Free Yourself From Fear
August 25, 2020
According to psychologists, when a baby is born, it is programmed with two basic fears: Fear of falling and loud noises.
However, as the baby grows into an adult, it acquires all kinds of other fears. E.g. Fear of rejection, Fear of public speaking, Fear of Conflict, Fear of authority, etc.
Where do we get the fears from?
We learn our fears, from people we trust- Parents, Siblings, teachers, supervisors, and the like. We also learn from negative experiences.
” Don’t accept food from strangers.”
“Don’t go into that room. There will be Ghosts.”
“You have to manage this client well; otherwise, it will impact your career.”
“You can’t talk to the senior this way!!”
All these messages from when we were young penetrate our subconscious and manifest as fears.
In summary, many of our problematic fears are learned. They don’t happen on their own.
Can we, therefore, unlearn our fears? Yes.
Most of the acquired fears have no basis. E.g., Fear of conflict. Fear of rejection. They are not life-threatening. They are just ego threatening. These fears play on the possibility of something terrible happening to you when in all probability, nothing of that kind is likely to happen.
Here’s the interesting fact- The feeling of Fear is real, but the expectation of lousy outcome is mostly imagined. It is not real.
Imagine you want to go to your boss and ask for a raise. You are fearful. Of what? That your boss won’t like it if you ask. He may think you are greedy. The worst that can happen is that your boss will reject your request. But you build a big story that something terrible will happen.
Our expectations drive our fears. When we expect something wrong to happen, it activates the Fear. There are two ways people respond to any fear.
- People get immobilized thinking about what can go wrong. They can’t seem to do anything in the face of debilitating Fear.
- The other group starts with the expectation that things will go well. When the hope is that everything will be ok, you will be ok- it’s easier to take action even though you have a big fear.
The feeling of Fear is real; its not natural to suppress it. The only thing you can do is to reframe your expectation and take action.
Expect the best even when you fear the worst- This is an excellent way to reframe the outcome to a positive and face up to your fears.