Part-1 of a Three Part Blog Series on Fear
Before making any decision regarding family, lifestyle, and career; we often find our selves within an enveloping web of "What If..." questions. What if I change jobs? What if I don't change jobs? What if I spend more money than I have budgeted? What if I lost the weight? What if I don't lose the weight? What if I don't go to the office party? What if I disagree with someone I care about? I'm sure you are getting my drift, and the list of "What If" questions becomes exhausting and endless, leading to other subsequent "What If...." questions.
We naturally fall into the trap of asking our selves, "What If?" when we make decisions because of our perception of the enormity of the decision to be made. We mistakenly believe once our decision is made, it cannot be changed at a later time. Deeply rooted within our perception of the enormity of our decision at hand are our fears and fearful personal beliefs.
We are beginning a three-part blog series on, "What If.....?" Some of the ideas we will be exploring together are the roots of our fears, fear and its relationship to control, and ways to manage our fears. We hope you enjoy our "What If...?" blog series and will share it with your friends through email, Facebook and Twitter.
Let's get started.......
Fear is defined as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm."
Whether the threat is real or imagined; fear is the feeling of being afraid. As we look over our list of "What If...." questions related to our decision at hand, some of us will become energized, challenged and will embrace the possibility of change. Others will stew in the "What If?" quagmire, then hesitantly, with great in trepidation will eventually make a decision. Although this decision will be laced with regret and remorse. Still others will become paralyzed by their "What If" questions and will become entrenched and stuck, unable to make a decision.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
~ Elbert Hubbard
Fear lies at the root of almost every decision we encounter. We may not recognize the feeling in the pit of our stomach or the ruminating thoughts waking us up at night as our fears. Instead, we may identify these feelings to our selves as anxiety, apprehension, uncertainty, or even panic. We develop a set of internal beliefs which dictate our response to decision-making. With decision-making comes change, with change comes uncertainty, with uncertainty comes a realization of a loss of personal control. As we embark on a new path, execute a new decision in our lives, we are entering the uncharted waters of our life. We move from our comfort zone to a place full of uncertainty and "What If..." questions to be answered. We move from a place of knowing to a place of unknowing.
When faced with a decision to be made, pay attention to your internal beliefs and messages. During the decision-making process, what messages do you tell yourself? What are your internal beliefs about your ability to make decision? From the start make a conscious shift in your thinking. Rather than giving into and accepting your fearful feelings and internal beliefs, challenge yourself to explore what is making you feel fearful. Why do you feel anxious and apprehensive about your decision? What messages are you telling yourself?
Recognizing the root of our anxiety, apprehension, and inability to make a decision is fear, is an important first step. Once we can identify our fears related to how we make decisions, we are able to begin conquering our fears and move forward from a stagnate position.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. "
~ Ambrose Redmoon
Once I can see I am actually afraid, I can see past the "What If..." quesrions I am imposing on myself as a stall tactic in my decision-making process. I can begin talking to myself differently and can change my internal messages. I can go past the anxiousness and the "What If...." blocks and can more clearly see what is causing me to feel fearful. I can understand if my fears are rational or irrational.
We learn our patterns for making decisions from our parents, teachers, mentors, those people who have influenced us. These influences are part of us, part of our story. Some of these influences may contribute to our fearful perceptions regarding decision making. These influences may be changed and amended by our understanding and conscious awareness of what is making each of us feel fearful.
Once we are able to see and identify our fears, we will be able to explore the impact our fearful beliefs have had on our lives and our decision-making processes. Then, we will be able to make positive, significant changes in our fearful beliefs enabling us to be able to feel good about our decisions and move forward.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. "
~ Eleanor Roosevelt