You and Fear: Three Ways to Handle It

Fear is that uncomfortable emotion we all grapple with. It comes to us in different forms at different stages in our lives. I believe it occurs most when change arrives. The question becomes how do you handle fear?  This is what I’ve learned and continue to learn about what helps me deal with fear.

Accept It

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Photo Courtesy of BK

Accept that you’re afraid because everyone feels fear. To deny it is to assume you’re a greater being who glides through life. We can accept it but also not let it rule us. Do not let fear paralyze you. You can admit that you’re a little or a lot afraid and keep it moving.

Understand Your Reactions to It

I read a book titled “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. The author discussed how it’s necessary to understand your reactions to different emotions. Understanding how you react towards fear is significant because the moment when it comes to you, you’ll know what this is. Hopefully, you’ll also know that you can get through whatever it is you’re doing.

Physically and emotionally, how do you react to fear? Some instances when I’ve been afraid were years ago when I read the First Reading during my confirmation day at church or gave the salutatory speech during my high school graduation. Also, in college, performing my monolog for a play. Public speaking can terrify me but I also happen to love it. When fear comes to me, I start to feel a little knot in my stomach and my hands start to shake slightly. I immediately want to get out of wherever I find myself at.

I think back and laugh at a moment where I was sitting in the car of a man I was interested in. We went out. He took me home. He looked at me fondly and said: “You know, I wrote about you.”My first thought was “that’s sweet.” Then fear rushed in and I started thinking “It’s time for me to leave.”

When you understand how you react to fear, you can choose whether or not you want it to have control over you. Unfortunately, sometimes it will. In the situation above, I told him that I needed to go. Then, I didn’t know that was my reaction to fear. Now that I understand my reaction towards fear better, I do my best to not let it win. It makes me want to run but I tell myself to stay. To listen. To say what I want.

Determine If The Best Outcome Would Be Letting Fear Win?

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Photo Courtesy of BK

The best way to handle fear is to decide whether you’d be better off if it won? The moments when I’ve felt fear and kept on doing what I needed to do, the result is that I’ve felt happier and proud.

When fear comes to you, apply the question to aspects of your life. Maybe you’ve been heartbroken before. You’ve now become afraid to go out with someone new that you’re interested in.  Would the better outcome be to let fear win and not attempt that one date?

Or maybe you want to travel, launch a business project or simply go dancing. Fear doesn’t always come in what appears to be life changing moments. It could be in the little things which could lead to greater things. Letting fear win could mean letting it deprive you of joy. It could be letting it steal your moment. Is it worth it?

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