Everything You Know About Fear Is Wrong

Itxy Lopez

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1Q2ybL_0Z3A6Oyf00Photo by cristian castillo on Unsplash

When I first launched my blog, I was terrified - but I hadn't admitted it to anyone. I hadn't even confirmed it to myself in the months before launching.

I could feel fear inside me like a monster hidden in the shadows waiting for the right moment to jump out and yell, "Boo!"

Deep down, I knew it was there, but I kept pushing it away and pretending it wasn't. My negative thoughts stressed and overwhelmed me to the point where all I wanted to do was sleep.

I believed in my idea so much, and the weight of failure that was on my shoulders made it hard to get up from my bed.

I felt that if I revealed what frightened me, it'd contradict that belief. If I was scared, did I really believe in what I was doing, in my goals?

However, about a week after launch, when my dad erased my entire website by accident (don't worry, we got it back), I finally muttered the words, "I'm so freaking scared."

I remember thinking afterward why it had taken me so long to say that. Why was I so hesitant to acknowledge I was afraid?

We've turned Fear into a bad word.

No doubt being scared sucks. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s strong. Some people, like me, even fear fear because they don't ever want it to hold them back from taking risks.

It's the biggest reason people don't follow their dreams and do what they love. We all feel it, and we've all given into it more times than we'd like to accept.

What I'm trying to say is feeling frightened is normal. So, if it's so natural, why do we struggle to accept we feel it?

Why it's hard to admit you're afraid

Photo by Mika Baumeister on UnsplashIt took me a while to realize why people struggled to say they were scared, but I thought back to my terrified self and wondered what held her back.

Eventually, I found an answer.

I believed that if I said I was afraid, I would lose my power.

I was afraid to confess I was petrified because I'd turned fear into something I shouldn't feel. I'd unknowingly taught myself that concern and doubt wasn't a normal thing; they were bad.

So, how did that happen? Here's how.

Pay attention to the following quotes:

"Your mission: Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for hate, regret or fear." - Karen Salmansohn
"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." - Dorothy Thompson
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear." - Swami Vivekananda

"Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live." - Robert Greene

There's no doubt these quotes are great. Some might even be inspiring. But do you know what my subconscious was picking up on? Look at what they say:

No longer afraid. Have no fear. The less you fear. No time for fear. Fear fear itself.

All of these quotes tell you one thing: have no fear.

We've learned from quotes, books, personal stories, and more that there's no time to be afraid. That only once you rid of all your worries and doubts will you be able to live the life you want.

Subconsciously, we've learned to believe that we're not allowed to feel scared.

That's why it was so hard for me to admit to myself that I felt it. I thought that if I didn't acknowledge the terror I felt, I'd feel more powerful and in control, but instead, I felt off.

People don't like to tell themselves or others they're scared because they think they'll seem weaker, and weak people don't succeed. It's only the people who believe in themselves with everything in them and aren't terrified of anything who make it.

Then, I thought of something else.

If I was so terrified, why hadn't I given up yet?

Photo by Aneta Ivanova on UnsplashWhy hadn't I decided to quit and not go forth with launching my blog? Isn't that what horror does? It makes you hesitate, and then it makes you stop. It keeps you in your box and your comfort zone.

But it wasn't doing that to me (and it's probably not doing that to you either).

On one end, I was scared, and on the other, confident. How could I possibly feel both at the same time? Every thought I had led to one big question - was being scared truly bad?

No. It wasn't.

So, I voiced everything that frightened me.

I'm scared, I thought. And I didn't stop. Holy shit, I'm so afraid. What if no one cares about what I have to say? What if I have no readers or visitors? What if, after all this work, I fail? I don't know what's going to happen or how long it's going to take to occur if it does.

The relief that flooded my body afterward allowed me to take a goddamn breath.

The best part was that I didn't feel weaker after admitting all the things that frightened me. I felt stronger.

Weaken your fears by voicing them

Giving voice to what frightened me made me more self-assured because it made my worries smaller.

Fear is a huge monster when it's caged inside. You give it too much credit when you don't permit yourself to speak about it. So, when you do accept it, it suddenly becomes a mere ant you can step on.

You're not more powerful because you're scared of less. You're powerful because you can overcome your fears.

Instead of pretending your concerns don't exist, embrace them, acknowledged them, and then kicked them to the curb. Doing this will make you feel braver and stronger than if you pretended they didn't exist.

There will always be something new that makes us want to jump into bed and hide under the covers. It's called growth, and fear is a nosy dickwad who always feels the need to join along.

But that's okay because your confidence, determination, and courage will always be there too. (They're also nosy but much more welcomed.)

Instead of being afraid of fear, trust you'll always be able to beat it. Welcome it and say, "Thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I don't need you right now. I got this."

Being brave doesn't mean nothing terrifies you. Being bold means you act in spite of the things that frighten you.

Fear itself is not a problem. It's only a problem if you let it stop you.

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San Diego County, CA
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