Many of us live in a constant state of alarm, but few know that it is sometimes natural, and even convenient, to feel fear.
It is the oldest of emotions and is also the reason why species like ours have come this far.
Except that in thousands of years many aspects have changed and the dangers of the past have mostly disappeared.
The perceived dangers have become others and the good news is that we can learn to manage our fears better.
Coping with fears
Today I want to talk to you about the 4 mistakes that prevent you from facing your fears.
Fear is something absolutely physiological, in fact I would say that fear is a necessary thing for growth and children manifest it very well as they face their fears and grow, grow stronger and then become adults.
Courage really should not be seen as the lack of a perception of fear, but simply as an overcoming of fear itself, therefore the person who is defined as courageous is not necessarily a person who is not afraid, but rather a person who makes sure to learn to manage that fear and to overcome it.
I have had the opportunity in past years to work in various ways with elite military personnel and, for example, one of the things that is considered absolutely dangerous in a subject is the absence of fear, because it would almost certainly lead this person to underestimate risks and making mistakes more easily than a person who perceives fear, but who somehow learns to manage it, to face it and overcome it.
Between these two extremes, that is, between the person who does not perceive any fear and therefore can become a little dangerous in his behavior, and a person who perceives fear, who understands the level of risk, but is able to manage it, there is it is also the third hypothesis of a person who is afraid and freezes.
Let it be said in a situation such as that of a soldier, who therefore obviously has an important risk component related to physical and real survival, that is the fear, for example, that an astronaut can perceive before a launch, a landing, to go out outside the space station in an extravehicular activity, or whether it is the fear of a person for example speaking in public or anything else, the concept is “if fear hinders your behavior and your physiological functionality, it becomes a problem.
If fear is something that makes your life more difficult than it could be, if it affects your choices, if it leads you to avoid certain developments then it becomes a problem that in some way should be managed “.
So today I want to mention 4 common mistakes and then get in a certain sense to mention at least 2 possible solutions or strategies to better face the problem.
1. Try to control fear
The effort to control a fear is in some way a lost battle because fear manifests itself through circuits that are much more primordial, more basic than those of conscious control.
It is as if conscious control is incapable of affecting this type of behavior, therefore by the centers that perceive fear and that give life to fear, your exercise of conscious control is basically read as another danger, another fear and does nothing but increase this level of tension. So trying to control fear is quite ineffective and unnecessary.
2. Try at all costs to talk about your fear
This is also a behavior that does not lead to a real solution. It may give you the impression of letting off steam, talking about your fears with a friend, with a friend, with parents, but in reality this thing does nothing but leave the nucleus from which the fear starts intact and actually speaking about it. you never face it, you mention its dynamics, you explain its evolution, but you never get to face it.
3. Avoid fear
That is, avoid putting yourself in all those conditions that could arouse a certain degree of fear. The most typical, classic, banal example if you want is the child who continues to sleep with the light on because he is afraid of the dark. Here is an example of a technique that leads to avoid, but in reality you are not showing fear, but what is likely to be created with this mechanism is a fear of fear, because in reality you are putting yourself in a mechanism that does not lead to a growth, but simply an absence of exposure.
4. Constantly ask for help
Overcoming fear through the support and help of others is something that does not necessarily lead to the fact that you will be able to overcome that fear on your own. Another example, the child who overcomes the fear of the dark by asking for the presence of the parents until he falls asleep or even sleeping in the room with the parents, is actually not overcoming his fear.
So let’s see if there can be at least a couple of attempts at different and slightly more effective solutions.
Face your fears in concrete terms
The first one I suggest comes from my long-standing familiarity with training. It is a concept that I have declined in all its variables. So dealing with fear in small doses is a form of training, and it is a very effective way to deal with it.
For example, are you afraid of public speaking? Start talking in front of a person, then call 2, call 3 and gradually you will strengthen the belief in you that after all it is not a big problem.
It is possible to apply this method of gradual exposure to all kinds of fear. Nobody asks you to jump off a plane with a parachute. However, you could try to overcome the fear of vertigo by diving from a diving board into the pool. Provided that the problem has no medical implications.
Another thing that has very ancient roots is the idea of practicing at the right dosage the concept of the worst case scenario or what the Latins called “premeditatio malorum”.
Try to train your mind in the worst case scenario, without doing pessimism exercises. Try to prepare yourself emotionally for the worst, but without being overwhelmed so that at the right time, your fear will deflate in front of a reality that is less harsh than you had imagined.
4 mistakes to avoid
- try to check
- talk about it too much
- try to avoid
- constantly ask for help
Two strategies to be adopted instead: face, but in small doses in training mode, in order to strengthen courage, and try occasionally to challenge yourself with a forecast of the worst possible scenario and you will realize that, at some point, the fear itself will deflate because you have already experienced it emotionally.
There is nothing strange and nothing wrong with being afraid, fear is a protective mechanism, which must not hinder our life and must not make us hostages.
If you think you are chained by your fears, then what you need is an ongoing path that allows you to free yourself.
Start your journey by improving your day.