Saturday, June 6, 2020
Home Art of Life Enemy: How I deal with fear within? (+6 effective strategies)

Enemy: How I deal with fear within? (+6 effective strategies)

A single thought of having an enemy may frighten us. It can make us uncomfortable and vulnerable. Think about your favorite superhero. Every story, every tale, every hero has an enemy. There are always two choices: fight or flight. It is rightly said:

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Hello, Learncrusher!

The existence of an enemy is not only normal but also a constant throughout history. Then, what is reason, why are we so frightened by the thought of having an enemy? Think about it.

How do you define an enemy? Is it a person? A feeling? Well, it can be anything or anyone that frightens you, threatens you, attacks you or tries to harm you.

According to me, enemy is the fear which holds you back in your comfort zone.

Just like our superheroes, we are the superheroes of our own story. We see, we face and we conquer. It makes us to work harder and push our limits, doesn’t it?

What do you have in common with Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo? Well, you’re human, just like them. The Hero’s Journey myth exists in all human cultures and keeps getting updated, because we humans reflect on our world through symbolic stories of our own lives. You leave your comfort zone, have an experience that transforms you, and then you recover and do it again. You don’t literally slay dragons or fight Voldemort, but you face problems just as scary. Joseph Campbell said, “In the cave you fear to enter lies the treasure you seek.

When you see your fears as an enemy, it not only forces you to think for yourself but it also forces you to face your fears which otherwise you would neglect. But, instead of seeing it as an driving force, you negate it; just like anger. It makes sense, right?

Fear is our survival instinct and it has been with us since the day we are born.

But instead of offering a survival value, it is creating more hurdles for us. In reality, fear stops you from getting out of your comfort zone. You win when you start accepting your fears.
Studies show that when we’re constantly exposed to fear, our tolerance for it grows. And we end up being a better version of ourselves.

Sometimes, fear can be so subtle that it can go undetected. Over time this fear snowballs and gradually corrupts our mindset.

A donkey that is tied to a post by a rope will keep walking around the post in an attempt to free itself, only to become more immobilized and attached to the post. The same thing applies to people with obsessive thinking who become more trapped in their own suffering when they try to escape from their fears and discomfort.

– a quote from the book – Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life 

Dance with the fear

  • Be mindful: You must first know that the fear exists and you are willing to accept it. Condition your brain to accept your fear as a part of the family. Now, notice how it affects you, in order to be fully conscious of it. By a bit of practice, we can learn how to manage ourselves better when fear frightens us. Relate tricks and exercises to be in tune with yourself.
  • Make small changes: Now that you have started to accept, it’s time for you to move a little bit more out of your comfort zone and make changes in your routine. Replace corrupting activities with an optimal one.
  • Participate in activities that frightens you (but go slow): You have accepted the problem, now you must try to fix it. Try to be open to fear. Expose yourself and be vulnerable. This is how you will learn to manage your fear.
  • Be antifragile: A concept by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, antifragility makes you stronger with every blow. It means you take small risks that might lead to a great reward.
  • Building resilience: “Nana korobi ya oki: a Japanese proverb which means fall seven times, rise eight.” Resilience is our ability to deal with setbacks. It makes it easier to pick up ourselves and get back to what gives us a purpose, a meaning. If it is really important to you, you will not give up, not yet.
  • Never stop learning: Lastly, every experience is unique. And each experience adds more beats to your feet. This way you will be able to dance with your fear and even enjoy it.

References:

Further Reading:

Thinkpuff
Yet another ambivert girl passionate about writing, designing and creating stuff.

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