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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Face your Fears

Liberate yourself - Steps to gain Freedom

Understanding Fear

With the world returning to normal, many of us are still holding back, hesitant and fearful to embrace this change. We are overcome by a sense of foreboding, preventing us from being able to rationally deal with the demands of the evolving times. An unseen virus, spreading like wild fire hustled the world into dormancy. The veil of anxiety that has gripped the world will only grow if we focus on the thought with our behavior. How do we flatten the fear? Let’s explore how we can move forward.

Fear is a natural and biological emotion. Our body and brain’s intuitive response to triggers that spell hazard or the unknown. A double edged sword, Fear is healthy when the survival instincts surface to keep us safe from danger. While fear is natural and cannot be suppressed, if it overwhelms us or becomes a debilitating pattern in our lives, we need to face up to it. Fear can be unhealthy when it make us cautious and prevents us from doing the things that would give us joy and fulfillment. It can also hold us back, keeping us from achieving anything and everything. Immobilizing us in a way that paralyses our ability to go forth and be and do the things we want to. If we stop to analyze it, we would know that fear can be restrictive and engulfing. Many of us have thought of things we would like to try, changes in our routine and structure and yet have held back. We can be boxed in by a sense of fear thinking we may not succeed. The fear of failing immobilizes, traps us in a rut, unable to venture forward.

“Fear is our survival response”, says Northwestern Medicine Clinical Psychologist Zachary Sikora. He goes on to speak about how fear can also make us foggy, as some part of your brain are revving up, while others are shutting down”. “When the amygdala senses fear, the cerebral cortex (area of the brain that harnesses reasoning and judgement) becomes impaired – so now it’s difficult to make good decisions or think clearly”. He goes on to caution that Fear is a complex human emotion that can have negative consequences in the way it impacts our lives.

Taking Action

Fear can cripple us, but embracing it can guide our actions, rather than control them. Naming the fear can give us the fortitude to deal with it, writing it down can minimize its looming quality, because as is well known, ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. On the other hand confronting it can cause it to shrink. Redefining Fear can be an important tool in our armor. By framing the situation, it allows us to see the parameters clearly avoiding the stress and anxiety that follows Fear closely.

In our world today, signs of fear exist everywhere. The pandemic has only caused the heightening of this emotion. All around us, there are escalated instances of violence, divisive actions and innuendos, paranoia and finger pointing. With the added strain of mental health issues escalating, it has created another layer of complexity. We know that when trauma occurs, anxiety escalates and continues to be fed with fearful thinking and anxious behavior. How do we combat this?

Visualize success

I believe through compassion and community we have the ability to uplift, empower and inspire one another. Arming oneself with a positive attitude and the ability to pivot can be handy tools. Minimizing our weakness and maximizing our strengths can help us steer the course. Viewing the unknown with a long term perspective and the ability to see the big picture can help us along the way. If we ask ourselves, “what is the worst that could happen”, we might find that the fear itself is worse than what we are afraid might happen.

Let’s not be afraid to ask for help. Seeking mentorship, looking for role models or being inspired by those around us can motivate us immensely. Surrounding ourselves with uplifting persons and friends can sustain us more than ever. Similarly not knowing can feel overwhelming, so research, delve and search out information.

Soon, the sense of not having control will be gone. Embracing, understanding and exploring the Fear can be liberating. As I look around, I view every missed opportunity as a wasted one. As we slowly merge from the Covid cocoon, let us fearlessly step forth, seeking fresh goals, exciting opportunities and a whole, brave, new world for ourselves. Join me in my quest, as we strive to find a balance between being safe while minimizing anxiety and living life to the fullest.

We are stronger together


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