“Fear can drain us of life’s energy and creativity. Fear often paralyzes the human spirit.”
Fear is often a driving force behind many of our actions or our in actions. Fear can cause us to leap into action or paralyze us.
Fear has been with me since childhood, like the fear of getting in trouble in school, the fear of rejection from friends, the fear of being alone and the fear of things I can’t control. Some of my fears or worries are legitimate and deserve action. For example, if I fear for my physical safety, like the fear of crossing a busy street, it makes sense to act wisely and look both ways and move quickly. But too many of us obsess about things we have no control over. It doesn’t help to worry about things that we can’t take positive action to improve.
Fears are our way of keeping ourselves “safe,” but the safety brought about by fear is too often a false safety. It’s like locking ourselves alone in a small room so we won’t be exposed to the flu or get hit by a car or face rejection. At its worst, fear can paralyze us, but more commonly, fear burdens us and prevents us from living life fully.
Much of what we fear never happens, which means that these fears cause us to worry unnecessarily.
Doesn’t it make sense to learn how to better cope with fear and worry? The most important thing that we can do about our fears is to acknowledge them, and then take steps to understand them and their sources. Then we can act in an appropriate manner.
A while ago I heard a very wise man who celebrating is his 1ooth birthday describe his “secret” to a happy life say, “In my life I have had many troubles, most of which never happened.” Then he offered these strategies to cope with fear:
1. Accept that fear is a normal and temporary way of feeling.
2. Remind yourself that worrying about things you can’t control is a waste of time and Spiritual Energy.
3. Live the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to not the difference”.
Experience a mindful pause.