Sometimes you’ll have a bad day or even a bad week.
Having a tough time can produce a negative thinking pattern that can cause you to think unreasonable or even absurd thoughts.
You may start to have angry or depressing thoughts that can’t be trusted.
When you’re having thoughts that seem real, but are rather unreasonable, remember that it’s not coming from you.
Rather, it’s coming from the build up and repression of years of self-doubt, negativity, stress, anxiety, or even past circumstances.
That’s precisely why you cannot trust those thoughts!
Dealing With Your Feelings
You now know that negative thought patterns can arise from stress, anxiety, fear or even the past.
Crippling fear, unfortunately, hurls many strongly negative feelings your way. But it’s how you deal with them and proceed with your thought patterns that make all the difference.Take time to cool down and relax your mind before making important decisions ... Donna Bainton Click To Tweet
One way to know if something is your true feeling is to wait a few days before making a decision.
For example, if after a week of thinking something over, you still think the same way, then it’s probably true.
Of course, you first have to ensure that your mind isn’t under attack from stress, anxiety, negativity, or fear.
Healing From Fear
If you find that you’re frequently in fearful situations, you can concentrate on healing those feelings.
When your mind begins to race, stop for a minute to meditate or just take some slow, deep breaths.
Believe it or not, deep breathing is a biological signal to your mind to relax and think clearly. So breathe deeply and breathe often!
Also remember that you’re not alone. You have people who can help you and you shouldn’t feel hesitant to ask for that help.
If you feel uncomfortable talking with a family member or friend, consider the help of a professional coach or counselor.
Just remember to avoid taking drastic actions that arise from fear.
Take your time when making decisions, breathe deeply, and seek the help you need to overcome the grips of fear.
And be sure to check out this blog post From Fear to Freedom – 9 Steps To Courage
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your copy of “Bounce Back” … a guide to your personal recovery from your life’s greatest challenges.