By, C.W. Stratton
All of us have experienced some form of fear on one level or another. Being able to identify legitimate fear becomes problematic for some. Fear is the unpleasant emotion or belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause harm or a threat. Another definition suggest that the feeling can be experience weather the threat is real or imagined. Focusing our attention on the feeling itself has the likelihood to limit our ability in determining if the fear is actually warranted in a given situation. Obviously there are legitimate reason to experience fear.
*A barking dog exposing its fangs running in your direction.
*A car barreling down the road in your direction as you cross the street.
*Someone threatening you with a weapon or causing physical pain.
*An event or situation that can result in loss of life.
The fear that many of us experience aren’t typically associated with the aforementioned. After assessing a given situation thoroughly, we may find that our fears aren’t connected to dangers or threats at all. Some of our fears are associated with others and how they may respond to certain discussions we may be involved in. We may be that individual who lacks self-confidence, whereas fear becomes a constant feeling at unexpected times. Given this being a individuals reality, we must realize that lack of self-confidence doesn’t mean there are dangers or threats that will become of harm to the person. The fear becomes the fear of a feeling that one may experience if we relay a message to someone and they don’t respond in a way that we had depicted in our minds prior. A result, we begin to condition ourselves mentally to avoid certain conversations, situations and interactions. Think about some of the ways and things we associate with fear:
*Letting someone down.
*Asking for help.
*Following your dreams.
*Speaking up about what you believe in.
*Addressing an issue with someone who may have hurt your feelings
*Challenging a statement of someone that you know is inaccurate.
*Stepping outside of certain conventional practices.
*Rejection (avoid hearing that huge word “NO”).
These are only a few things that we associate with fear but as we can see, there’s no real danger, harm or threat involved in these. However, we hold on and identify the feeling as fear, and in turn, it prevents us from making the progress that we say we desire. We become paralyzed by the illegitimate fears. We rob ourselves of the opportunity to communicate our wants and needs; we remain in the comfort zone of stagnation. Is the zone really comfortable? It’s just a familiar place to be that’s consumed with discomfort. It’s time to challenge ourselves (our views, perceptions and ideas of reality) and become more confident and comfortable with who we are as people. Being able to identify the feeling you are actually experiencing in a given situation is critical to progress; it’s not always fear. It could possibly be other feelings you may subconsciously refuse to identify (inadequacy, insecurity, shame, or guilt). It’s time to identify and conquer.