It was my senior year at Virginia Tech, and I was sitting in an auditorium, waiting for my child development class to begin. I had heard that the professor who taught the class was exceptional, and by the looks of the crowd, I was not the only one who had gotten that memo. Suddenly, the lights dimmed and Bette Midler’s song, The Rose, began to play. The idle chit-chat immediately stopped and nothing could be heard, but the song. It was a dramatic way to begin the class, and this poetic stanza still resonates with me today.
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes a chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give.
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live.
It is hard to let life in when we are imprisoned by our own fears. When we are fear based we are not mindful of the here and now. We are either being triggered from the past, or we are worrying about our future. By doing this, we miss the moment. Fear can be paralyzing. Overcoming it may be difficult, but very possible. It is a process, not an event.
The following strategies may be helpful in overcoming fear.
- Awareness: Acknowledging your fears to yourself.
- Challenging your beliefs: What are your beliefs that accompany your fears? Are they facts, predictions, or assumptions?
- Questioning: Ask yourself, “What are the consequences of my avoidance?”
- Connecting with something larger than yourself: Fight fear with faith.
- Examine the root: Knowing where your fear originated may help you to better examine the here and now.
- Opposite to Emotion Action: Doing the very thing that you really do not want to do.
- Baby Steps: Start slow- very slow! Take one baby step at a time. Remember that you did not learn to walk in one day. It was a process.
- Repetition: Do it over and over again.
- Seek support: Sometimes it helps to have someone join you on your journey.
If we are creatures of connection, and one of our most basic human needs is love, why then, do so many people sabotage healthy relationships and cling to dysfunction? Stay tuned. My next post will discuss the fear of intimacy; what it looks like, where it originated, and what you can do about it.
- Fear and Panic (paulocoelhoblog.com)
- Let’s Talk About Fear and Caution (stevenaitchison.co.uk)
- Day #12: Fear (caitlambert.wordpress.com)
- Fear = Advice (amywitkop.com)
- Shear Fear (thecoachingsource.com)
- Be Not Afraid (patheos.com)
- Fear driving out fear (eardstapa.wordpress.com)
- Fear is a direct enemy of Faith (transientreflections.com)
- Fear Is Not Something To Be Afraid Of (dannybrown.me)
- Bring Love to Fear (yogacarechallenge.wordpress.com)
- FEAR (and how to conquer it) (featherpenstartandreams.wordpress.com)
- 20 Practical Ways to Kick Fear in the Butt (stevenaitchison.co.uk)
- From Fearless to Frightened (psychologytoday.com)