What is Fear?
One of the most common emotions people want to get away from is fear. However, as we saw before, fear is just an emotion, and all of our emotions are intended for our own best interest.
This fear is actually a good thing.
Whether you are fearful of not having enough money, of how people will judge you, whether you will get your work done in time for your supervisor, or for any other reason you have fear, this emotion is actually benefiting you.
Having the emotion of fear means that there is something that you need to prepare for. In your mind, there is something that is going to happen that you need to be ready for. This is the case where you are fearful of making the rent, fearful for how other people will react to you, and fearful for making your supervisor’s deadlines.
Underlining this fear is the presupposition (underlying assumption) that if you do not prepare for what is to come then you will feel pain or something really bad will happen.
Our mind’s intention is to keep us alive and make sure that we survive. For example, if for some reason I am on top of the Sears tower, over 14,000 feet from the ground, then the emotion of fear is to let me know that there is danger and that I need to be ready so that I do not fall off the building and die.
Whenever you are facing an intense fear, what you can do is ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?”
This is what you are fearful of. Whether this is becoming homeless, having others hate you and being lonely, or even just losing your job because you missed a deadline, all of these outcomes could be what you are trying to prevent by being fearful.
Our mind is always trying to help us survive and to this effect, it brings up these emotions of fear so that we can prepare ourselves for unwanted outcomes.
If you find yourself battling fear a lot, the first step you can take is to breath and recognize that fear is intended by your mind for a good reason. Next, you can ask yourself what it is that you need to prepare for. Many times you know what you need to prepare for and even if you are a little unclear, you can ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen.
When you do this you clarify your emotions so that you can make sense of them. Usually our fears are irrational and what we fear most has a remote chance of happening.
If this is the case and what you fear happen likely won’t happen you can reassure yourself, but also you can identify what you need to prepare for and what steps you need to take to prepare for it. Whether this is making steps to get more money so that you can pay the rent, expressing a more authentic you to your friends so their judgment doesn’t affect you, or if you need to focus more on your work tasks so that you meet your supervisor’s deadline, here you can identify exactly what steps you need to take so that you don’t have to be fearful anymore.
Sometimes it is the case where you are as prepared as you could possibly be. This might be a test that you have studied the last two weeks for and feel fantastic about the material that you will be tested on. If you still have fear for these events that you know you couldn’t be any more prepared for, then it is just time to let go of this fear feeling. This is much easier when you know you are prepared for what is about to come.
Our emotions exist to serve us. Especially this emotion of fear. If we have fear we can stop and recognize that this feeling is trying to help us. From there we can ask ourselves what we need to prepare for and what we are most scared of. Then, once all that is identified we can take action to get ready for what is about to come.
There is no reason to live life in constant fear and not knowing why. This will take some practice, but when you are clear of what you are scared of, then you can take action to let go of your fear and face what is to come.