How to face your fears

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Behind fear there is a lot going on. First, you may need to have a meeting with yourself to determine how do you feel about yourself? How is your mental and physical health? It’s ok to feel fear, fear is not a bad thing or a problem. It’s natural and actually healthy, because it can help you find wisdom in certain situations so you don’t do foolish things. But there is another type of FEAR, the unhealthy one; the fear that torments you to the point that it makes all decisions for you. If you feel like this, fear is now governing your life.

You probably think some people have it all together and they don’t feel fear, but the truth is we all feel it. Then, how come there are some people who are “so brave”, capable of doing those things that fill you with fear? Well, the answer is simple, they also experience fear, the difference is that they do these things even when they are afraid, unlike others that just freeze and run away.

Disclaimer: Based on my experience, in the following post I will try to help you find ways to face your fears. However, if your “fear” comes with panic attacks, extreme anxiety, nervousness, shaking, sleeping problems, trouble breathing, etc. – this might be a hormonal imbalance, or an illness that requires medical attention. If so, please, seek professional help. Here’s one resource: https://adaa.org/

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Once you realize that it’s time to face your fears, you want to specifically separate different types of fears. Put a name to your fear, what is exactly that which is producing the fear in you. Little by little you need to start facing them, one a time. Allow me to give you some examples.

  1. Fear to fail. We are scared to fail, it’s human nature to feel scared of failure. Your head spins thinking about what’s gonna happen if you go wrong. We spend more time contemplating the prospect of a loss rather than a gain. The truth is that negative thoughts affect us strongly, and the more time you spend thinking about the loss, the more you start to believe it’s gonna happen. If you failed, if things go wrong and you don’t get to do these as you wish you could have done them, it’s ok. It’s risky, but life is full of second opportunities. Every day is a brand new day for you to try again and do it better. Do not run away from doing what you really want because you are afraid of failure.
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2. Fear to be rejected. It’s not what they are going to think that scares you, it’s the idea of feeling pain and getting hurt that fills you with fear. Rejection is painful, because we all want to feel appreciated, special and loved. Rejection hurts only as much as you allow it to. We all experience rejection at some point of our lives, but rejection could make us better if we deal with it in a healthy way. Why would you stop doing what you want to do or try just because of what others have to say, or based on how others will react? This is your life, and you deserve to do what is knocking deep inside you. You might want to check this post about rejection: https://jenniveth.com/2021/01/24/how-to-overcome-rejection/

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3. Fear to be excluded. Specially when you are young, you are desperate to feel accepted and welcomed as part of the group. You feel the need to be what others want you to be. You start to behave like they want, and sadly you ended up losing yourself, losing the essence of who you are, and the values and morals that you have. You compromise everything that makes you unique, just to be a part of a team and not feel left out. But this is wrong in so many ways, if you are afraid of not being included just because you are “YOU”, then you are hanging out with the wrong people. If you have to laugh at things that are not funny for you in order to belong, or if you have to try what they want you to try to be considered part of them, you need to trust me on this: They are not meant to be your closest ones. The world is full of different people, with different values. If you stand up for yourself and protect the real person you are, then eventually you will be surrounded by people who feel and behave like you. You will feel you are in the right place with the right people.

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4. Fear to re-live painful past experiences. I know how it feels to be scared of repeating something that was very hard to deal or live with. Whatever area in which you experienced pain in the past, it makes you cautious to protect yourself and avoid getting hurt again. Maybe you experienced a painful loss of something that you really wanted, or you trusted the wrong people and now you are afraid of offering your heart and confidence to someone once again. This might sound easier said than done, but you can’t live your life expecting the worse. We love to imagine the worst scenarios and suddenly we panic, but if you don’t open yourself again and let people in, you will never feel ok with yourself. We are meant to know good and bad people, going through painful and good situations. Everything can’t be black or white. It’s not always all about roses, and if you let every single bad experience from past take control of your destiny, you will live a sad life. You will wake up one day regretting not having done things differently. Enjoy your present because you deserve it, and if someone failed you, that’s on them, not you. You might want to check this post: https://jenniveth.com/2020/11/11/why-forgive-a-betrayal/

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5. Fear of trying something new. First, this probably isn’t fear, more accurately you can call it uncertainty. It’s a mixture of emotions, taking over your body and telling you to go back to your comfort zone. Getting out of your comfort zone is always “SCARY”, but this is a healthy fear. Your brain likes to feel relaxed, so whenever your emotions go higher, the brain fights back to return to the relaxed status. It sends “alert” messages in the form of fear, telling you not to do it. You have to be wise, if you are not putting yourself in danger, then why wouldn’t you try it? If it’s not something bad that will hurt you or someone else, and if it’s not gonna “kill you”, then why don’t you just give a shot? You have to trust yourself and your body, knowing that you have the capacity to react to unexpected situations and win over them.

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6. Fear to face bad consequences. Who’s not afraid of making a bad decision and facing terrible consequences? It’s normal to feel like this. Fears come from not wanting to get hurt, from the uncertain feeling of not knowing what’s gonna happen. We wish we could have a crystal ball that reveals the future, just so we can stop being afraid of making a wrong decision. The reality is that no one knows the future, and even if you plan carefully, you will still not know the consequences after the fact. That is why, in my opinion, you need wisdom before you jump into something; because whether you like it or not, you will face consequences. Good or bad consequences, we all live with the reactions to our actions. There is no other way to collect new memories than jumping into decisions that bring with them different consequences. Be brave, be wise, and trust your instincts. You probably want to read this post too: https://jenniveth.com/2021/01/31/how-to-make-right-decisions/

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7. Fear of bad news. This is a tough one. Is it a medical report? Is it the loss of someone you love? When this fear knocks at your door, your whole world shakes. I wish I could share with you some “magic” words that could automatically remove the fear; but I can’t. However, if you think that everything in your life is already given to you for something bigger, supernatural, and greater than ourselves; you will find comfort in knowing that your deliverance has seen victory. What’s the worse that can happen? It’s scary, but do not give in to the fear. Give the best you can in this situation, there is no other way to win over bad news, other than through the eyes of faith. Find hope in knowing that there is always a new door being opened for you, the door of healing, the door of “this shall pass too”. Do not put your faith in something that is smaller than the capacity the body has to regenerate and auto heal. Whether you want to believe or not, there are a lot of unknown and unexplained events that occur once we believe. Believe, do not give up, and most importantly find peace in the supernatural, that you can’t see with human eyes but with the eyes of faith.

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When you have fears, you only see a huge wave coming directly at you. You panic, you feel insecure, but on the other side of the cliff of fear there is whole new world for you to experience. New things to live, new challenges, new people to meet, and new things about yourself to discover. Life will always surprise you by showing you how strong and capable you are. Face your fears because you deserve to live your life to the maximum.

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