What Is Fear?
Definition: Websters dictionary classifies fear as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
Other Examples and Definitions:
Anxious Concern, profound reverence and awe especially toward God. Reason for alarm.
But What Is It Really?
When it comes down to it, there isn’t a human on earth that has been crippled by this emotion. It is the sole cause of crushing ones potential and live a happy and complete existence.
It can be seen as False Evidence Appearing Real. But that really doesn’t help when it comes down to how damn real it feels to us. So what really is fear?
Fear is the ego manifesting itself. The mind wants to keep you safe. The mind is millions of years old and fear is our brains signal to our body to avoid thing thing wear fear. To keep us alive. It isn’t created for us to thrive.
Just knowing this is a small comfort when you can look at it this way whenever it arises.
Also, it is not you. Fear is actually a feeling that can be released. I read a book about a metaphyisist who talks about how emotions are simply energy.
Energy that isn’t us. It just builds up overtime which makes it feel person and like it is a part of us. It is simply energy, and when we see it as that and don’t judge it we can release.
If you want more information on get rid of emotions for good, I wrote a guide on how to do so here: How To Let Go
What Is Fear In Psychology? – Causes Of Fear
Fear in psychology is a biochemical reaction to a situation that results in bodily responses that like; sweaty palms, high adrenaline levels and increased heart rate and sweating.
Essentially it is referred to more often as the “flight or fight” response. In laymen’s terms, our brain poses the choice to us – Should we run away or fight?
Essentially it is seen as an emotional response in which varies depending on it’s occupant. Some people chase the fear for the adrenaline rush, others do all they can do avoid it.
It also can turn on itself. In which one is fearful of fear itself. This manifests itself in the form of anxiety disorders.
They become fearful that their panic or anxiety will strike, often times keeping them from going about life in a way they would if they didn’t have this disorder.
Essentially it is twisting the normal fear response in a direction that doesn’t present real danger. This is why fear is so powerful because it is like a fire that can have logs added to it, IF we allow it.
Because it is so powerful, we can use it as the greatest motivator instead.
Psychology Today breaks down the psychology of the emotion very well listing that:
- Fear is healthy and a normal part of human brain functioning and a total lack of fear would be linked to actual brain damage
- Isn’t Automatic – It is a mixed reaction that involved with three factors; instinct, what we’ve been taught and what we have learned. Ex. the boogie man, cultural norms, instilled parental beliefs
- You don’t need to be in direct danger in order to feel fear. When we imagine what can happen we feel the stimulus. Science believes we are the most fearful species on the planet because of this reason
- Fear gets worse when one is already in a state of fear, called potentiation
- It dictates actions you take
- The more you perceive a threat of fear as real, the more heroic you will act. Ex massive change in diet after one experiences a life threatening health scare like a heart attack
Effects of Fear?
Again we all know the effects of fear and what it can do to our physical and emotional state. But according to a great site on the subject, some of the main effects that fear has on us are:
- Weakening of our immune system can can even cause cardiovascular damage and gastrointestinal problems as well as decreased fertility.
- Premature aging and death
- Memory impairment and brain damage in certain parts of the brain such as in the hippocampus.
- Problems regulating emotions.
- Unable to read non verbal cues.
- Impact our decision making.
- Lead us to more intense emotions and impulsive reactions.
- Fatigue and clinical depression
Another site expands on more of the effects of fear including:
- Stifling thoughts and actions creating indecisiveness
- Lead one to destructive thoughts and even suicidal thoughts
- Steals peace
- Crushes doubt
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Low self-esteem
All in all being in fear, especially long term can lead one into a down hill spiral.
Causing one to never reach their full potential or even maintain a healthy and happy life. So how do we overcome fear? Below I list ten steps this will help you massively.
How To Overcome Fear – 8 Actionable Tips
The simple answer to this is that the only way out is through. You can’t overcome anything you run from. You need to act on it.
Essentially either feel the fear and do it, or don’t fear it and still do what you scared of. That is the only way you can truly overcome a fear.
But below I offer 8 methods you can use to overcome any fear you have without having to get a life coach, therapy, affirmations or even journaling.
Allow It For 5 Seconds At MOST
The thing is the more you do something the less you will fear it. The more time you give fear to manifests itself, the stronger it will become. The bigger hold it will take on you. The key is to act, and act fast.
Mel Robbins, author of author of the 5 second rule talks about how “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.
So the clock is ticking. Don’t let it countdown past zero. If you feel the fear do it anyway more forward. She even talks about literally counting down.
We have all been in a bar and wanted to approach someone after we make eye contact with them. But fear creeps in.
We keep thinking about approaching them but it ends up being too late. Someone else ended up going up to them, or there is just awkward eye contact the rest of the night.
Instead act within 5 seconds and bury your fear this way.
Also like Grant Cardon says
“Fear depends on time for it’s strength. Confront that which you fear with speed!”
Start Seeing It As Excitement
Instead of seeing it as fear, start seeing it as excitement. This shift in mindset will allow you to be more proactive when you feel fear.
There is a great article that talks about how in the brain in acutuality fear and excitement are closely intertwined.
They are both generated within the hypothalamus. Your breathing and heart rate increases, makes your palms sweaty and dilates your pupils.
Because they are so closely related it is very easy to shift from fear to excitement.
The talk about how you get very scared if you see a man in a mask with a knife as soon as you walk into your home.
But then you look closer and see he is making a PB&J. Your gears shift from nervous to excited or even mistake it as always being just excited.
Know There Is A Reward Behind Fear
The same article above talks about how if we essentially anticipate fear coming, it is activating the nucleus accumbens, aka the reward system in the limbic system.
So if we can anticipate fear before it actually takes hold on us, we are more in a position to act powerfully on it because we will be more reward driven.
In essence we are now running towards a reward instead of running away from emotional danger. Physically or mentally speaking.
I mean think about it, every time we have been scared to act on something but did it anyways, the reward was awesome.
Even if we didn’t get the “thing” we were going after, we build excellent self confidence in that moment because we conquered ourselves. This brings more self-mastery.
Acknowledge Your Fear
If you do so, fear will have less power on you. If you resist it, it will only grow stronger. But if you acknowledge fear, then you are at a better position to move forward.
If you keep denying it, it will only keep trying to manifest itself through your denial of it.
Question Your Fears
Again we can be programmed to fear a certain thing. Question whether you really need to be scared, or at least as scared as you are.
Dissect your fears and expose them for what they are. If they are valid for your survival, then keep them. If not than don’t give them the power they deserve.
When they come up, just remember how you disected the real truth from it. Then move forward at your new lower level of fear.
What Is The Worst Thing That Can Happen?
Often times we are scared because we are subconsciously anticipating the worst.
If we go and ask someone out at a bar and they say no, not only will they say no but they will point and laugh and then everyone in the bar will laugh.
This will lead to you not wanting to go to that bar anymore or even out if public anymore. Leading you to wanting to stay at home all the time, leading to depression and ulimately suicide.
Now this is the progression of the mind. We link fear to ultimately our death. But how often does the absolute worst case scenario happen?
Not that often. So by asking yourself this question, you will see how wacky our deepest fears are, making you less scared to act.
Remember A Time Where You Were Fearless
Go back to a time where you conquered the hell out of a fear. Feel that feeling over and over again. Take it on as it was happening right now. Then proceed to do the thing you fear in this moment.
Throw Away Social Imprints
Even something as simple as your parents telling us not to talk to strangers can be enough for us to subconsciously fear approaching a guy or girl we are attracted to. It is childhood fear manifesting itself in adulthood.
Or something like we are scared to get into a long term intimate relationship because we don’t want our marriage to end in divorce like our parents.
You do not have to become what you fear. It is just a program that is instilled in our brain because we took it as fact.
See the falsehood in these beliefs and choose to replace them with valid beliefs that support your psychological health.
Get Yourself In A Fearless State
Tony Robbins talks a lot about changing his state when he first wakes up in the morning. He says the fastest way to do this is to change your body.
Focusing on making eye contact more, better posture and a more direct but respectful tone with people.
The more you change your state to a more fearless one, the more you will do so naturally and in situations which cause you fear. Check out this video here where Tony Robbins shows you how to change your state here:
Different Types of Fear and Phobias
There are many types of fears, referred to as phobias. Some of the most common are talked about in an article by ABC.net expanding on the following of the most common fears and phobias:
- Astraphobia – Fear Of Storms
- Cynophobia – Fear Of Dogs – Manifests itself primarily amongst young children as well as door to door sales people.
- Tryranophobia – Fear of Needles
- Entomophia – Fear of Insects
- Acrophobia – Fear of Heights
- Agoraphobia – Fear of Open Spaces
- Ophidiophobia – Fear of Snakes
- Claustrophobia – Fear of Enclosed Spaces
- Pteromerhanophobia – Fear of Flying
Fearof.net talks about even more of the most uncommon fears and phobias, some of which include:
- Trypophobia – The fear of holes
- Mysophobia – The fear of germs
- Thanatophobia – The fear of death
- Atychiphobia – The fear of failure
- Alektorophonia – The fear of chickens
- Aquaphobia – The fear of water
- Gamophobia – The fear of commitment
- Hemophobia – The fear of blood
- Vehophobia – The fer of drving\
- Theophobia – The fear of God
- Achievemephobia – The fear of success
- Phobophobia – The fear of fear
- Basiphobia – The fear of falling
- Emetophobia – The fear of vomiting
- Paraskevidekatriaphobia – The fear of Friday the 13th (My Favorite lol)
What Does The Bible Say About Fear?
Being that fear is an ancient emotion, we can discover more about it by looking in one of the oldest and best self help books on the planet. The Bible.
Huffington Post talks about this offering a few scripture about fear saying that the term “fear not” is used over 80 times in the bible. A couple other verses are talked about that involve fear including:
Deuteronomy 31:8 He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
Essentially God has your back through it all. If you lean into him and know he will never leave you wherever you go, there is no reason to be afraid.
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
This is one of the most famous Psalm scriptures ever. It is essentially saying that He is your protector, one to lean on when you need stability and the One who delivers out all bad in your life.
Isaiah 43:1 Don’t fear for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.
Through God’s eye he sees us as his prize and redeemed by him. So esteemed in His eye. The feeling of redemption by the Lord Himself should put our fears more at ease.
1 John 4:18 Perfect love casts out all fear
God is the ultimate form of Love. Knowing this if we lean into his perfect presence and grace, we can know no fear as well. The closer we come to the Lord, the less amount of fear we will feel from worldly events.
Another site called Openbible.info references a massive amount of scriptures about fear, some of which include:
Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Proverbs 29:25 – The fear of a man lays a snart but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Deuteronony 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both the soul and body in hell.
Psalm 118:6 The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Isaiah 35:4 -For I the Lord you God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the on who helps you.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
“Decide you want it more than your afraid of it.”
“Find out what your afraid of and go live there.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things that you fear.” – Brian Tracy
I wrote a post on fear quotes, check it out here!
So there you are guys, the blood sweat and tears of all that encompasses fear and how it takes it’s hold on us.
I hope this brought you value as well as some good tips on how to overcome your fear and go after life more head on!
Let me know what you liked most or if you have anything to add in the comment section below!