How to overcome fear

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”

Helen Keller

Fear. When you really dig into someone, this is usually at the bottom of their woes. I am “afraid”. I am “scared”. It “frightens” me. With Halloween just passing us by, I think it is a fitting time to talk about the topic of fear.

We use words like the ones mentioned above to describe our fear. Furthermore, it would seem we could also categorize our fear, such as emotional, physical, spiritual, etc. One might say, “I am afraid of getting hurt”. Now, we could interpret this in so many different ways. Are you afraid of physical pain? Will you be emotionally distraught? It is important to be clear because in order to overcome fear we must not remove fear.

We must install confidence.

When I no longer wish to be weak, I do not remove weakness; I develop strength.

When I no longer wish to be foolish, I do not remove my naivety, I develop intelligence.

When I longer wish to be in fear, It follows suit that I must develop confidence.

The reason is that fear is never removed. I cannot live without fear just as I can not live without pain. Pain is a complex topic that our culture today has attached a negative stigma to. However, those who learn to deal with pain and even seek out “painful” and difficult tasks, are more adept at dealing with future pain and will not be as sensitive to it. This is a concept that Helen Keller seemed to understand well.

So, do not seek to remove your fear, but rather develop your confidence. Failure is the best teacher, but having micro-successes should be a part of your lesson plan. Learn how to move your spine through space without fearing you will “throw out your back”. Develop the confidence to move your spine the way it should move; fluid, strong, and mobile. Learn to jump on top of that high box not by ignoring the fear in your head that says “you can’t”; but rather, work your way higher and higher diligently until the confidence tells you, “I can”.

Keep fear and pain in your life, but introduce confidence and practice to develop your resiliency both physically and emotionally.

How will you overcome your fears today?