Why We Are Scared of Removing Fear and How Do We Remove Them?

in #education6 years ago (edited)

I am in the middle of liberating myself from fear of ostracism and I have learned a lot through this journey. I am not fully free from it yet but I can tell I am making progress. This journey has made me realized a few "poison" that are "infecting" us, paralyzing us from taking action to remove fear.

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Deep down, we all know fear has been stopping us from achieving our fullest potential. It is something that we need to get rid of, if it's inhibiting your success. I am not talking about fear that drives you to success, but fear that actually stops you. For example, my fear of ostracism has caused me to lose confidence in myself and my own voice.

Now you know what I'm talking about.

Like I said, these are the "poisons" built gradually throughout our veins. But why! Why are we scared of removing our fears??

1. We don't know what will happen when the fear is completely removed.

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This is so true if the fear has been with you since you're very young. This fear became a dear part of you, it has been helping you to survive and building your character. It's like growing up with a bad friend of yours. You know they're bad but they stick with you (I guess it's a pretty bad metaphor, I'm stil learning how to use this style).

It's also because one of the biggest fear out there is fear of the unknown, like your friend is scared of the deep sea because he doesn't know what's down there.

You're afraid of the uncertainties because you totally have no idea what will become of you when you have removed this "dear" fear of yours. You might quit your job, you might break up, you might leave your family, you might behave differently. You could become an entirely different person.

It scares you, isn't it? That you could become someone else.

It did scared me.

Maybe that's why 2 coaches told me the same thing "Are you ready to remove your fear?" I was like, "Why do I need to be ready? Of course it's something I want to remove, why do you ask?"

This is the reason why we need to be ready.

2. You need to acknowledge this fear as your weakness.

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Telling yourself "I am weak" is not a good feeling at all. But being told by others "You are weak" is worse! At least, that's how we're brought up.

Doesn't this look very familiar to you, in movies or real-life?

An extremely ordinary boy started kindergarten. He needed 1 - 2 years longer to learn what his peers took 1 - 2 months. Later, he is "labeled" by his peers "Slow Peter! Snail Peter!". Then Peter eventually thinks he is as slow as snail and starts to accept what his peers said.

Very common right? That's why our brain developed this kind of defence system, to not show our weakeness or else we'll be put into shame.

It's embarassing to admit our weakness.

It's a lot better to hide and ignore it, so that it doesn't show.

But let me tell you, if you never acknowledge your weaknesses, you'll never grow.

"Look into your weakness and convert it into strength" - Zig Ziglar

3. After you have acknowledged, you need to face your fears. This is the most frightening.

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Why? Facing your fears is like going back to the time you felt this fear. You can hear, can touch, can see, can taste and can smell everything like it's so real. Worst of all, you feel the exact same fear you had that time.

Your brain is tirelessly telling you "Get out, get away! You're hurting yourself! Go back!!!" Every inch of your cells are shouting "Danger, Turn back!"

Even if your brain and your body is pulling you back to reality, but deep down, you know you need to face your fear.

Because the only way out, is through.

A friend of mine, who is a coach is a specialist in removing fear. I've seen several times how he removed fears in his clients.

He brings them back to the time they felt those fears. He makes them feel as vivid as possible, that they can see, hear, touch, taste, smell everything they did. He makes them go through that painful moment, over and over again until a point. A point that he asked his client "What would you do differently?" Then, he brings them to a process to breakthrough.

He always asked "Are you ready for breakthrough?". It's because of the 1st "poison", you don't know what will happen.

We now know why and you're ready to remove your fear. How is the question, and these answers are based on my personal experience.

Again, I am in progress and I am not perfect. But I do know something about removing fear by using my own experience.

Step 1: Acknowledge Before Change (ABC)

Too bad it's not as simple as ABC, for real. This technique is shared by @maverickfoo through his comments on Mini Motivation #105 - Making Fear Your B!tch. It's one of the "poisons" that you must take before anything else.

Why? Because you can't change when you don't know what to change, simple knowledge. If I don't know I need to remove my fear of ostracism, I can't take specific measures that will get rid of my fear.

What could've happen is I'll be trying tons of things and nothing works, because I don't know what I'm changing in the first place! I don't know if I am progressing or not!

Do you get what I mean?
If you don't, tell me.

Step 2: Habituate Your Fears

Now, this is a proven scientific theory and it works in reality. Also, I think habituation is where this quote comes from,

"Do one thing every day that scares you" - Eleanor Rossevelt

Experience of fear causes nervous system arousal. If you're in the state of fear, your nervous system will be aroused (makes sense right?). Most people would cope with fear by avoiding it. However, avoidance guarantees the feared object or situation remains novel, hence arousing, hence fear provoking.

In simpler terms, by avoiding what you fear all the time, you'll never be able to get used to it.

Also, avoidance tends to get generalized. If I am afraid of rejection from one person, I'd expect rejection from a group of people, thus I kept quiet. Eventually, I'm scared of rejection from more people than I expected.

Avoiding fears also drains you and your fear gains strength. When your fear is stronger, you'll feel you're more like a failure. Confidence drops. Fear grows. That's why there is a saying that a growing fear consumes human.

So, I hope I have convinced you enough. Avoiding fear is not a solution. On the contrary, it retains and intensifies your fear.

If not avoidance, then what? Exposure. The actual habituation itself. Make yourself exposed to the exact fear you feared of.

I am afraid of rejection, so I will speak out even if I know I will be rejected.

I am afraid of judgement, so I don't give a f*ck and speak out!

I am afraid of people might ignore me, I will keep trying to get my voice heard.

The only way out is through.

March through your fears with confidence, grit and vision.

Step 3: Do Deliberate Gratitude

According to Robin Sharma, our brain is hardwired for ingratitude. Yes, you read it right. INGRATITUDE.

Do you realize you tend to focus more on the bad news, the bad coffee you had this morning, the complaints your colleague told you, the way your desk is messed up and all of the negativity?

We gotta make conscious effort to rewire our brain to focus on small little success we have achieved over our fears. And when we do, we gain confidence and create optimism bias in our brains.

"Gratitude is the antidote of fear" - Robin Sharma

This is the power of gratitude. Celebrate successes, big or small and show appreciation on every blessings you have.

You'll notice the extraordinary in the ordinary, you'll spot great in normal and you'll create a positive lens in your eyes.

Truth be told, I am starting to do daily deliberate gratitude and it's really hard for me to pinpoint negative stuff (It took me 10 - 15 minutes to think all the bad stuff I wrote) because I began to realize all the beautiful things arond me.

How does gratitude helps you to remove fear?
Because they're both polar opposites. It's almost impossible to feel grateful and fearful at the same time. Gratitude pushes fear away, because they simply cannot co-exist.

There you go, 3 simple and possible steps to remove your fears:

  1. Acknowledge Before Change (ABC)
  2. Habituate Your Fear
  3. Do Deliberate Gratitude

This is working for me, and I hope this has helped you somehow, someway.

Thank you for reading.

Similar posts that you want to read,

Self-Transformation: Facing My Fear of Ostracism - Questioning

Fear of Ostracism Causes Loss of My Voice

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Hey, thanks for the mention, and I enjoy seeing how you grow day by day, step by step, no matter how small they are.

I kinda resonated with the first "poison", on who we will become when the fear is gone. I like to think "better" as the key focus? Sure, in the process of becoming braver, will you get over confident, cocky and start behaving like a dick (*ahem like me sometimes? ;))? Maybe. But at the same time, if also think the years you had been living in the shadows had trained to read other's emotions better, and developed in you a sense of self-reflection and self-regulation.

And the truth is, fear will never be 100% removed. If you speak to lots of motivational speakers and performers, they will tell you that they still get the butterflies in their stomach before every performance. That doesn't stop them for putting on a good show, though. As a matter of fact, that fear is the drive they needed to perform well, making them the celebrities that they are.

Dance with your fear in a dance of tango,
But know that you're the one leading the show.

I agree, you need to learn how to live with them, otherwise you will get stuck, you have to advance along them, but first you need to know them and accept them

Live with your fear and turn them into your strengths :)
Thank you for reading and comment @jorgedr0id

Hey @maverickfoo, I think you are right. Fear will not and should not be 100% removed. Living life without fear will be reckless and dangerous, for me.

When the fear is gone, definitely you'll behave differently. Whether good or bad. Of course, you wanna change in a good way. For your case, you're uncertain how you'll change for the better, is it?

Woo hoo, I love this ;)

Dance with your fear in a dance of tango, But know that you're the one leading the show.

Wow... another great article from you... we just need to embrace fear and accept that fear is part of our life... every once in a while, we should get out of our comfort zone and think outside of the box.... But fact is, we live a life that is too comfortable to risk failure and have less urge to conquer our fear.

Haha Thank you so much for reading @orangila

Yeah lor, we need to start embrace, start getting out of comfort zone and start taking risks however I always struggle with people who doesn't see the "why" or the need to START. Do you have such experiences?

I am a failed entrepreneur so yes, I have been taking risks and know what it means to get out of comfort zone. I also did solo travel for months 9 years ago so stepping out of comfort zone really expand one's horizon.

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