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How Rethinking Fear Can Change Your Life And Put You On The Path To Fear Less Living

Updated: May 14

Fear, often viewed as an inhibitor, can paradoxically serve as a catalyst for profound personal growth and transformation. Rethinking our relationship with fear holds the potential to shift our perspective, empowering us to lead lives marked by fearlessness, resilience, and empowerment.

How Rethinking Fear Can Change Your Life And Put You On The Path To Fear Less Living
How Rethinking Fear Can Change Your Life And Put You On The Path To Fear Less Living

In this article, we explore how reimagining fear can usher in a journey towards fear less living, unlocking doors to uncharted territories of self-discovery and empowerment.



Identifying and changing your association with fear will help you overcome what's holding you back. Make fear work for you by following these proven, practical strategies and find the path to Fear less living.


What is Fear

  • Fear Feels Abnormal But Its Quite Normal

  • Fear is Controllable

  • FEAR TRICKS YOU INTO THINKING YOU'RE NOT READY

  • Everyone Feels Fear

  • Fear IS CONTAGIOUS, BUT SO IS COURAGE

  • Fear Has Many Disguises


The following strategies will allow you to embrace your association with fear. Change your association with fear and you can instantly change your life. Learn to use your fear as fuel.

Volumes of research have been collected and written about the physiological effects of fear. Fight or flight or adrenaline dump. We human beings suffer from the effects regardless of what science calls it.


Symptoms of Anxiety and Fear

  • The feelings of being afraid or severe anxiety can make your mind and body work very quickly. These are some of the things that might happen:

  • Fast heartbeat– possible irregular

  • Fast and possible shallow breathing

  • The feeling of muscles weakness

  • Sweating

  • Stomach aches or your bowels feel loose

  • Loss of concentration

  • Dizzyness

  • Loss or dramatic increase in appetite

  • Hot and cold sweats

  • Dry mouth

  • Tense muscles

Butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, tunnel vision, maybe a sense of uneasiness. These are familiar responses we all know when we get fearful. No one wants to hesitate, choke, panic, or freeze up due to an adrenaline dump that's was brought on by fear.


How Powerful is Fear

Fear creates doubt - doubt causes hesitation, and hesitation drives us to procrastinate. The story is the same for us all. The vicious cycle of escapism. Fear changes our behavior. Apart from changes to our physiology, if we focus so much of our energy on fear we are wasting time, too.


Acknowledging Fear's Role as a Teacher

Fear, often seen as a foe, can be our greatest teacher. By acknowledging its presence and embracing the lessons it holds, we initiate a powerful shift in our mindset. Rather than avoiding fear, we can embrace it as a guide that points us towards areas in our lives that demand growth and attention.


Fear as a Springboard for Growth

Viewing fear as a springboard propels us to take action, transforming perceived obstacles into stepping stones. When we confront our fears head-on, we embark on a journey of personal expansion, defying self-imposed limitations and uncovering hidden reservoirs of strength.


Cultivating Resilience through Fear

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, flourishes in the presence of fear. By navigating challenging situations, we develop resilience muscles that equip us to handle life's uncertainties with grace and fortitude. Fear, when embraced, becomes a canvas upon which resilience paints its masterpiece.


Fear as a Catalyst for Change

Fearlessness is not the absence of fear but the courage to act despite it. When we reimagine fear as a catalyst for change, we propel ourselves towards transformative actions. It motivates us to step outside our comfort zones, seize opportunities, and create meaningful shifts in our lives.


Stepping Beyond Comfort: Embracing Fear's Edge

Fear often thrives at the edges of our comfort zones. Embracing this discomfort opens doors to fresh experiences and uncharted territories. By continually stepping beyond our comfort, we nurture a fearless spirit that thrives on growth and novelty.


Fostering Empowerment and Self-Belief

A profound shift occurs when we choose to embrace fear as a means of empowerment. It fuels our belief in our capabilities, bolsters self-esteem, and fuels a sense of accomplishment when we conquer challenges that once seemed insurmountable.


Building Authentic Connections

Embracing our fears fosters authentic connections with ourselves and others. When we openly acknowledge our vulnerabilities and fears, we create a safe space for meaningful conversations, empathy, and shared experiences. These connections enrich our lives and enhance our sense of belonging.


Hidden Emotions Behind Fear

We worry and obsess over our fears, most of which never come to pass. Like some morbid Ferris wheel, the reputation over and over. We feel the doubt, hesitation, procrastination, and repeat. Fearful thoughts bring about these negative consequences in our life.


Fear is a complex and multifaceted emotion that often arises from a combination of other underlying emotions and cognitive processes. Some of the emotions and feelings that can contribute to or be intertwined with fear include:

  1. Anxiety: Anxiety is a common precursor to fear. It involves a sense of unease or worry about potential future events or outcomes.

  2. Uncertainty: Fear can stem from the uncertainty of a situation or the unknown consequences of an action.

  3. Vulnerability: Feeling exposed or vulnerable can trigger fear, especially when facing situations where you perceive a lack of control.

  4. Insecurity: Insecurity about oneself, abilities, or worthiness can contribute to feelings of fear, especially in social or performance-related contexts.

  5. Helplessness: When you believe you lack the ability to influence or control a situation, it can lead to feelings of fear.

  6. Powerlessness: Similar to helplessness, powerlessness involves a perceived lack of control, often arising from external factors.

  7. Trauma: Past traumatic experiences can evoke fear as a defense mechanism to prevent similar situations from occurring again.

  8. Panic: Fear can trigger panic, which is an intense and overwhelming emotional response often accompanied by physical sensations.

  9. Dread: A sense of impending doom or apprehension about a negative event or outcome can contribute to fear.

  10. Isolation: The feeling of being alone or isolated in a challenging situation can intensify fear.

  11. Loss of Control: Fear can arise from a fear of losing control over oneself, a situation, or one's environment.

  12. Perceived Threat: Fear often emerges in response to a perceived threat to one's physical, emotional, or psychological well-being.

  13. Survival Instinct: Fear is an integral part of the human survival instinct, triggering the "fight or flight" response to potentially dangerous situations.

  14. Social Rejection: Fear of rejection or negative judgment from others can lead to social anxiety and fear.

  15. Negative Anticipation: Fear can arise from anticipating negative consequences or outcomes.

  16. Phobias: Specific fears, known as phobias, can be triggered by particular objects, situations, or scenarios.

  17. Guilt or Shame: Fear of judgment or consequences related to past actions can lead to feelings of guilt or shame.

It's important to note that fear can manifest differently in different individuals and situations. The emotions behind fear can be interconnected and may vary based on personal experiences and psychological factors. Understanding the underlying emotions contributing to your fear can be a crucial step in managing and addressing it effectively.


Reframe Fear

Entertaining excessive amounts of fear can have a more serious consequence. Most people give up early on goals, relationships, because of cynical thoughts and negative feelings.


TIP #1 Realize Fear Is Controllable

People will dwell too much on how they feel and remain in that reparative thought process. They stop there and fail to progress on to what to do next, is it rational,


We need to separate physiology and psychology. The ‘physiology of fear’ was owned by and run by the body, but the ‘psychology of fear’, our thoughts, were owned and run by our minds!


TIP #2 Fear will be there. Expect it. Embrace it. Then use it.

Enhance your performance by understanding the psychology of fear, not the physiology of it!

  • Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior.

  • Physiology the way in which a living organism or bodily part functions.

Stop trying to eliminate fear start focusing on learning to use fear to motivate and fuel the energy. When used correctly fear can give you endless energy and concentration and act like a superpower. Here is a full list of benefits of fear;


1. Fear keeps you safe.

2. Fear helps you lose weight.

3. Fear temporarily boosts your immune system.

4. Feeling fear—in the right dose—is fun and exciting.

5. Fear gives you a natural high and a sense of empowerment.

6. Fear helps you manage stress and relaxes you.

7. Fear helps you stay in the present moment and to focus.

8. Fear socializes you and bonds you to other people.

9. Fear allows you to live life to the fullest.

10. Fear gives you clarity on what’s really important in life.


TIP #3 FEAR MAY FEEL ABNORMAL BUT IS NORMAL

People don't talk about fear. Which is one of the reasons there aren't many very effective approaches to managing fear. No one likes to discuss fear.


Misunderstood fear can have a poisonous effect on us: It robs us of enjoyment because it makes us dread the experience. Mismanaged fear can also have a deadly effect on us: It can lead us to avoid making important decisions about health, relationships, and business.


While studying fear and interviewing fights and victims and victors of violence, I learned that everyone at the moment before they had to take action experienced the physiological and psychological effects of fear.


This was a profound realization because when we watch somebody behaving courageously in the news or we see our favorite athlete or some actor in an amazing performance, we just assume they've got a special talent. It never occurs to us that they are also scared prior to the event.


To manage fear you need to understand it in a new way.


Next time you feel the physiological and psychological sensations of fear, take a breath and tell yourself, this is normal. You're feeling this because you are worrying about something that hasn't even happened.


“Fear is my friend, fear is my guide, fear will appear when I'm facing an important and new challenge in my life.”


This simple reframe is the start of making new associations.


TIP #4 FEAR TRICKS YOU INTO THINKING YOU'RE NOT READY

If you fixate on negative thoughts, you will create an emotional weight that will make it impossible to enjoy what you're doing and in many cases impossible to experience success.

  • Your mind controls your body.

  • How you think affects how you feel.

  • How you feel affects how you think.

  • Both will influence how you move.

Overcoming fear when it tricks you into thinking you're not ready can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some strategies to help you confront your fears and build confidence:


  1. Identify the Fear: Acknowledge and identify the specific fear that is holding you back. Understanding the root cause of your fear can help you address it more effectively.

  2. Break It Down: Instead of viewing a situation as one overwhelming challenge, break it down into smaller, manageable steps. Take one step at a time, gradually working towards your goal.

  3. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable and realistic goals for yourself. Celebrate each small victory, no matter how minor it may seem. Building on these successes will boost your confidence.

  4. Educate Yourself: Learn as much as you can about the situation or task that triggers fear. Knowledge and preparation can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

  5. Visualization: Visualize yourself successfully overcoming the fear and achieving your goals. This technique can help rewire your brain to associate positive outcomes with the situation.

  6. Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or a support group about your fears. Sharing your feelings can be therapeutic, and their encouragement can provide a sense of reassurance.

  7. Practice Mindfulness: Use mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to stay present and grounded. Mindfulness can help you manage anxiety and stay focused on the task at hand.

  8. Embrace Failure as Learning: Accept that setbacks and mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Instead of seeing failure as a negative, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

  9. Gradual Exposure: Gradually expose yourself to the fear-triggering situation or task. Start with less intimidating situations and progressively increase the challenge as you gain confidence.

  10. Positive Affirmations: Use positive affirmations to counter negative thoughts. Remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities regularly.

  11. Challenge Negative Thoughts: When fear makes you doubt your readiness, challenge those negative thoughts with evidence of your past achievements and capabilities.


TIP #5 COURAGEOUS PEOPLE FEEL FEAR

Mike Tyson would throw up before fights? What we see in the news, on the sports highlights videos is snapshots not reality. We don't see what was going on backstage. We don't know what was going on in their stomach, heart, and mind.


The great boxing coach Cus D’Amato once said, “The difference between the hero and the coward is what they do with their fear - they both feel it”.

This means that everyone feels fear, some people know how to make it work for them. Courageous people feel fear too. That's what makes them courageous! You can't be brave if you're not afraid!!


Fear is your fuel. It can supercharge you when you need it. But this can only happen when you change your association. Actually, when you change your association with fear you will change your life.


TIP #6 WHILE FEAR IS CONTAGIOUS, SO IS COURAGE

Being fearful is learned and we all get very good at it over time. Managing your fear is also a skill, and you will get very good at it over time when you learn to practice courage.


You can't negate or ignore fear - it's going to happen.


What happens next is up to you. You can use it as fuel to help you drive through the event, conflict, or confrontation that triggered the fear spike in the first place. Courage can only be attained when you most past the fear.


Courage is like a muscle - you can exercise it by practicing it. You practice courage by changing your association with fear. Supervising your fear is the gateway to all success. You can’t be brave if you’re not afraid. When you change your association with fear, you change your life.


TIP #6 DEFINE YOUR FEELINGS CORRECTLY

Too often people misinterpret the feeling of excitement as fear. Often people will adopt fear in place of true feelings. Part of maturing as a person is making these mistakes and correcting them as we get more information of reflect.


Fear is a subtle foe hiding behind most emotions and masking others. The study of fear is one of the understudied subjects yet touches everyone's lives.


MAKE FRIENDS WITH FEAR

The most influential reframe is learning the contrast between ‘fearless’ & 'FearLess'. The notion that we will ever get to a place of no fear is a delusion. There will always be events in life that will create real fear. Fear is a necessary emotion. Holding on to a ‘no fear’ mindset only magnifies the genuine fear when we are faced with it.


Assuming a Fearless mindset implies we are going to accept it, study it, learn from it.


Fear obsession means you are either procrastinating, creating anxiety, or hiding it altogether. These actions will not make you a more complete person or improve your self-awareness.


Studying fear like science will remove many of its darker effects in your daily life. Like any science, the more we learn the less intimidating it is, The power of a Fearless mindset will help you embrace fear.


Remember that reframing fear takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and recognize that it's okay to feel fear; the key is to develop healthier ways of responding to it. By reframing your perspective, you can harness the energy of fear to propel you forward rather than hold you back.


Violence Prevention and Conflict Management Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self-Defense Training (CVPSD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing evidence-based training in violence prevention and self-defense. With a focus on unbiased program development, CVPSD offers customized programs to individuals and organizations, equipping them with the tools to enhance personal safety and contribute to violence prevention in their communities. The Center reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.

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