Fear is a natural emotion that is supposed to warn us of dangers and protect our lives. Millions of years ago, these dangers consisted of predators, aggressive tribal members and the social exclusion of our own tribe. Today, our survival is largely assured and we do not have to be constantly on guard against lions or tigers.
Nevertheless, our amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for the feeling of fear – regularly sounds the alarm. Whether it's because of an upcoming meeting, worries about the future, or a presentation in front of many people, we often feel anxious, even though our survival is (mostly) not at stake.
Our anxiety today is largely driven by stress and worry. Sometimes we also think too much. It's no longer the original stinging fear of survival, but rather a dull, numbing worry about the future. In this article, I describe how I try to deal with my own anxiety.
The Obstacle Is the Way
Being afraid shows that you are on the right path. You step out of your comfort zone and test your own potential. This form of progress involves fear because you are setting out into unknown territory. If you never put yourself in fearful situations, you are not challenging yourself enough. Sometimes it is necessary to take a leap in order to move forward.
You can grow through your fear and prove to yourself that you have accomplished something despite all the obstacles. Fear of a thing can only be overcome by doing the thing. Of course, you should not have permanent worry or fear. Nevertheless, these feelings accompany great personal growth.
Your fear should not stop you, except perhaps in truly life-threatening situations. On the contrary, fear is a guide: the right direction, however, leads into the feeling of fear. This question can make this easier.
If you face your anxiety, you will grow from it, even if you fail or make mistakes. There is no greater learning opportunity than to be afraid of something and then conquer that fear.
In order to grow from your anxiety, you should ask yourself what exactly you are afraid of. Then you should get to the bottom of this cause. What exactly am I afraid of? Why am I afraid of it and what would alleviate the fear? How can I implement this relief so that I can conquer the fear?
Alleviating your fear does not mean that you are surrendering. It means weakening the fear to be able to overcome it, and working step by step on no longer being afraid.
Nobody Is Fearless
Even if you were to implement all the tips perfectly, we humans will always be afraid of something. And that's a good thing, because even today there are situations in which your life is on the line. Fear is essential for your survival.
However, with the exercises presented here, you can at least alleviate your fear, and in situations where you don't need to be afraid, you can even conquer it completely. Just because you were afraid of something at the beginning doesn't mean you can't change it.
It also helps to talk to other people about your fears. It's not a sign of weakness, it's a demonstration of confidence. There is no shame in confiding in others. Together you can find the best solutions and ways to overcome your fear.
Strength is not born from strength. Strength can be born only from weakness. So be glad of your weaknesses now, they are the beginnings of your strength.