Unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Read the definition of fear. Notice what it is caused by. Belief, is the single most powerful thing that we have control of in our lives. If fear is an emotion caused by a belief , then ultimately you have control over it. You and you alone have the ability within you to either starve your fears or feed them.
Often times we are told to “conquer” or “get over” our fears. I like the saying,” if you're scared do it anyway.” The saying can be useful in the moment but what about long term? There is something better than mustering up temporary courage and that's taking control of your brain so you can do whatever you tell it to. You can rewrite your fear focused thoughts to have new meanings.
I'm no psychiatrist but this is something I personally practice and it has allowed me to rewrite some former connections in my brain. So next time you feel a sense of fear follow these steps;
1) Acknowledge your fear
2) Ask yourself, “what's the worst that could happen?” Play out that scenario in your head.
3) Next, ask yourself “What's the BEST that could happen?”
4) As the scenarios play out in your head attach both outcomes to it.
Ex: I'm afraid to go up in front of the class to give my speech. What if they don't agree with my viewpoint? The worst that could happen is everyone would laugh at me. The best thing that could happen is everyone would be open minded to my viewpoint and I'd get an A on my speech.
Now that you've acknowledged both sides replay the outcome that favors you and put a huge smile on your face. Replay the negative outcome and put an even BIGGER smile on. Smile so big your face hurts. Do you feel silly? Good. It's a giant leap from feeling fearful. Think about your negative outcome again and this time smile even harder. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
In my experience; practicing this has been helpful in changing how I respond to things that trigger fear. If you practice this often your neurotransmitters aka chemical messengers will mix up your prehistoric beliefs and it's likely you'll no longer have that paralyzing fear. Practice this daily and watch your beliefs change and your fears begin starve.