Self Development – Understanding What Fear Is And How To Deal With It So That You Can Live Your Life To The Full
A self development article from home business lifestyle coach Mark Ford looking at fear and how it can hold someone back from living life to the full and also giving some advice on how to confront fear full in the face.
Self Development – Dealing With Fear
At some stage in a person’s life they will experience fear and I am sure that this is something that you can relate to, but it is important from a self development perspective to not push this aside but to address it as it something that can have a debilitating effect on your life. Now I understand that everyone is unique, and people handle things in different ways and some better than others and there can be many variant degrees of fear, but the experience is something that I would not wish on anyone and I wanted to write this article to offer as much help and advice as I possibly can.
Before I go on though I need to give a clear definition as to what fear is. Did you know that fear is a both a verb and a noun? As a noun it can be a very unpleasant emotion that is caused by the imminent threat of danger, pain or harm. A good example of this is if someone said, “I ducked down as a hail of bullets whooshed past”.
As a verb it relates to someone who is afraid of something or another person. It is likely to be harmful, painful or dangerous to them. An example of this would be if someone hated another person but did not fear them anymore.
So fear is a feeling which causes changes in metabolic and organ changes and stimulates the expectation or perception that something is going to happen which results in a severe risk to both body and life. Usually what happens is that the person develops a fight or flight response. Either they confront it or try to escape from it. In very extreme cases such as terror or horror it can lead to total freezing and paralysis.
Also fear can be looked upon as a rational or irrational feeling. A rational feeling can be deemed as appropriate meaning that people have every right to thinking they are in a life-threatening scenario such as being stuck in a burning building or under water.
An irrational feeling is deemed to be a phobia such as being scared of spiders and the very common one of being afraid of heights. Although there are these classifications it doesn’t mean that one has a higher level of fear over the other, far from it. In each scenario the person is just as afraid because it is their experience and the threat to their body and life is right there in front of them.
If we look at that awful day of September 11 2001. After the planes hit the twin towers the people below and above the impact zone would have experienced extreme horror. Many would have frozen with fear but then the fight in them would have come out, they knew they were in a life or death situation and would have tried to find a way out of the buildings, they did not know the buildings were about to collapse. Unfortunately some people knew that there was no way out and decided to jump because that was to them the best option, they confronted their fear and took action.
On the aeroplane that ultimately crashed in the field. The passengers onboard again would have experienced horror after the plane had been hijacked but then confronted that horror by trying to take back the control of the plane. They paid the ultimate sacrifice but saved potentially thousands of lives.
Look at the Titanic disaster. There are reports that the band kept playing as the ship went down and the captain stayed on the bridge. Were they doing it as a sense of duty or were they trying to escape their fears by not accepting what was happening. The people who managed to get in a lifeboat probably experienced horror twice. The first getting off the ship and seeing it sink and then not knowing if they were going to get rescued or die from hyperthermia. These two examples would be classified as rational fears so let’s look at an irrational example which still has severe consequences and that is the fear of heights.
Self Development – Fear of Heights
Although this is classed as a phobia it can be seen by the people who suffer from it as a life-threatening experience. There is a saying of don’t look down but if you are a long way above ground you can’t help saying it and then the feelings of losing control and fear kick in. Suddenly a feeling of dizziness and sickness may arise but in many cases the person is in a safe environment.
Look at the thousands of landmark tall buildings in the world that people go up when they are visiting a certain country. Many people decide to stay on terra firma because it is the safe option. However, they miss out on the experience of seeing wonderful vistas and views, they escape their fear by shying away from it.
A friend of mine, Pete Harris, recently went to New York and has had a life long fear of heights but he bought tickets to go up to the top of the Empire State Building.
Although he made that commitment of purchasing the tickets he still knew in his own mind that it didn’t mean he would actually do it. Even up to the point of walking in the building and to the elevator he was undecided, he was still trying to escape, but he confronted his fear and walked over the line. Eighty floors up he first witnessed the amazing Manhattan skyline from an internal observation deck.
Pete tells me that he could have stayed up there as he felt safe but he decided to go that extra 6 floors to walk out in the open air, well over 1000 feet above the streets of New York. He didn’t miss that experience and one which will stay with him for the rest of his life and now he has that feeling of accomplishment.
Mark Ford – Home Business Lifestyle Coach Seeing The Fear!
I am a home business lifestyle coach and I see fear in people in a different way. Something that is not life threatening or even a phobia. Starting a new business is daunting but many people are afraid in a different way. That is the fear of failure, not being able to do something or it is costing them a lot of money.
They may be unhappy with their current situation at work and either need or want a change, but it is that fear of failure that stops them committing.
They don’t look through that fear to see what life they could build, maybe it is the fear of the unknown?
Self Development – The Symptoms Of Fear
So lets look at some of the common symptoms of fear.
The physiological signs are the acceleration of breathing rate or hyperventilating, the increase in your heart rate where you can feel your heart thumping in your chest and in your head.
Then you can have blushing which results from the constriction of blood vessels. Also muscles tend to tense up which also include the muscles that are attached to hair follicles which lead to your experiencing “goose bumps”.
People also start to sweat a lot and blood glucose levels increase which leads to hyperglycaemia. You suddenly can’t get to sleep at night as you are more alert, and you experience butterflies in the pit of your stomach. This is when fight or flight occurs, and you realise that you are feeling the emotion of fear.
Self Development – Treating Your Fears
In extreme cases it is advisable to seek professional help on your self development. However, there are things that you can try for yourself. There are many great books and online courses that will help you address your situation but simple things like controlling your breathing to calm yourself down, documenting the triggers that set off your fears so you can see a common denominator can help.
In other cases it may be doing what my friend did and just go for it to overcome what is holding you back.
If it’s related to starting your own business then you are more than welcome to contact me here to see how I can help you with all the experience I have and the tools and resources that I have access to and can introduce you to.
It is very important to realise that everybody is fearful of something, you are not in an exclusive club and there are many ways to address and hopefully overcome your fears. The first thing to do is commit to fighting your fear, once you have done that then you will find it easier to tackle it face on.
Fighting your fear is an important element to self development and if I can be of any further help then please do not hesitate in contacting me here.
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