“Maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly what you should do.”
Let’s take a closer look at how instead of suffering from our fears, we can actually use them to get rid of them.
The scientific name for the adrenaline rush we sense when we get scared is a “fight or flight reaction”. Again originally, this reaction was made for us to survive dangerous situations by either fighting our way out or running for our lives. But projected to our modern ego based fears, this still bases on the same principle:
Every time we are confronted with a fear, we are actually presented with a choice, fighting the cause of our fear or running away from it.
The problem with ego based fears is that we still think that we have that choice, but really we can just choose between fighting or the illusion of a flight. The choice is real when we are attacked by an animal, because the cause of our fear is right in front of us. But with ego based fears, the cause is inside of us, so there is no running away. Yet, we still try to do it every time and love the illusion that it could work. When you are in a bar and you are too scared to approach the person you’re interested in, you can just leave the bar or avoid the person and you will feel like you outran your fear. But the next time you’re in that situation, you will realize that your fear of rejection is still there, and while you tried to ignore it, it probably grew.
That is the awesome thing as well as the problem with the way our brains work. We learn patterns, behaviors and decisions and we are more comfortable with the decisions we are familiar with. So if you choose to outrun your fear, you will subconsciously learn from it so that the next time you get confronted with that fear, you’re more likely to repeat that decision. The more we run away from our fears, the more we tend to run away. We start building up scenarios in our heads to justify our cowardliness, imagining the worst case and getting caught up in what could go wrong. Because fears are so deeply rooted in our thoughts, it’s really hard to spot these effects on our decision making.
But I think there is a way we can use this problem to our advantage, because of the way, fears form our subconscience, they also form a map through it at the same time. That’s why I chose in the quote in the beginning. Our ego based fears are hard to sense, the only real way is to confront us with them. In the end, the things we are most afraid of are actually our biggest wishes, we’re not afraid of them coming true, we want them to come true so badly that we are afraid of the possibility that they couldn’t. I will build on this thought in my next post because is is not regarded as relevant for a traditional approach to fighting fears.
Finally all that means that fears can guide you to your dreams and wishes and all you need to do is to confront them, getting into situations that are uncomfortable for you, that you are terrified of. This is probably one of the hardest things we can ever do, but believe me, it’s worth it, because you will finally be able to look behind that wall of doubts “what could go wrong” and “what if…?” to see, that they only are as real as you make them and that there is actually nothing stopping you from doing what you want to do. If you can learn to run from your fears, you can learn to face them as well. By showing you what you are afraid of, they are actually able to guide you to the things you have to do to get exactly to where you want to be.