Today, I was asked to share three quotes about fear. I authored the following:
“Fear is homemade. It’s our mind saying we can’t; where in fact, we can. As soon as we bring awareness to the situation we create the ability for change.”
“Don’t be hard like a rock. It breaks when the environment applies pressure. Instead, be flexible, moldable, and adjust to new situations. This will take the wind out of fear’s sails.”
“There is one positive feeling that can certainly conquer fear: Hope! I hope for the better outcome, believe in it, and eventually it will manifest.”
This made me think though. Why is it that fear can seriously debilitate us? Fear leaves us crippled and unable to move. In our minds, possible success stories turn into dreadful events, which we then not even attempt to master. So how can we turn fear into something positive?
Well, in one of my quotes above I state that hope can play a big role. Hope is in fact the only positive emotion that makes us yearn for the better when we fear for the worst. Hope tends to make us inventive. We become creative, come up with new ideas and find solutions. This has the desired outcome of increased resiliency toward fear. It seems that when we truly believe in what we hope for, things and situations will align – some call it the law of attraction, others call if the power of intention, or the bundling of energies.
In a class that I recently graduated from, titled ‘Positive Psychology’ at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I learned about the ‘Negativity Bias.’ This means that negativity is not a design-flaw in our bodies, but that it actually makes sense for us to feel when we are in a dangerous or harmful situation. However, our brain tends to produce negative emotions much easier than positive ones. And – not only are those negative emotions more readily available, but they also like to stick around for a longer period of time. Positive feelings on the other hand are more subtle, and they tend to disappear on us if we are not aware of what is happening.
Good news, creating awareness can seriously increase our ability to notice positive emotions. Therefore, we have the ability in our hands to turn situations around. We can then focus on other positive emotions, like joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love.
In our modern-day society, fear is not a million-year old design in our body to keep us safe. Daily stressors and the lack of valuable social bonding often leave us with loneliness and fear. This is when fear is homemade. In that case, we do not need to fight, flight, or freeze but take charge of our feelings and hit the reset button.
This is when we broaden our thought-action repertoire and “Kick Fear in the Rear.”