This saying is so succinct and so true. We need to remember that it is the build-up of fearful thoughts in our minds that creates a fear of any situation.
As we’ve learned from the last post about The Think, Feel, Act Cycle, all situations or circumstances are totally neutral until we start to think about them and create judgements about them. If something about a circumstance brings up fear in us that will often be more about us than the actual circumstance.
Of course, there are some situations when it is very healthy to feel fear. Like when we are in actual danger of being hurt or worse. In these circumstances, fear is a healthy emotion that is helping us to survive. Luckily, actual danger is pretty rare for us these days.
But in some circumstances, fear is preventing us from achieving potential success or growth. Our fearful thoughts cause us to build up a resistance to the idea of trying something new. This can be the fear of failure or the fear of rejection or the fear of change.
And sometimes we exaggerate the possible negative outcomes to ourselves. Like the child in the night imagining that the shadows are dangerous monsters. When the light is turned on, or when we step into the fearful situation, we realise our fears were unfounded.
Sometimes fear can be a signal to us that the situation is actually very important to us. The feeling of fear can actually be that our mind and body are aroused and anxious about the situation. Not because it’s dangerous but because the outcome is important to us. These can be life-changing decisions like changing career, starting or ending a relationship, or quitting a job to go back to school. These are the situations where our brains will bring up all the reasons why the action could be dangerous to us. How we could upset the status quo and bring ourselves discomfort. The lower part of our brain hates to feel discomfort and have to create new thoughts and patterns and will resist. But luckily we can choose to do what we fear anyway and often bring ourselves amazing new experiences that we wouldn’t have had if we had listened to our fear.
That brings to mind another trite but true saying; without fear, there can be no courage. It is not bravery to try something new or to do something others may think is dangerous if we don’t fear it first. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
What is something that you’ve feared to do and done anyway? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments below.