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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
A well known statement and quote – we have heard this before in movies and media. This week we take a look at the mind and how we can better identify and use fear to help us move forward. Fear is a basic human emotion that we all feel no matter what religion, race, or culture. There are times that fear will take us over and lead us astray. However recognizing what fear is and how it controls us is important into living a fulfilled life.
I’d first like to define fear and how I plan to discuss it. Fear is something that is manifested within ourselves during a time of stress or anxiety. Fear is what we would label as the continued reminder that something stressing or something difficult is in our life, on the horizon, or present in the current moment. Taking a brief look back on an event such as 9/11, fear was an emotion felt by many people in response to the unknown attack and infringement on our safety. This fear was the manifestation of emotions such as anxiety, insecurity, and hopelessness. From these emotions, we recognize and identify fear as the emotion we feel. We then create certain attitudes in response to this fear. Perhaps we are more observant and continually check places to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Maybe we cease doing activities that we may believe will put is in danger. Most importantly in my eyes however, is the way that fear has the ability to change how we feel about ourselves and what type of power and control we do have.
Often in times of stress we feel powerless. As if there is nothing that we can do to circumvent the issue and problem. Fear often leaves us feeling immobile and in shock rather than proactive and problem solving. When we allow the fear to overtake us and control us – we allow our own emotions to get the best of us. Now I’m not saying that we aren’t subject to our emotions. Emotions are very real and have a purpose into how we understand and adapt to new situations. Fear however is what I would believe to be a culmination of an array of emotions. If we can understand that fear stems from several different emotions we can begin to recognize where the fear comes from. More often than not, fear is so fearful because of its unknown and ambiguous qualities. Once we break it down and understand what is giving us anxiety, what we doubt within ourselves or what it is that we feel about the unknown we can move forward to a more productive path.
Let’s use an example that some may be able to relate to – fear of making a change for a better life. Many people struggle with the fear that they are not capable or are too far gone to make a life change that they know deep down they want. This doubt, fear, and anxiety in taking those steps to change consume us and weigh us down. We become overwhelmed and immobile in taking any action to change. We then start to recognize this immobilization to fear. Since fear is something that when we feel it, we tend to avoid it – there will be no change and we would of let fear overcome us.
Fear is useful in that it helps to alert us to things in our environment that are stressful and ambiguous. Bringing attention to these things is important in that it may help us avoid some further stressful event because we can adjust our environment to satisfy our own fear. Fear however can only help us so much until it begins to deter us and keep us from pushing past our limits. It is much easier for me to type this here “don’t let fear get the best of you”. To make it more meaningful however, think of fear as an emotion like any other – one that we can choose to give power to or not. Sure it may be scary to make a change, but are we so stricken with doubt and anxiety that it morph’s into something that it is not? As with most emotions – once we realize that we can have control and power over fear – we can own it and use it for our best interests.
Studies show that less than 5% of people who want to get fit actually follow through.
JUST SHOW UP, GIVE IT YOUR ALL, AND WE'LL TAKE CARE OF THE REST.