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One Key Mistake People Make When Trying To Overcome Fear

29/11/2016 13:41

Fear is such an inhibiting feeling.

Fear has the power to prevent us from going out and doing what we want in life due to the fear that a potentially negative event may occur from it.

In our primitive days, fear was key to help us survive as a race by giving us the flight-or-fight response to quickly avert danger - this still applies in modern life, such as running away from a fire hazard for example.

Unfortunately, fear now plays a relatively unnecessary role; it acts when our emotional state may be potentially harmed, like being judged when meeting new people or messing up when presenting to an audience.

The reason I call this unnecessary is due to the fact that it is all mental; we can ultimately choose what we mentally get positively or negatively affected by - physical harm can be unavoidable and permanent.

The majority of us do want to overcome fear
in order to go out and experience life to the fullest. However, I do feel that a lot of people approach this challenge in a counter-intuitive way - by trying to scare the fear out of them.

I have to admit, in the short term this can be an effective way to overcome a fear: saying things to yourself such as 'come on you wuss!' or 'even a 5 year old can do this!' can give you that quick boost in fearlessness which can give you the courage to go out and tackle the fear temporarily.

The issue with the above is that it is all coming from a negative source; you are degrading yourself because you are feeling that fear. As fear is a core human mechanism which is ingrained in us you are effectively neglecting yourself for feeling a certain way - this can be detrimental to our overall emotional state which will likely make us feel even less happy and cause more internal complexities.

What I suggest is doing the complete opposite - love and embrace your fears.

Here is my reasoning: you are made up of all of your positive and negative attributes; trying to neglect your negatives to only portray your positives will lead to an unbalanced internal state - if you are not accepting yourself for who you are then will you ever accept and love yourself?

You have to have a positive connection with your negative attributes in order to work with them to positively overcome them; accept your fears, embrace them, and then use positively reinforcing techniques to overcome them.

I have yet to find any long-term benefits to one's internal emotional state that comes from a negative source. Sure, you may see short-term external benefits from humiliating your flaws, but if you are looking for long-term fundamental improvements to your relationship with your fears be sure to love, appreciate, and embrace every single one of them.

-Mike

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