Just Do It! Ways to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Fear can be such a paralyzing little monster. We all have it, but why do some people seem to push through it, some thrive on it, and some hide under the bed while life passes them by? Odds are it’s a combination of each person’s personality and the specific fear they are facing. Here are a few tips to get through those paralyzing fears:
- The expression is true: We should “feel the fear.” Ignoring it completely is a short-term solution to a long-term part of life. IF we allow ourselves the time to feel fear, the eventual courage will come naturally, rather than the remorse that may come if we make decisions after ignoring fear.
- Ask Why. We should never ignore fear because there is always the chance that our fear is well-founded. Got butterflies about buying that house? Cold feel about getting married? Nervous about the new job? All of those feelings of nervousness are natural, but if that nervousness is really a deep-seated anxiety that never quiets itself, perhaps a re-examination of choices is in order.
- Try to recall the beginning. We should always reach back into our memories and try to deduce where the fear began. It might help us to discover whether or not our fear is a good enough reason to keep us from making a decision or life change. If the source of the fear is a memory of a time when a similar decision was made and things ended poorly, that may be a good reason to step back. It could also mean we’re projecting consequences of an unrelated situation onto our present life. Consequences that may not exist. For example, it’s all too easy to hold a new paramour accountable for an old love’s betrayals. And to fear the new intimacy, but there is a good chance the new lover won’t spurn us as the old one did.
- Hope. There are lots of studies about the power of wishful thinking, faith, and prayer. Whether our optimism comes from spirituality or just a positive attitude, much of what we know about the world indicates that the more good we put our there, we are more likely to receive in return. So think good thoughts before you dive in.
Fear is tricky business. Sometimes it’s intuition, sometimes it’s a trick the brain can play on us to encourage dormancy. One is self-protection; the other can hold us back. So how can we tell the difference? We can’t, but if we listen to both sides of our brains -- the one thatsays “no” and the one that says “yes”-- we can help make a more clear-eyed decision.
If fear is continually knocking at your door and paralyzing you, consider checking it out with a qualified health care practitioner in your area. Consult our Resources tab for ideas on where to seek help.