Many people have seen the word fear turned into the acronym F.E.A.R meaning “False Evidence Appearing Real.” This resonates with a lot of people as it speaks to the experience of fear and how our brains can create potential outcomes which are usually worse case scenarios. There are two triggers for fear: Trigger one, is real physical danger such as crossing the street and not being sure if the oncoming car is going to stop. And, trigger two is a perceived threat such as having stage fright because you are afraid everyone will think you suck.
Unfortunately our brain cannot distinguish between a real threat to our safety and a perceived threat that originates in our thoughts. This is why our fear always FEELS REAL! In response to the threat the amygdala in our brain turns on and highjacks our brain by turning on our “Fight or Flight” mechanism. This is why there is a physical reaction to fear that we experience in our body, and since every body is different, not everyone reacts to fear in the same way.
Our fear response is a very important mechanism as it does keep us safe in the face of actual physical danger. The issue with our fear response is when it activates because of our thoughts and everyday stresses and make us feel unsafe. This perceived fear reaction is the one emotion that slows down our progress, has us give up on our dreams and goals, and is often the source of our unhappiness.
The DEFINITION OF FEAR IS: an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger: a feeling of being afraid
At IdareU2bee.com we have a team that creates programs, activities, workshops, and books that support the social and emotional skill development for kids, parents, guardians, and teachers. One of the biggest things we recognize is how much fear steals away dreams because the experience of fear can seem impossible to overcome. However, if you allow yourself the space to discover the power that the emotion of love can have on your mind and your body during those scary moments, it becomes easier to minimize the impacts that fear can have.
Self-love motivates us to make healthy choices. When self-love is present it increases your confidence, and when you are more confident, you become less attached to what could go wrong and start to focus more on what could go right. Self-love gives you permission to accept your emotions for what they are and then you have the space to think through the situation, realize you deserve to achieve your goal, and tap into courage so that fear does not stop you.
Practice the following actions to help you LET GO OF FEAR and LET LOVE WIN!
- TALK THROUGH YOUR FEAR– with someone you trust. Sometimes just hearing what we are afraid of out loud helps our brain to calm down and shift from the emotional side to the logical side of our brain. This then gives you access to the reality of the situation and realize that the threat or risk is not that big of a deal.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH– sometimes all we need is more oxygen to the brain to remove that dark cloud of worry over our head. When you slowly inhale and exhale you give your brain time to send a message to your body to be calm so you can logically think through the situation.
- FOCUS ON THE GOAL– our goals are so important to us and yet the moment we see a potential to fail we can give up or stop taking actions. The brain is always designed to protect us from danger but if you can visualize the result of what you want and see yourself accomplishing it, it tricks your brain into thinking YOU DID IT!! Just as much as the brain can lie to you so you become afraid, it has the same ability to lie to you so you believe a desired outcome is indeed very possible.
- BE OPEN MINDED– we often will have thoughts that sound like: “What if I fail?” “What if I screw up or make a mistake?” “What if I get rejected?” It is so easy for your brain to create these types of thoughts, and when that happens one of the most powerful things you can do is say to yourself “What if it works?” “What if I accomplish it?” “What if they like me as much as I like them?” This reverse psychology is a great tool in every situation where NEGATIVE thoughts filled with DOUBT try to drive over your POSITIVE beliefs. Keeping your mind open to how things can turn out in a positive way is how to let love WIN!
Franklin D Roosevelt said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” So remember the next time you feel afraid to talk through your fears with someone you trust and keep practicing the tips we provided.
To train your brain to work through your fears try our FEARLESS HEART ACTIVITY SHEET BELOW.
Until next time, stay confident, courageous and keep building your KIND MIND!