How does Fear Disguise Itself in Your Life?
Contributor

Fear is a normal part of life; it is a necessary human instinct.  This mechanism is designed to let us know that there is a dangerous situation that we need to deal with immediately. 

Nobody wants to admit to being afraid.  But sometimes we don’t recognize the disguises that fear wears in our lives.  Four forms of fear that show up in our lives regularly are anxiety, anger, depression, and doubt.

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. ~ Lao Tzu

Anxiety is Fear of the Future

This fear is like a natural alarm that alerts us of potential danger.  But the ego, which controls this system, can also trigger false alarms.  These false alarms feel real to us and cause us to react as though they were life threatening.  We need to understand that most of us in our daily lives don’t experience deadly situations for which the ego is trying to protect us from.

We need to build tolerance, like a muscle, to most of those areas that the ego feels we should avoid like feeling uncomfortable.  For example, at some point we are all fearful of speaking in public, not because it is dangerous, but because we don’t want to be embarrassed.  Feeling self-conscious is not lethal, and like exercise to build a muscle, the more we speak in public the less anxious we feel.

A quick and easy natural way that we can calm this fear is by stopping and taking three deep breathes.  When you take in a breath, slowly counting to five and then exhaling to another count of five you can watch your anxiety slowly dissolve.  Doing this three times in a row has been shown in studies to dramatically calm the mind.  Try it; the only thing you have to lose is your fear.

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Anger is Fear of Dismissal

This fear can be seen in strong, self-assured people who are fearful that something could be taken away from them whether it is their liberty, an idea or uncertainty.  Anger is not usually associated as a type of fear as it is the part that causes us to fight.  Rage can make us take action.  It can help us to feel fearless which a false sensation of a self-defense mechanism.

Anger is fear turned inward.  We are afraid of what is inside of us.    We are fearful of our own feelings.  We are scared to be afraid.  Anger is the release of all these fears.  It allows us a false sense of control over how we are really feeling because anger is the loss of control. This loss of control means that the ego is leading the charge and plans some sort of action.

Count to ten before releasing your anger has been a great tool to help keep rage at bay.  We also need to look at what triggers our wrath.  By becoming aware of the causes of our anger we can learn to change our reactions.  We can look for solutions, deflect with humor, and of course use the breathing technique above to calm the mind. 

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. ~ Mark Twain

Depression is Fear of the Past

Past behavior is a good indication for future behavior is a statement that can be used to help us determine expectations.  But the past doesn’t need to be repeated.  We can grow and so do others; therefore the past shouldn’t dictate the future.  But our fears allow it to do so. 

Depression causes us to stay in the past.  It sounds pointless to be afraid of the past but the ego keeps us living there and we are unable to move forward.  This fear keeps us from enjoying the present moment.  But when we actually examine our lives we can see that through learning and become aware we have proven that our fears are unfounded. 

We have all seen others react differently to the same incident, which is proof that future behavior can be different than past behavior.  We are all unique and therefore how we react to any given situation will be unique.  Therefore our fear is unfounded and should be let go.

We need to stop expecting the worse to happen. Each day we are given a new chance to make things better and not a repeat of yesterday’s woes.  Don’t live a life a self-fulfilling prophecy of negativity.  You can choose to see it differently. We can re-write the story we tell ourselves.  Yes, it is a fact that I was sexually abused and abandoned by my mother but I choose not to relive that day after day.  Instead I choose to see myself as a survivor who was able to overcome fear and work to help others do the same.

Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement. ~ Joyce Meyer

Doubt is Fear of Making a Decision

We are all afraid of making the wrong decision, therefore we take our time and deliberate to determine the best choice based on the current information we have.  Still, there are times that what we choose to do did not work out as we expected.  Was it a wrong choice, not necessarily? 

If we learn from the times that things didn’t work out, then we have an opportunity for growth which means the choice wasn’t wrong.  There are consequences for all our actions and decisions, but if we can learn from our mistakes and missteps then we have gained in the long run.   

When we allow fear to interfere with our decision making we tend to choose to do nothing, which is still a decision.  This keeps us from our dreams.  If we are only concerned about maintaining we can never move forward.  So, when we are faced with a decision we need to ask ourselves, what is the worst thing that could happen?  Most of the time if we can live with that outcome we can decide to move forward. 

When we ask, what the worst case scenario is, we are choosing to live life to its full potential.  We have surpassed the mediocrity of just getting by and take enthusiastic steps to making the life we desire.

I'm going to always rise above the doubt that may exist about me. ~T.I.

Stay Present

 

I feel myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I'm constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes. ~Janelle Monae

Fear is a feeling.  And all feelings eventually go away.  Therefore we don’t have to do anything but be aware and witness what we are feeling so that we can transform it.  By observing the fear we feel, we are able to change our response to it.  By letting it be; it goes into the past.  Our response is what allows fear to continue to permeate our lives disguised as anxiety, anger, depression, and doubt.  By letting go of the past, staying calm, re-writing our story, and asking what’s the worst case scenario; we transmute the fear.  We become fearless by staying in the present moment, in the “what is”. 

As you become more mindful of the ways fear disguises itself in your life, you can begin to overcome them.  If you would like to receive more informative and thought provoking articles right into your mailbox fill this out now.

Do you need help becoming aware of your own fears?  Do you need support in becoming a fearless person?  If so please contact me and we can put together an action plan for you to be more courageous and authentically you.

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