We have all felt the suffocating influence that fear can have on us and I’m sure we all agree that it can leave you feeling completely trapped with nowhere to run and escape. Fear isn’t something we experience a couple of times, fear shows up in our lives in many different ways and times of our lives, it controls, limits, and even ruins many lives. So, what can we do about it? Firstly, let’s start by looking at basic fear.

What is fear actually?

The truth is that fear is simply a survival signal; it is something that serves us positively and keeps us safe. Fear has kept us alive all these years and continues to do so. When we fear something that is life threatening and something that is dangerous for us, our body reacts by producing adrenaline and what happens and the way we react after that depends on our past, it is different for everyone.

There are three ways that we normally react to fear, when we fear something, our bodies go into fight, flight or freeze. You will either stay in that situation, fight to survive and defend yourself or you might flight, run away as fast as possible from the perceived danger. Then there are those who freeze, who get frozen with fear. What is important to understand is that fear is essential, imagine if we didn’t fear dangerous situations and people, we probably wouldn’t survive very long would we.

Real or Imagined?

Over the years, fear became related with situations that actually don’t put us in harm but they might be so scary that our bodies feel we are in danger. Fear can be real or imagined. There are over 1000 different phobias and the list keeps growing over the years recorded. Many people really suffer from phobias and it influences lives to a really large extent.

You see, your body doesn’t know the difference between a real or an imagined fear, so when you have fears like a fear of flying, heights, spiders, whatever your fear, your body reacts the same way as if it were real. This is why you have individuals who react to fears on a real physical level, increased heart rate, sweaty palms; your body responds on a real physical level because it doesn’t know the difference as I said before.

So what does all of this mean?

The point is that you will never be truly fearless, that should not be the objective, being fearless is not realistic; at every stage in our lives we are going to have different fears. Fear is normal and something that will come up in our lives, simple, it is neither good nor bad. If we let fear hold us back and undermine our results then it is bad, we should rather aim to use these feelings to identify and become aware of what is happening at a deeper level, which is what it actually needed to be dealt with.

Don’t let your fears hold you back, now that you understand that fear can feel very real when it is imagined, don’t let it limit you. Our thoughts lead to feelings and if you are feeling fear, sometimes, a change in perspective can make a once very scary situation become completely different.

The only limits in life are the ones that you put for yourself. If you have a fear and you let it limit your life that is your decision and choice, we always have a choice.

What would your life be like if you mastered your fears? What would you do that you wouldn’t dare to do now? Look out for part 2 where I’ll share some great techniques and tips on how you can overcome your fears effectively!

Author's Bio: 

Kirstin O’Donovan is the Founder of TopResultsCoaching and the Author of ‘The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Time Management’. Kirstin is a Productivity Coach who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs to achieve their goals successfully and to build their dream business. She works with her clients to close the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, while supporting them to achieve their goals, overcome their obstacles, develop key skills and a mindset geared for success.