The Damage Caused By Fear

Don’t be afraid! It’s simple…

Now that I’ve cured most of you I’ll try and help those who weren’t aided by my fantastic advice above.

Most people in their lives find a comfort zone and stay there. It’s totally natural by the way, all living things have their comfort zones, and that’s where we like to remain. Even my German Shepherd has his comfort zone, has his routine and if his routine is upset he lets you know about it! But the awful thing is sometimes that very comfort zone is our enemy. It can make us feel underachieved and as if we are wasting our lives away and that’s a truly awful way to exist.

The reason we remain in a zone that is actually damaging to us is that we are fearful of leaving. People don’t like to rock the boat, we don’t like the idea of ruining what we have. It’s like an army marching into enemy territory, eventually comes a point where they have to decide whether to keep marching or to hold what they have. If they march on they could lose everything they have and suffer unimaginable losses. But if they stay still they may never be able to achieve their full goals and objectives. So what do they do? Well history shows empires keep expanding until they fall in on themselves.

Here’s the thing though, unlike empires that are limited by the finite amount of land on Earth, your potential is actually limitless. You can keep growing until the day you die. You just have to be willing to keep marching on, even when you fear you might lose what you’ve gained.

I use the example of travelling. Some people never visit many countries. We live on a planet full of different cultures and environments and many people will live most, if not all of their lives in the same zip code in which they were born! How insane is that? We live in an ever globalised world in which air travel is dirt cheap, especially for Europeans and Americans. Even the lowliest of wages in Europe can afford you travel to almost anywhere on the planet. I know because I’ve done travelling on a shoestring. But people don’t leave, they stay put because they have a job, or children, or university, parents, family, a dog etc. Always a reason. But all these fears are irrational.

Think about it, I travelled with next to no money and I didn’t starve to death. How often do you hear of Westerners succumbing to privation while travelling? I also came back and always managed to find work. My parents were always right here when I got back, so was my dog, my friends, my home, university etc.

So I say travel. I say apply for the job you are woefully under skilled for, just write a good CV and see what happens. I say ask him/her out, worst that can happen is they pepper spray you… Apply for the college course you want. Start exercising even though you’re body conscious. You will eventually in your life have to stand up to fear or you will spend your entire life rotting away in a comfort zone you will grow to resent.

Here’s my tips on fighting fear;

  1. Do something, anything! The longer you do nothing the greater fear will grow inside you.
  2. Make a decision. Indecision is a crippling state to be in. Beat it by making a decision even if the possible outcomes are terrifying. Just don’t let potentially false beliefs hold you back.
  3. Fear feeds on the unknown so therefore think about what the absolute worst thing that can happen is. Then think ‘What would I do if that happened’. Let’s be honest, short of death, most outcomes won’t matter in five weeks, never mind five years.
  4. Unworthiness feeds fear too. So ask yourself what the best outcome of your decision is and consider what you’d do in that situation.
  5. Your mobile phone has more computing power than NASA used to put Buzz ‘n’ buddies on the moon. Don’t tell yourself that something is impossible because quite frankly you know it’s nonsense and so do we. It’s not impossible. Say it to yourself, ‘This is possible’.
  6. Meditate, let all the junk in your head pass you by and think positively about your decision. No lies, no negativity.
  7. Take your first step and continue that way. Step by step. Slowly slowly catchy monkey. Nobody wakes up and decides to run their first marathon that morning.

Remember fear is what you make of it. Fear like anger must be fed. If you starve it, it will grow weaker. From there you are more powerful and you can run a marathon, travel, find your dream job, get with your dream partner etc. Just take it step by step.

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