We all experience fear, but we rarely stop and think about what it is about. It can be an acronym for False Events Appearing Real – which gives us a clue: most of our fear is of something in the future that hasn’t happened yet.
While we’re in fear, we are incapable of being rational about it: we’re in fight or flight mode, and our logic shuts down. However, we could look at the evidence after the predicted event, and if we do, we begin to realise how often our fears are unfounded. Sometimes the event doesn’t happen at all, sometimes it is much better than we had expected, and yes, occasionally we were right. So the first way of counteracting our tendency to fear is to begin to check up how many times it was inaccurate.
And when our fear was justified? It is worth reviewing our own actions and reactions when we could see it coming true. Sometimes we ‘cause’ the fear to be real by the way we approach the situation. We are in the fight or flight mode and we give off the vibes of someone in fear. This can make us combatant or wary or anxious. Others involved may pick up on that unconsciously and so react accordingly. And even when there is no-one else involved, we can be clumsy or a bit stupid. Fearing slipping over in the snow almost inevitably makes me mis-step and fall over!
Of course, it is right to feel fear sometimes, but mostly it just makes things worse. It is bad for our health and makes life harder. We can counteract it, we can teach ourselves to stop it before it gets a hold, and our lives will be better for it.