When fear strikes us, it’s rarely because the circumstances are threatening our survival. Not too many of us are facing the end of a rifle, the jaws of a tiger, or the sinking of the Titanic.
More likely, we are facing an unexpected bill, a spurned partner, or too many commitments packed into our day. And though these events can feel scary, it is only the threat of security, loss, or rejection that’s triggering the fear – none of which is actually happening.
And yet, our minds will begin to tear off “what if” scenarios like ticker tape, frightening us into a fight, flight, or freeze mode.
Before you can deal with the problem, you must calm the fear. The fear is a reaction from a survival part within us, a necessary part if we were facing an actually threatening situation. It’s trying to keep us safe, but in this case, it’s reacting to a perceived threat, not something that is really taking place.
So what do you do?
How do you regain your sense of confidence and control?
By doing these 3 things:
1) Remind yourself that at this moment you are okay. You are not in danger and your survival is not threatened. At this moment, you are safe.
2) Then take a reality check. Take stock of the facts, not the projections. If it’s a bill, notice how much money you have, when it’s due, and how much more you would need. If it’s an angry partner, remind yourself they are not your parent. Notice how you feel and what you need to feel calmer and more secure. If it’s too many commitments, assess your time and energy.
3) After getting objective about the situation, look at your choices. Do you need more information, emotional support, or a spiritual connection? Once you’ve determined this, look at your options. There are always a few.
Getting back to confidence is letting go of what we don’t have control over and acknowledging what we do. We feel better because we are dealing with fact, not fiction. Life supports us in the present. Usually, our job is so much smaller than we make it out to be.
Here’s another helpful link if you’re stuck in stress or overwhelm and desire some serenity…because isn’t that what we all want in life?