Deep Thoughts

The fear conundrum

There is nothing to fear but fear itself

Fears suck don’t they? They keep you awake all night, plague your mind at random times of the day and generally cause too much stress.

Is that stress even worth it most of the time? Probably not. Someone once told me that the other side of fear is freedom and it’s hard for me to not agree with that. But, still, fear is a funny thing. 

It can make your body feel like a concrete slab and put your mind on a constant loop of impending doom.

I find there comes a point in this cycle in which we forget the thing we actually fear and instead, start to fear the feeling of fear itself. It’s frustrating!

The fear of fear is what we really fear.

What can we do about this?

A few simple things:

  • Define the fear – what is it that is causing so much worry?
  • Accept it – I mean it’s not going to go away so instead of running from it, why not try to accept and sit with that feeling? I know that’s easy to say but you’re going to have to sit with that feeling either way.
  • Process the feeling – once fear consumes the mind, it’s hard to see clearly on anything. One way to mitigate the constant tune of doom is to create mental coping mechanisms which allow you to process the feeling of fear. This might be through activities like reading, working out, tending to the garden or whatever brings you peace.

I’m not suggesting that this is in any way easy to do.

These are the things I say to myself and the practice I try to follow to alleviate my own episodes of impending doom. The reason I’m writing this right now to share with others is because I’m currently experiencing my own fear conundrum.

Living in fear won’t help me or you, but using the techniques above, might just help us navigate these episodes.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of jumping from fear to fear. However, when we start fearing the feeling of fear itself, we need to intervene and give the mind a bit of a reality check.

Having fears and being fearful is completely normal, it’s human. We are programmed to have the feeling of fear so we can recognise things that might potentially harm us. Notice how I say potentially? That’s because our mind is not always right in it’s assessments of danger.

We all have the most powerful operating systems in our head but some of it’s software is still old and equates a fear of small spiders to the same feeling of a sabre toothed tiger chasing us around the open lands of earth. 

The mind needs perspective and we can give it that.

So, to wrap this up. We all have fears and will feel fear in life. It’s natural, human and an experience where we can learn much from. Yet, don’t let it rule your existence. Consider my recommendations and see if these activities allow you to manage the feeling of fear.

Before you go… 👋

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