Don’t Let Fear Stop You

June 16, 2012 in Dragons Pulse

Fear keeps us from our full potential. If we can identify our fear and understand why we have the fear, we have a chance at overcoming it. Most fears are learned, meaning something happened to us or we reflected upon something and that has made us afraid.

Recently, my fearless baby girl became afraid of bees. It didn’t happen immediately. In fact, she wasn’t even conscious those pesky things were flying around her until one decided to bite her… in the face.

Oh the tears were flowing. But even worse than seeing her face puff up was to watch her afterwards. Now, all flying bugs were evil and out to get her. If even a fly landed on or near her, she’s start up in a panic. My fearless girl had become afraid.

In her case, it was easy to see and identify the point at which she was afraid. Many times, we don’t know exactly when we became afraid or what changed our perspective. The key to understand, everyone fears something (even SiTaiGung). It is natural and a way of life.

Fear is actually a good thing. It’s the body and mind’s defense mechanism to help prevent it from injury. Obviously in my baby’s case, she was injured the bug bite and it wasn’t something very positive. Now, her fear and desire to run away from any flying bugs is a defense mechanism to try to prevent that unpleasant event again.

Overcoming your fears is not forgetting you have them. On the contrary, it’s acknowledging them and allowing yourself to fear. But it also involves a level of self-awareness that you must practice. When you know you’re about to do something you fear, try these steps:

  1. Acknowledge your fear (at least to yourself). Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that you’re afraid. The worst thing you can do is ignore your body’s own defense mechanism. It can lead to greater issues in the future.
  2. Calm yourself. Normally when we start to become afraid, our heart races and our breathing shortens. The key to being able to overcome our fear is to being able to calm ourselves and let our minds think again. Use your meditation techniques and bring some level of peace back to your system.
  3. Seek to understand the source of your fear. What exactly are you afraid of? If you take a moment to reflect deeper on what is the driving force of the fear you will be able to overcome it. For instance, with my baby the fear is in the sting not the fly. Properly placing the source of your fear is the key to getting an understanding of it.
  4. Establish the right precautions. Once you’ve established what you’re afraid of exactly, you can establish some precautions to prevent that exact action. Make sure the precautions make sense and are reasonable to obtain. So, in my baby girl’s instance, I can’t simply put her into a bubble and never let a bug touch her again. That would be impracticable and hurt her in other ways. What I can do is teach her the difference in the bugs and try to help her understand how to avoid the ones that hurt her. Will she get stung again? More than likely; but she will also start to realize that the sting isn’t as bad as her fears are now.
  5. Repeat the process and evaluate how you feel. Did your precautions help lessen your fear? You will still fear what you’re doing. Don’t run from it or assume it will magically go away. But be honest with yourself if what you’ve done is enough to get you through your fear and allow you to move forward.

Fears aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It is possible to overcome your fears. The steps outlined above may seem at first quite lengthy but as you become more aware of yourself, you will be able to do these things quicker and with better results.

Taking a quote from one of my favorite books, Dune.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
~Litany Against Fear

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