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How Can I Become Friends with Fear?

October 19th, 2009 No comments

scared face #1Have you ever wondered why we humans have such a “love/hate” relationship with fear?  What do I mean by that?  Most people would do just about anything to stay a safe distance away from fear.  We really like our comfort zone. 

If that is so true, why do people like horror movies?  What about extreme sports?  Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good plane or dive off a bridge to hang by their ankles from a little elastic band? Could there be an addictive element to fear?

When we experience fear we have at instant disposal some very strong substances; adrenaline, glucose, and other energy producing chemicals.  They are released directly into our bloodstreams.  They make our hearts pump faster.  They clear our brains.  It is the fight or flight response.  People who love extreme sports find the adrenaline rush quite compelling, perhaps addictive.

If that is the case, why do we have such an aversion to leaving our warm, cozy nests of our comfort zone and diving into what we fear?

Dr. Robert Anthony says, “The bodily sensations that go along with fear are something that we have come to label as “bad” and we want to avoid them at all costs.”  Yet, horror movies are some of the top sellers.  I sat and watched “Drag Me to Hell” last night and I enjoyed every horror filled moment!

There is a different kind of fear that most people perceive as being very uncomfortable, or bad, such as fear of failure or public speaking.  These are not only fearful, but bring on feelings of  unworthiness, doubt, anger, hurt and distrust (just to name a few).  Those are the emotions that have us diving for the comfort zone nest at lightning speed!

I was listening to Bob Proctor this weekend and I heard a quote that really hit home.  He said, “perception is your reality”.  Does that mean that if we could learn to perceive our comfort zone, fear, and all those other “bad” emotions differently we could overcome much of what holds us back?

Isn’t excitement a very close cousin of fear?  On a body level, don’t they release the same chemicals?  What if we could change our perception of leaving our comfort zone and feeling the fear to something exciting and motivational?  Even if we can’t stop feeling fear couldn’t we change our perception and use it to push forward towards success instead of using it to stop us dead in our tracks?  As Susan Jeffers said, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Let’s make a pact.  The next time we know we need to leave our comfort zone to do something we fear, let’s focus on the excitement.  Let’s look at it like a new adventure.  A chance to feel those brain clearing chemicals and do something extraordinary towards our success.

Here’s a small, less than 2 minute,video from Brian Tracy where he is talking about how to conquer  the fear of failure.  He gives some great advice and questions to ask ourselves.  If you found something valuable in this article please re-tweet!  That would make me smile! 🙂


 

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