Another Thought on Conquering Our Fears ~ Coaching 4 Health & Wellness

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another Thought on Conquering Our Fears

Everyone has fears—it is a natural part of being human. Fear can protect us from harm by sending a rush of adrenaline to help us physically deal with potential danger. If we did not have fear, we would boldly walk off the edge of cliffs or play in rush-hour traffice. But there are times when fear may keep us from participating fully in life. It can paralize us by what we percieve to be "danger" in social situations, people, objects, or life in general. These are the phobias we explored earlier. A children's book my kids enjoy talks about "Fear can be your friend, or fear can be your foe....that's something everyone needs to know". So true.

Once we realize that fear is a state of mind, we can choose to face our fears, change our minds, and live the life we want to live.

Our minds are powerful tools. Like computers, storing and using data, our minds make certain connections between thought and response. We have the ability to observe these and choose differently. No matter where the fear came from, we can create new connections by choosing new thoughts. We can create a new experience of reality. This journey requires many small steps, as well as patience and courage through the process.

Here’s an example: You decide to overcome your fear of driving on the freeway. Your plan of action starts with examining your thoughts and finding a new way of seeing the situation. When you’re ready, you enlist a calm companion to support you as you take the first step of merging into the slow lane and using the first exit. Your heart may be racing, but your confidence will be boosted by the accomplishment. Repeat this until you are comfortable, with or without help, and then drive one exit further! When you are ready, you can try driving in the middle lane, for longer periods each time, until you find yourself going where you want to go. This gradual process is similar for conquering any fear, but if you find it overwhelming, you can always seek the help of a professional.

You may think that you are the only one with a particular fear, that nobody else could possibly be scared of ordinary things such as water, heights, public speaking, or flying. These types of fears are very common, and you can have great success overcoming them. Remember, it is not the absence of the fear but the courage to take action anyway that determines success. When we learn to face our fears, we learn to observe our thoughts and feelings but not be ruled by them. Instead we choose how to shape the lives we want.

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