In chess we have a saying that, “A threat is stronger than execution.” A move which gives threat creates uneasiness in the opponent, provoking disharmony in his thoughts and thus increasing his chances of making a mistake. This psychological force has been said to be more powerful than simply executing the threat.
In our life, fear is very similar to threat. Fear of something cripples our thinking patterns and leads us to make wrong decisions. Just like a threat, fear is not something that has already happened, but rather an anticipation of something which is unwanted.
Uncertainty and fear
Uncertainty on the other hand is the dwelling of fear. Wherever there is uncertainty, there is some degree of doubt and fear.
Look around you for an example. We are living in a time which is so full of uncertainty. This has never happened before and no one knows what will happen next. It is exactly the kind of situation where fear and panic rule the world.
There are variety of fears, and EVERYONE is afraid at some point. But with this post I want to offer you some insights on dealing with these emotions and gaining back the control of your head.
Please note that fear is not always negative. Fear is our most basic survival tool. But mostly we have the psychological fear, which is a hindrance to our progress. Here are a few insights to deal with these emotions.
1.) Accept that fear is a part of your life
We have grown up in such a way that fear has become a part of our lives. Understand that it is an emotion just like any other and it will come up in your life at some point or the other.
Understanding this fact eliminates the fear of fear itself. It means that you are okay to be afraid sometimes, and avoid chasing this impossible wish of being totally free from fear.
Accepting fear doesn’t mean that you have to let it rule you. It is only a preparation for taking the next step of facing them.
2.) Face your fears.
As direct it may seem, this is the best antidote for fear. Fear itself means that you don’t want to face it. It is a feeling of something unwanted which you want to avoid. It is an urge to run away. So, the best way to deal with your fear is to face them head on despite of your urge to run away.
It is a simple matter of taking a bold action in the face of your fear.
- You are afraid of losing ? Play the game anyway!
- You are afraid of rejection? Ask for it anyway!
- You are afraid failing? Do it anyway and fail!
Remember, it is the threat that is making you fear. Once it is executed, most of your fears will disappear. Sooner you face them, better it is. Because fears only grow stronger as you delay taking bold actions. It distorts your mind and makes you find more reasons for not taking the action.
Most of your fears will go away after facing them directly. You don’t need to read on if you are ready for action, but I have a few more interesting ideas that might be useful.
3.) Use the perspective tool
A small object close to your eyes seems bigger than the building far away. Of course, objectively a building is a lot larger but it is the magic of perspective that makes the perception of object stronger than the building.
Similarly, your mind has a way of working with perspective. If you keep your fears close to your mind, they will seem larger than this universe. As soon as you change your perspective and bring something positive in front, the fear will fade away in the back.
Your mind deals only with what is in the front. It cares only for what is given attention to. When you feel too much fear that it does not allow you to take action, you can put it in to perspective where it is far back and insignificant.
- Bring up the positive feelings of faith in the front and push the doubt at back.
- Bring confidence in front and put fear at the back.
You don’t need to fight your fears. Try to bring the opposite positive emotions in the front and take actions. This can be done to replace not only fears, but any negative feeling such as sadness, anger, jealousy, hatred..etc.
4.) Scale your fears
Just like perspective, there is another tool of scale. When you feel fear, your thoughts are mostly distorted and out of scale. So how can you use your mind to scale your fears?
Look at the examples outside of yourself. To scale something, you need a reference.
If you are afraid of failing at something, find out someone who might have failed far more than you, and yet got over it and succeeded. Scale your fears with respect to their emotional roller coaster. This will help you find a true scale for your fears, which in most cases is very insignificant.
5.) Let go of the illusion of control
Your fears are fed by this tendency to control everything. When something goes out of control, there is fear.
- When you try to control the results, there will be fear of not getting them.
- When you try to secure someone’s love for you, there will be fear of losing it.
- When you try to secure your job, there will be a fear of losing that job.
Whenever you try to secure or control something too hard, there is always a fear that comes along, saying, “what if this won’t work out?” The control we think we have over things is an illusion. When we let go of it, we become free.
The only way to let go of control is to know that life is uncertain and anything can happen at any moment. We must train ourselves to accept and welcome everything that comes into our lives. Most often we welcome pleasures and avoid pain, but that is unfair and we pay for it by suffering.
A word about uncertainty
Many people see the uncertainty as something to avoid. It hurts their ability to control things. But I see a beauty in this uncertainty of life. How wonderful is the fact that ‘we do not know!’
Not knowing is being able to know. If you knew everything, there would be nothing to know, no wonder, no curiosity and a dry life. Uncertainty is beautiful. It lets you discover your life moment by moment!
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post and it adds value to your life. Be bold and look at your fears in the eye. Embrace the uncertainty and accept life as it is!