“We spend a majority of our working lives trying to avoid fear, and as a result, we end up steering right into it. The more we focus on the outcomes we fear, the more our brains dwell on and process this information, and we end up on a trajectory aimed straight for that pessimistic assumption!”
Through times of change and uncertainty, it is common to experience fear. As human beings, we typically fear what we don’t know or don’t understand. What is interesting about this emotion is that our very response to fear is often what perpetuates and magnifies it. The anxiety of starting a new job or dealing with a major illness or injury can be straight up paralyzing! Moreover, the fear of rejection can be so deep that we never muster up the courage to strike up a conversation. It is our resistance to facing our fear that magnifies it. When frozen with worry or unease, we are likely preoccupied with the future. The most helpful thing we can do is pull ourselves back to the present moment by acknowledging our fear and leaning into the emotion. When we feel discomfort, our default is to move away or stop doing the thing that triggers the discomfort. But if we can learn to engage in mental override by sitting with the discomfort, we will grow immensely!
By shifting our focus from the fear to our breath, we can connect to the present moment and thereby recognize that whatever has us afraid is merely a potentiality that is being amplified by our fearful thoughts.
If you want to overcome fear, you must focus on the outcomes you WANT to happen, rather than focusing on the alternative. Focusing on what might happen if we don’t succeed does nothing but increase stress levels, raise blood pressure, slow metabolism, and manifest feelings of crappiness and yuck! If we can learn to consciously shift our focus to what WILL happen WHEN we DO succeed, rather than what MIGHT happen if we DON’T succeed, we can overcome any fear that comes our way!
In closing, it is normal to feel fear. Don’t suppress it. Lean into it. And always remember, “in this moment, your feet are planted, your hear is beating, your breath is flowing. Here and now, you are safe. And as we feel more grounded in the present, our fear softens.”
I will end on a quote I heard this week: “Past and future are in the mind only – I am now.”