Mahalo beautiful peeps,
Dictionary.com defines fearful as “causing or apt to cause fear, feeling dread, apprehension full of awe or reverence, feeling afraid, showing fear or anxiety.” Urban dictionary defines fearless as “NOT the absence of fear. It’s NOT being completely unafraid. Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death”.
What is going on with this fear? Years ago in cavemen and cavewoman times fear was a necessity for survival. One never knew if a T-Rex would show up around the corner, chase after you to eat you for lunch. You needed to be on your toes to survive. It was very important! Your brain became hardwired to be ready for any potential life threatening situation because living back then was often a life threatening situation.
This is how our body reacts to fear. The amygdala gets rocking and rolling when we see a human face with an emotion or thinks it is entering a scary situation. Then the domino of stress hormones begins and the nervous system gets pumped. We feel stressed, fearful and on edge. Most often when this happens there is NO THREAT to us. Repeat NO THREAT to us. Depending upon how our brains are wired and our history we can be received false information. Our responses and reactions can be totally out of line for the situation at hand.
The human tendency to react to situations is flight, fight, or freeze. Yikes those do not feel like great choices. I want to express an idea in a meeting, freeze. I want to ask someone I really like out for a date, flight. Someone is expressing an idea totally against my belief system, fight.
FYI our genetics only play about a 30 percent role in how we handle life. There are tons of other things that factor in, most importantly choice. Yep CHOICE. See the beauty of freewill, of being an independent thinker and doer is the opportunity of choice. The only person who holds us back is us. We have the ability to challenge the information our brain is giving us. To set the brain straight. To change how are brain reacts to information it is receiving.
One of my dearest friends told me that years ago when she was going to her car at the end of the work day she noticed a man following her. She was feeling uncomfortable. Her amygdala was sending her valuable information. She rushed to her car, got in and locked the door. She heard a tapping on her window and the man was at her window with a gun. The decision she made was to speed off. Flight was her ally that night and no harm came her way.
So what do we do when the amygdala is speaking to us in situations that are not of urgent life threatening matters. How do we tame it so we can take chances in a fearful, fearless manner and say what we want to say, do what we want to do. First when your body and brain begins to react in a fearful, oh my gosh I am afraid, I can’t do it, what will happen, name it. Begin an internal conversation. Tell yourself your fear is not called for in this situation. Remind your brain that you are safe and sound. Do a quick self strength check in. Go over your personal check list of your amazing qualities. If it’s situation where you need reinforcement phone a friend. Get support, then go for it. The more frequent and consistently you will take internal action steps will increase how are your brain will process information and react.
Think about some of your favorite foods or meals. How if you had never tried your favorite treats you would not enjoy them. And for foods you tried and did not like you never had to eat them again. Remember if you don’t ask the question you don’t know the answer. It is expected that you will feel uncomfortable, nervous, and worried in experiences that feel risky to you. You do not know what will become of anything in life unless you take a chance and go for it even when you are feeling uncomfortable and afraid. Yet you have the internal power to push past your flight, fight, or freeze.
Courage is defined as the “ability to do something that frightens someone”. So go express that idea, ask that person out, have a conversation and not a conflict with an opposing thought. Courage is fearful and fearless all wrapped into one glorious word. Taking those actions does not mean you are not afraid. It means that you are not letting your fears stop you from actions you want to take.
Jin Jiang has an incredible Ted talk about 30 days of rejection. I am attaching it for your viewing pleasure. Jin learned that great things can come from taking risks. He also learned that he survived and became a stronger person when rejection came his way.
You are amazing💜 Thanks for being you and for what you bring to the world❤️