Fear Is Not Something To Be Afraid Of

Use it to your advantage not disadvantage

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Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

Fear is a powerful force in our lives.

If you fall prey to fear, it’s easy to become debilitated at the thought of the very thing you are fearful of.

However, if you recognise your fear and push yourself to face it, you can use it to better yourself.

Fear is all in the mind.

While it was a powerful tool for our ancestors, who were not at the top of the food chain, now, fear pops up in odd situations.

We may be afraid of public speaking, talking to the opposite sex, or socialising.

Often these are irrational fears are borne out of our evolutionary framework, which now has nothing obvious to be fearful of.

We have filled the gap with things that are nothing to be afraid of. They are not life and death situations. Merely, constructs in our minds, which have spiralled out of control.

The thing with fear is, the closer you get to it, the smaller it becomes.

Fear Factor

We all have something we are afraid of. For a lot of us, there is more than one thing. While some of these fears may be health-based, or fear of being attacked in the street, a lot of them are founded upon self-limiting beliefs.

Is it irrational to be afraid of heights? It’s a tough question. If you’re peering over the edge of a cliff, it’s understandable. Whereas, if you’re inside a skyscraper, there isn’t much reason to be afraid.

It is this second type of fear which I would like to talk about. It is this area of fear which can hold you back if you’re not careful.

I have been afraid of a few things in my life. One of them was speaking in front of a group of people.

I remember being assigned presentations at university and being petrified of standing up in front of people and speaking.

There was no rational reason to be afraid, I just was.

Would speaking kill me? No. Would it place me in danger? No.

My mind was overthinking the situation and tricking me into thinking it was dangerous. I never got over the fear while I was at university, I was still petrified when I delivered my last presentation of three during my final year.

I only got over the fear when I started teaching English in Barcelona. I remember the same pangs of doubt, the first time I stepped up to teach.

My heart was pounding, my hands were sweaty, and I was afraid, very afraid.

However, a strange thing happened. Once I got 10 minutes into the class and nothing had gone wrong, my fear dissipated. I realised this wasn’t so bad after all. There was nothing to be afraid of.

By the end of my time in Barcelona, I had no issue teaching a group of 30 people. In fact, I enjoyed it! I had confronted my fear, and realised it was built on shaky foundations. There was no basis to it whatsoever.

Had I not faced it, I would not have put myself in a situation where I could grow and develop as a person.

Confronting my fear made me realise how small it really was. I realised a fear such as public speaking, was nothing to be afraid of.

The Takeaway

We all have things we are afraid of. It’s how we handle them that will determine how we develop as a person.

We could live in fear all our lives, without allowing ourselves to challenge our fear, letting it take a hold of us.

Or, we can face it head-on, and conquer it once and for all.

Fear is a powerful tool if it is wielded correctly.

Had I not faced my fear of public speaking, I would still be afraid of doing it to this day. I would not have developed my confidence and become a more rounded individual.

There is nothing wrong with being afraid. We all are at some point. The issue is when that fear paralyses you. If you let it, it will hold you back, whereas if you face it, you can grow and prosper.

Facing your fear and overcoming it is a powerful feeling.

It can be used to push yourself, challenge, and better yourself, instead of stagnating. Fear is a limitation. It will hold you back, and not allow you to reach your full potential.

We may be afraid, but often, the things we are afraid of are the very things we should go and do.

If you can conquer something which made you tremble what else can you accomplish?

Written by

I like to write. I like to travel. https://www.thetravellingtom.com Join my email list -> https://tomstevenson.substack.com/

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