Fear, Friend, or Foe?
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
In the spirit of the holiday, I have a question for you.
Is fear your friend or foe?
The answer is both.
You see, our brains are designed to constantly search for danger, the negative, and the scarce.
It’s a primal fear response that has kept us alive as a species.
Sometimes we need to be afraid.
Don’t walk down that dark alley. Fear. Go the other way. Safety.
Don’t get too close to the edge of that cliff. Fear. Back up. Safety.
Don’t invest in that risky financial venture. Fear. Save money. Safety.
Fear can be our best friend if used properly.
The problem comes when that friend creates fear when there isn’t any danger.
What are other people thinking about me? Fear. Don’t show up as yourself.
Don’t be fully known, loved, or make your contribution to the world.
I don’t have enough money. Fear. Over-spend or over save to feel better.
Don’t manage your money wisely or enjoy it - create not enough.
I don’t have enough time. Fear. Rush around. Make mistakes. Take more time.
Do you see how this works?
Fear can keep us safe and alive, and it can be the source of our problems.
When an emotion like fear is high, our intellect is low.
Blood flow decreases from the decision center of our brain and flows into our extremities so we can fight, flee, or freeze.
We have trouble thinking clearly, making good decisions, being solution-oriented, and moving forward.
For many of us, this has become a chronic condition. It feels normal.
Not good, but normal.
What isn’t working in your life right now? Why?
Keep asking why and I bet the answer will come down to fear.
Once you have awareness, you can decide if it’s a real or perceived problem.
My brain loves to tell me something has gone terribly wrong or this shouldn’t be happening.
I’ve learned to question it and then talk to it in a calm, loving voice to assure it nothing has gone wrong.
I’ve got this.
Then I can think clearly and solve for it.
Solutions come when the nervous system relaxes.
Curiosity, compassion, and appreciation relax the nervous system.
The good news is you can learn to relax your nervous system and, therefore, overcome your fear with your thoughts whenever you want.
I learned it, and I can teach you.