How do you react when fear starts cropping up in your life? Do you become anxious and go into panic mode? Do you try to hide from the fear, denying that it's there? Or, do you find yourself becoming completely paralyzed when fear sets in?
These are all common reactions to fear, but they can also lead to problems, by reducing your capacity to effectively manage the situation you're in. So how do you counter these reactions and leverage your fear in a constructive way?
Fear becomes a valuable asset when you face it head on and take the time to explore what it's communicating to you. When you explore the fear you're experiencing, you can identify the message behind it. You can then use that insight to make better decisions as you go forward.
Consider these possibilities as you explore .what your fear really means.
1. Fear alerts you to dangerous situations.
Our physical bodies are capable of detecting subtle cues that a situation is potentially harmful or dangerous. In these situations, that sense of fear often kicks in long before you have time to break everything down and analyze the details. Whether it's a new relationship, a business deal, or the shortcut through the laneway you're planning to take late at night, take note when that sudden twinge of fear pops up and don't ignore it.
2. Fear warns you that you're not adequately prepared.
Planning and preparation are confidence-builders and key ingredients for success. If you're feeling fearful about proceeding with a course of action, it may be that you're not adequately prepared for what you're getting into. Pause and double-check everything before charging ahead. As the old saying goes: measure twice, cut once.
3. Fear lets you know when the timing is off.
It's great to be committed to your goals, but there are times when you need to be flexible with the timelines. If you're excited about your goals but still detecting fear, it may be a sign you need to adjust your plans and put things on hold.
The beauty of heeding this sign is that in hindsight, you can see how various pieces of the puzzle required time to fall in to place in just the right way. It's at that point you're able to understand how your initial timing was off.
4. Fear provides a reference point as you expand your comfort zone.
At all stages of life, growth requires that we push ourselves in ways that feel uncomfortable. That sense of discomfort is normal, but how do you determine when you're taking on too much or pushing things too far? Tuning in to the fear you're experiencing enables you to judge what is and isn't reasonable for you.
For instance, once you become attuned to the mild fear or nervousness you always feel whenever you start something new, you can tell when the fear you're feeling in a particular situation is different in nature or more extreme than what you would typically expect.
5. Fear breaks through inertia and motivates you to take action.
We all go through phases where we find ourselves feeling stuck, and it can be hard to get out of that state. While living in a constant state of fear is neither healthy or enjoyable, a bit of fear at the right time can be useful for breaking through the inertia and motivating you into action. When you feel frustrated or dissatisfied, and you're afraid things are never going to change, that fear can motivate you to begin taking steps to turn things around.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.