Are you afraid of fear yourself
Overcome fears and grow beyond yourself
Are you afraid of your fear When fears arise, many people feel overwhelmed. Action strategies such as avoidance, repressing, sitting out, fleeing, rationalizing are mostly the result. But have you ever seen fear as natural and as an indication of your needs?
In the following blog post I would like to give you a few tips on how to deal with your fears.
But to start with: a little story ...
A trainer manages to control an elephant with a very simple trick: he ties the child elephant to a large tree trunk with one foot. As much as it defends itself, it cannot free itself. It gradually gets used to the fact that the tree trunk is stronger than it is. When the elephant is grown up and has tremendous strength, all you have to do is tie a string to its leg and tie it to a branch and it won't even try to break free. Because he remembers having tried this countless times.
As with the elephants, our feet are only in a thin loop. A noose consisting of your experiences and thoughts about yourself, about others and life: what you think is achievable, what you think you can change and in which areas of your life you feel dependent.
Since we are used to the power of that rope from childhood, we rarely dare to defend ourselves. And forget that it only takes one simple act of courage to cross that line and become aware of the possibilities you now have.
The rope in our head
Let's take a closer look at the rope. It is not the case that it is customary for us to tie children to a rope and limit their range of motion to 2 meters. And yet many of us have had the experience that their personal expression and individual needs as a child were restricted, interrupted and in some cases punished.
Like the little elephant, we have learned that we are allowed to have a certain radius of behavior that is ok and we have had experience that crossing boundaries has not been successful or has not been fully successful. The experiences we made were interpreted by us and we made conclusions about ourselves with regard to our effectiveness: "I am worthless ...!", "I must not be what I am!", And much more. In addition to these thoughts, we have also developed behavioral strategies with which we on the one hand suppress, deny and repress our real needs and on the other hand strategies that seemed suitable at the time (or we saw no other choice) to address ourselves adapt to the respective situation. These behavioral strategies have been repeated and repeated and repeated and are so familiar to us that we do not consciously come up with the idea whether this thinking and this behavior is still appropriate at this point in time. In every situation in which this rope is touched, the associated pain is activated in us and at the same time the respective behavior pattern, which then runs automatically.
Outside the usual radius
In a storm, the stake to which the elephant was tied is torn from the ground. The elephant is frozen, rain is running down on him: What should I do now, he wonders? I could run anywhere now - anywhere! But where should I go?
If a crisis or a life situation leads to habits being broken, the question is, on the one hand, are we able (do we have suitable strategies) to continue a change in our situation and what options are actually in line with our needs?
When we penetrate into unknown realms, fear increases our alertness: In these moments our body is in a slightly increased sympathetic state, which enables us to increase sensory perception, concentration and motivation. You can use this energy for your actions in order to be focused in the moment, to generate ideas and to weigh up possibilities.
At the same time, we need security in new situations. This need is differently pronounced in people, but the desire for security and control is particularly noticeable in those situations in which we leave our usual terrain or, as in our story, an external change disrupts our usual life. The question is: What do you need to feel safe or more secure? Is it really the stake you want back? At first it may feel like this because we also feel a safe framework with the peg, here we know our way around and above all: Here we are in control! However, when you feel deep inside you may feel that the desire for security comes from not knowing exactly what you want or how to achieve it.
Maybe you need more knowledge, tools or someone to accompany you on your way. It is not about saying to yourself at a moment when you are feeling insecure or even anxious: “Don't act like that!” Rather, it is important to find out what your need is in this situation and what you need now Can give security.
To the extent that you accept yourself in this situation - as you are - and support you, you lower your fear level at the same time and thus increase the likelihood that you will actually have a new experience.
The rope in your head is the sum of all past experiences. The rope is never anchored in the present, but makes predictions about your future based on your past. The fear you feel in a moment is not a reflection of your current situation, but of all those moments and results that you remember in this context. If you now have thoughts that want to persuade you that you will not make it anyway or that you will not succeed anyway, then ask yourself what other possibilities of interpretation can you find? Have you already tried everything, really tried everything, exhausted all resources?
Fear can not only paralyze your actions, but also leads to doubts for many people: The project or even you yourself are in question and your thoughts start to ride a carousel with you. In such situations, ask yourself the question: what could the situation be good for? If there was a higher purpose or plan: what does it look like? What could be the best that can emerge from the current situation?
When something makes sense to us, we feel full of hope and courage to tread through dark valleys, to believe in a tomorrow and to do everything in our power.
The point is not necessarily that you have found the meaning of life, but rather to find something that is worth acting for now and that is now worth changing your situation. Perhaps the point is to learn something new about yourself, to grow or to stand by someone with all your heart and all of your loved ones.
The personal sense directs your attention inwards, on what you can do in the current situation: Fear in turn directs the focus to external circumstances and possibly on what you cannot control at this moment. So your focus should stay on your effectiveness, with a watchful eye observing the area, but based in yourself and in your possibilities.
Fear is your compass
Our story elephant is on his way to find his family. He feels afraid that people might catch him again and that he will have to continue to be tied to the stake. And yet he is driven by the desire to find his flock and thus his destiny. This wish burns like a flame in his heart and warms him in this inhospitable moment. He doesn't yet know much about the world or where to start looking. But the warmth of his heart lets a confidence grow in him that opportunities will open up that will lead him to his goal.
If you are afraid on your way in unknown realms, this feeling gives you the opportunity to examine your situation: Is this the only way? What other options do I have to achieve my goal? Fear can be like a trend-setting indication that something is not right for you! Perhaps the path you have chosen is too challenging for your current resources. Remember that every path requires adaptation processes, i.e. development! If the little elephant would ask of himself, even though he was previously tied to a stake day and night, to run for 12 hours at a time and perhaps overcome a mountain pass in the process, then that may be too much for his current physical performance. And yet we ask ourselves to show skills in new situations that we have not yet practiced. That's not fair!
Expanding your own room for maneuver, breaking new ground means embarking on the adventure of life. It's not just about arriving somewhere, but about walking the path with all your heart. With all the experiences and challenges that are waiting for us! Do not let fears keep you from your dreams!
Anxiety is a healthy physiological response that enables increased concentration in the moment. Instead of being irritated by them and thus possibly becoming unable to act, you can become aware of what your goal is or what it is worth going beyond the usual limits and what you may need to feel more secure. What can you do now!
Every change starts with a decision. However, it is the continuous, small steps that make the difference - for a conscious connection with your potential!
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Photo: Photos Pro
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