There are lots of things that can hold people back in life and fear tops the chart. There are so many resentments, anger, hatred, and depression in our society all because of fear and it is said that about 69 percent of people are unhappy with their life.
So many friendships, love relationships, careers, and businesses have been lost all because of fear, fear of taking a risk, fear of being rejected or fear of non-conformity. No one is exempted from fear in life, but the only problem is living in fear and allowing it to immobilize your life.
Psychology defines fear as a natural emotional survival mechanism that enables man to live and survive dangers. It has its purpose in life and does a great deal in protecting us from dangers. Although fear serves as a medium for protecting us humans, statistics show that about 84 percent of the fears we experience in life is unreal and irrational.
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If 84 percent of what we fear is false, what does that have to tell us about fear?
It goes to tell us that our fears are unreal, they are simply our minds playing tricks on us. Its an indication that we are not truly living, rather we are living in our minds. Most of the fear we experience is usually projections -a projection of past or anxiety about the future.
If you care to take the time to carefully analyze your life and things you constantly fear, you’ll observe that most of your fears are about what might happen or what has happened in the past. And in most cases, our past projections have nothing to do with our present situation yet we still get overpowered by fear.
Causes of Fear
“Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.” ~ Napoleon Hill
Living in the Past or Future
Most of our fears in life are due to past experiences, experiences we encountered ourselves or those we’ve experienced other people encountered. They are learned. From these past experiences, we project it into our current situation and also into the future. Either way, what we fear seldom happens. It is only the mind playing tricks on us.
Another reason why we experience fear is that we aren’t living in the now, we are constantly worried about what will happen in the future.
With the growing usage of social media and the internet, a lot of people are becoming more insecure and scared. It is said that about 61 percent of millennials feel inadequate about their life and about 88% of people compare themselves to other people. The problem with comparison is that it breeds fear and resentment as well as hatred. When you compare yourself with others, you become scared of making mistakes, scared of what others might think or say about you. This not only immobilizes your life; it can also lead to depression.
How to Overcome Fear
The only way to overcome fear in life is to face it head-on and do the things that scare you. In this way, you’ll get to validate if your fears are real or just your mind playing tricks on you. In most cases, you’ll learn that your fears aren’t real and that it’s just your imagination.
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1. Question Your Thoughts
A good way to overcome fear is to question your mind and observe your thoughts because if you don’t examine and question your thoughts, they’ll always run wild and project things that are unnecessary and irrational to you. One of the main reasons why most people haven’t been able to overcome fear is because they haven’t really taken out the time to question their fears. They haven’t practice being aware of their thoughts and actions.
Ask yourself if what you fear is real?
Are there people doing what you fear, and why are they not dead as a result of that?
In the word of Socrates, “An unexamined life is not worth living”.
2. Do what you Fear More Often
As long as its legal, you should constantly seek to do the things you fear more often, this way you get to validate for yourself if what you fear is real or imagined. As long as you keep doing what you fear, you’ll familiarize yourself with the situation and you’ll become more comfortable.
Change your habits.
3. Surround yourself with People doing What you want to do
Your association can influence you a lot. If you hang around people who are constantly scared and afraid to take a risk or do anything worthwhile, chances are you’ll end up like them. It is said that you are the average of the people you spend your time with. Surround yourself with positive-minded people and watch how you’ll grow more confident.
4. Live in the Now
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Louis E. Boone
In the power of Now, Eckhart Tolle admonishes us to always live in the now, that the main reason why most people are scared and living in fear is that we’re either living in the past or are living in the future. Doing so only puts pressure on the mind, and sucks the life out of us.
Your present moment is all you have; your past is gone and cannot define your present. The future is far and it’s a waste of time and energy living there.
5. Stop the comparison
Comparison is the thief of joy; it creates fear in you and can make you feel inadequate and insecure. You are special the way you are and there’s nothing wrong with you. If you wish to do something, just do it, forget what others are doing or what they might say or think about you. Whether you do good or bad, people will definitely have something to say about you. Stop living your life looking over your shoulders.
If it’s any consolation, always remember that we all are going to die. So, what’s the need of living in fear and never get to enjoy the beauty of life. Fear, as the popular saying goes, is false evidence appearing real. Your fears are not real, they are just your mind playing tricks on you. If you get to push yourself just a little, you’ll discover that what you fear isn’t real.
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” ~ Henry Ford