So many times I wanted to do something exciting but found myself pulling back and playing it safe because of fears. What is fear anyways? You can't plunk it on a table and see it. You can take a picture of someone's face when they are scared, but what is the driving force behind that expression? Fear is very powerful when it gets hold of us, but what if we can use this power to fuel doing something we want, instead of it keeping us from doing it?
From years of personally learning how to understand and process through anxiety and panic attacks, one of the most important things I learned in accomplishing this is regularly to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, and then practice processing the feelings and emotions that arise from doing that. Over time from doing this, we learn that the feeling of fear isn't the problem, it is getting automatically triggered into fear-based behaviors that is. When we stay in the emotions and physical sensations of fear long enough, rather than trigger away from them, we will see that we didn't die from its feeling. Then what does fear have to hold of over us. Interestingly, the fuel that feeds the fear is still there, but now there is CHOICE in what behavior you will express, and what you want to do with that energy.
When we allow ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, our fears will instead fuel excitement! Experiments show that when they hook the brain and body up to sensors and monitor the results of fear and excitement, the scans show the same results. The only difference is how we perceive the experience. If that is true, then all we have to do is ALLOW the emotion of fear to be there to process the experience thoroughly. When we do that, we will feel the energy transform into feeling alive with excitement.
If you want to get past limiting feelings to live your life fully, I offer you a worthy challenge. Make a list of all the things, big and small that you want to do, but fears hold you back. Then, organize this list from the least to most fear you feel when you think about doing them. Start at the easiest end of the list, and commit yourself to take one step per day that is needed to complete the goal. After the first one is complete, give yourself a pat on the back, and then pick the next one and start over.
I want to point out that before you choose to start each goal, assess it to make sure you are not putting yourself in any real danger. Fears can often trick us to think something is dangerous, but when we step back and assess it objectively, we can more clearly see if it is a real threat or just a perceived one.
I bet if you do this process a few times you will feel great. Just making the list will be enough to support a pathway of growth and change. Once we are aware that it is often just a feeling that is holding us back, we will see that fear is simply an opportunity to learn where we have room to grow and become stronger.
Have you ever stepped through a fear and it tured out to be an amazing experience? Leave your comment, as I would love to hear about it E-mail Arne