What do you fear? There are many ways to describe fear. Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.
Fear stops us in mid-action. Uncertainty about the possible outcome makes us unable to make decisions about how to proceed. Fear can strike anywhere, without warning. Since no two people have the exact same life experiences, everyone’s list of fears and responses to fear may be different.
Fear really is like other obstacles we encounter in life. The only way to deal with it begins with acknowledging and confronting it. Think of someone you know who has never gotten past something that happened in their life. Whatever they are doing, it is obvious what an invisible barrier their fear represents.
Terrorism depends on this response to fear. Any time our response to fear is indecision and immobility, the perpetrators of the fear win. We all know that. Unfortunately, that kind of fear is all too common in our world. Even if we cannot control some of the things that trigger fear, we can control our response to the fear.
Fear can affect every area of our lives. Are you experiencing dissatisfaction in any area of your life? Are their uncertainties or even changes going on in your life environment that make you fearful about what is coming next? Do you sometimes feel out of control? That can be an indicator of fear. The good news is that the starting point for dealing with all of these is the same.
Recognize that something is going on. Examine the feelings you are having. Can you identify where these feelings might be rooted in something in your past? How much of the fears are based in reality?
What can you do to change the circumstances that bring on the fear? Can anyone help you? Do you want the outcomes that changing will make enough to do what it will take to achieve them?
The answers to these questions might not always be yes, and that is OK. A well known prayer, attributed to Francis of Assisi, is known as the serenity prayer. “O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” As we move forward, facing our fears can lead to positive outcomes. What fear will you face first? This can be the start of an exciting adventure. Let’s keep moving forward together.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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