We were harshly thrown into it when our spouses died. Whether it was cancer or a tragic accident, we had to find a new way of living when death came knocking at our door. We had to be brave then, and we will choose a new kind of bravery when our feet step onto foreign land having left our homes, families, friends, and jobs behind.
The reaction to the first panic attack is then one of alarm and catastrophe.Thought of heart attack, madness, mental breakdown and imminent death and destruction goes through the mind, a far cry from the innocent message the body is actually giving. The body is tired not dying, the mind is exhausted not cracking up.
So you nervously lined up at the start of a race this weekend eyeing up your competitors, checking to see if there is anyone of a similar build to you in what I like to call the Fat Runner Scan. You know for sure you won't win but for goodness sake don't let me come last you say to yourself, as you move towards the middle of the starting field in a final attempt to avoid the dreaded last place spot.
Fear! We all have fears, whether it's speaking in front of a crowd, the spider in the bedroom, heights, commitment, failure, success, rejection and the most famous one of all - fear of the unknown. When fear shows up, do you Forget Everything And Run (F.E.A.R)? Or do you Find Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R) to hide under the covers of life and stay right where you are?
The job of our unconscious mind is to keep us safe and protected - to keep us out of the way of potentially life threatening situations. Fear in these situations is obviously very useful, but the trouble is that our minds often connect up what should actually be neutral situations to something it perceives is harmful to us.
It's easier to describe the presence of something than the absence of something but the feeling I had really was an absence; I noticed fear wasn't there. I listened for it, I tried to feel it, I waited for a fleeting thought to come and it simply didn't appear. It was the first time in years I was able to enjoy the moment without those nagging doubts in my head.
That feeling of fear. What is it? Describe it? When I ask this of myself and others, the replies are the thoughts people have about fear and not a description of the "feeling" of fear. That is not unexpected, after all it is the left brain's, rational/analytical job to put into words feelings that arise from somewhere in our bodies, the subconscious.
You probably haven't seen it, even if you consider yourself quite a horror fan. It's from a film that remains difficult to track down, and was never very widely shown in the first place. In my opinion it's one of the truly great moments in horror cinema, and I don't want you to go and check it out under any circumstances.
We have two nervous systems. One is the sympathetic nervous system or the "on" switch for anxiety and the other is the parasympathetic nervous system or the "off" switch. We need to learn where those switches are and what turns them on and then what turns them off and let me tell you it's not simple either, but also not impossible.
I am so scared. I am terrified that I will fail. Those are the two sentences I am afraid to say out loud. I am terrified to admit that I don't think I'm good enough. It is a daunting thought... can I actually do this? I'm I strong enough, am I smart enough; do I have enough guts and get go to go and get my dreams?
I don't like confronting situations. In fact, I avoid them at all costs. But am I refusing to look fear in the face? Yesterday I knew I was going to run into someone I didn't particularly want to see. Yet, I mustered up my courage, was an adult about it, and went ahead and steeled myself to do it anyway.