August 25, 2015
We all encounter concerns, apprehensions and various fears at every step in our daily life, may be originating from the environment we live in, fearful life experiences, faulty thoughts, family history and most importantly due to lack of knowledge about the fear itself. If not dealt properly this emotion could be destructive. It is like a shadow following us but we should not allow it to dictate our daily life. By learning the art of controlling it we can make our life cheerful.
I am addressing only a few daily life fears, those that limit our growth, since the subject is too vast to contain in 3 to 4 pages. There are many types of fears. They exists in different names and forms like fear, phobia, anxiety, depression, nervousness, tension, stress and so on; they are all names of siblings originating from a single parent –The Fear. Certain fears may be destructive; mainly fear of rejection, fear of performance, fear of life threatening diseases etc can be fatal if we don’t address and contain them in time. There are some other fears which limit our progress, like fear of changing job, fear of examination, fear of making (right) decisions etc. And there are those fears that are beyond our control like fear of aging, retirement and impending death etc.
Most of the times we embrace fear for no reason. If you can note down what thoughts go through your mind when you are concerned and fearful, you will find that 90% of our fears do not come out true. They do not have any rational base at all. Even those having rational base also hardly they becomes reality. It is our thoughts that keeps us awake not the reality. It is our ignorance (mistake) that in spite of that we continue to embrace the fear.
The important fact here is that fear/concerns do not go away as long as we exist, they are a part of our daily life, only the way we approach and contain them makes the end result fearful or fearless.
It is true that 90% of our fears do not have any rational base at all (we perceive only) and does not happen. This is the common truth with every person. The biggest lesson we need to learn is we can handle all the fears just by acting on our thinking process. All we have to do to diminish the fear is, to develop more trust in our ability to handle whatever comes our way. It is very true that most of those who experience fear have less trust in their ability to handle. It is on this foundation fear has built its palace. For some reason we do not feel good about ourselves. It is because we don’t know what we are! And we are not interested in knowing also. If only 10% of our worries can actually come out true (if at all) we have every reason to have a positive mindset, but we do the opposite.
The question is why do we mistrust our abilities so deeply? What makes negative thinking looks more realistic and positive so unrealistic? I asked this question during my NLP studies to my professor. The answer was: it is purely an individual mistake, when a choice is available between positive and negative and if we select negative we can’t blame it on situation or circumstances, but need to blame ourselves. Almost every situation throws us choices, if we select the wrong one, it’s our mistake.
Most of the times this wrong selection has something to do with our conditioning; the “Be Careful’ phrase every step! Careful about what? No one has the answer. This phrase starts at home at very young age. It is more realistic to teach our kids how to cross the road than saying “Be Careful” while crossing the road. Selection of word makes the whole world around us look and feel differently.
Delaying action due to fear can be fatal. This fear is related to life threatening diseases like cancer. I witness/hear many saying they are afraid of screening even when body sends down the signal. Some of them are well qualified people! What we are doing by delaying screening and not seeing the doctor? We are going to shake hands with death even faster. We are actually taking away our chances of survival that goes against the very basic idea of not screening. Delaying due to fear in the case of illness is like committing suicide .By postponing treatment we can’t cure any disease and actually ruin ourselves. Kindly do not sign your own death sentence. By trying to over protect ourselves we achieve nothing but by trying to correct we can achieve the best outcome. Try to correct the system because your life is precious to your loved ones if not to you. The fact is no one can escape the fear of death.
I had a chance to meet and discuss with a person who had been given death penalty. Externally he looked quite comfortable when I saw him. After a lengthy discussion I asked him about his fears of facing death. He said he does feel afraid like any other person. But more than that, he was more concerned about what actually he did. He was very upset about a few things and he was very remorseful. What he told me further is more important. He said he accepted full responsibility of what he did and accepted whatever came his way including the verdict. I witnessed a medical counseling to a terminally ill young cancer patient. Doctors were counseling him to accept what happened to him rather than questioning “God, Why me?” When we pass through extreme fears surrendering to Almighty is the best option.
Fear of losing job and changing the job is directly linked to our inadequacies related to qualifications and our own laziness. Most of the fears we face persist due to delay in addressing the issues, knowing what we are supposed to do to come out of the situation.
Making decisions is another important area we are often concerned about. Fear of making the wrong decision. Confusion is common when we have to select one among the multiple choices. Actually, being in confusion costs us more emotionally than not taking a decision. We get enough chances in life to change/correct the decision even if something goes wrong. Need not be extra serious about any decision. It is not the decision but the result of our action makes it so. There can’t be a perfect decision initially; perfection too comes from many wrong steps we take. By not choosing we are selecting confusion. "Don’t make any wrong decision" sounds fearful when actually fear should have been for not taking a decision. Ask them who say don’t make the wrong decision about what the right decision is; I am very sure they too don’t have the answer. If we know which parameter to be weighed on and take a little risk, decision making may be made a little easy. We press too much on perfection initially itself which may not be a right practice.
Our approach to a situation, confident or apprehensive, changes the end result accordingly. Game of cricket better explains this. It is always T20 match that produces more average runs per over than one day or test match because of batsmen’s fearless approach to the format. Like that in any sport if the sportsperson is down mentally his body doesn’t support performance. That is why the pressure in any crunch game in any sport is heavy during the initial 10 minutes or so because every team tries to dominate the underlying fear of performance of the opposition. Those10 minutes are vulnerable to mistakes out of fear and have nothing to do with talent.
Similarly in daily life too, there are many waiting to encash on our fears. When the mind is faulty, body doed not support. That is why we say we have headache, sweating, pulpitations, no energy, no mood etc and go to a physician rather than correcting our thoughts. After a few moments/days symptoms reappear and this routine continues because a layman doesn’t know where the fault lies. If we are fearful and not assertive enough, we will land in trouble.
When lift is more than the weight aeroplanes fly. When that machine fails to obey the weight/lift ratio, it falls off. Fears are not important but how we deal with them, is going to dictate our lives. If we can create our “bad luck”, we have the ability to create “good luck” also. We can make fear a better companion of ours by dictating our terms to the fear, not vice versa.
To fly high in life like aeroplane in the sky, weight of the burdens should be less than the lift of the joy. Everyone has the potential to perform and fly high. Because of these types of unknown and non-existing fears, concerns and apprehensions we do not reach the right altitude where we should have been. Address those concerns in time and lead a joyful and fulfilled life.
There is no fear in life which we cannot handle. They exist because we can handle it. We can’t handle when we think and believe so. Just believe and say that “I can handle it” and see the magic for yourself. The best and only way to defeat fear is to pass through the fear. There is no shortcut. Fear doesn’t go first and we do whatever we want to do later when the good time comes. This will never happen. A good time starts when we initiate an action. Any type of fear has to be defeated by stamping on it and climbing step by step.
If we want to know what we have actually, what we are made of from inside, we need to confront the worst possible fears. This is what happened 4 years ago in America. As soon as an aeroplane took off both the engines were hit by birds, just above 3,000 feet above the ground. With full fuel load and people on board there was not an iota of chance of survival. But the captain made the impossible possible; by landing the aeroplane on the river. It was a big miracle in the history of aviation and the pilot received the highest civilian award of USA. He received the best because he braced the worst.
We think they are daredevils, but it is not the case. They were also ordinary people like us till that moment, but their bravery and decision making ability during the trying moments made them extraordinary.
If everyone who felt fear had withdrawn from performing, we would not have achieved so much. We need to stop believing and practicing negative things as truth. That is why our surroundings are so much chaotic. Because we fail to address issues out of fear and concern about our safety.
All of us might have done for ourselves many acts which we feared initially, but still completed the act and felt the joy and satisfaction of the end result. This emotion we have to anchor tightly inside us and get inspiration from when we are challenged / threatened. Better to stay away from those who want to see you as a weak person. Have supporting and guiding friends to counter anything that comes your way.
Anger (individuals), blame game (relations), office politics (professionals), withholding information and knowledge (among students; as well as in office), non-cooperation and jealousy (families, neighbors) etc stem all because of underlying fear that someone may perform better and go ahead of us. All these are different names of the actions that are associated with fear .A direct result of our inadequacy and mistrust in ourselves. But what we don’t understand is when we create barriers for others, every person has the ability to create opportunities if one can beat the fears and concerns.
Before concluding I would like to say, seek professional help to solve problems or for whatever that limits your growth, may be even to have awareness and knowledge. Being concerned all the time without resolution can lead to severe depression and fear. The knowledge about the problem wins the battle for us. With fear/concerns also we need to do the same thing, arm with knowledge about the fear, its (non existing!) origin and live a peaceful life. We may be either fearful or courageous; but when we live in society, every step we have to deal with the wrong people; through their attitude they make others feel afraid.
When God created us and all those living organisms around us, he planted the qualities to fight against the odds. They are innate. Only when we encounter storm they come out to rescue us. Habitually we perceive too much before things occur and most of the times what occurs is much different than what we perceive. Fear doesn’t exist. It is like a shadow of an object, once we switch on the light of knowledge it disappears.
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