Many of us have heard the stories of countless heroes who have faced some of the scariest events in life and then were deemed fearless; as if they didn’t have any fear. In fact, an outfitting company has coined the phrase “No Fear.”
We also hear of numerous stories of our Navy SEALS and wonder how can someone be so fearless like that? Whenever you may compare yourself to those heroic individuals you may feel inferior because you seem to experience fear and they don’t. OR, is that really true?
The truth is everyone experiences fear and no one is immune to fear! Fear is a normal physiological reaction to a potential threat in our environment (real or imagined) that affects our psychology.
Heroes and even our nation’s Navy SEALS all report that they experience fear but, have learned to control it and its impact upon their psychology and behavior. In other words, they have learned to do what they need to do despite feeling the fear.
For many of us, we tend to become imprisoned by our fears of the world. Those fears can take many forms, such as, fear of dying, fear of abandonment, fear of losing job, fear of losing partner, fear of success, fear of failure, etc…
The point I am trying to make is that ALL of us experience fear and that we can learn to control it rather than become imprisoned by it. We cannot escape the physiological feelings associated with fear since most of that is biologically hardwired into our system for survival. Our job is to pay attention to it as it can save your life!
However, if you have a goal in life that you have always wanted to pursue, but have become imprisoned by the fear associated to the process or achievement of that goal, then you must understand that you CAN do it! Will you feel no fear, NOPE! You will feel the fear but, going for it just might be the best thing you could ever do. The more the goal is worthy or important to you, then the more fear you are going to feel. Just remember, that is OK!
Learning to manage through the fear and remaining in control of your mind is a skill that many of us never learned in all the days of schooling. However, it is a crucial skill that must be mastered if we are to grow as a person and completely experience life.
Two simple steps to gain control of the fear:
- Get control of your physiology by engaging in deep breathing. Once you are able to slow your heart rate down, the physical feelings of the fear will begin to be less intense and your senses will begin to return.
- Get control of your mind by telling it what to focus on and using positive statements. Your mind is going to want to wander and dwell upon the fear and basically seek to freak you out! You must direct its focus by telling it what to focus on. Then use some power statements like, “I’ve got this!” “I am going to be OK!” or “Stay focused and remain calm.”
Managing fear takes time and practice. Start by practicing with small fears that you probably experience to some extent each day and then work up to stronger fears. Trust me, if you live long enough, you will be in a situation where you will greatly need to manage fear. So why not begin to practice today!
ABOUT CHRIS SWENSON
Chris Swenson is a licensed therapist who helps people overcome and face life’s most treacherous challenges. His office is located in Sterling, CO. For an appointment please call Chris at (970) 522-0796.