Apr 7, 2010

Fear is Pernicious! Put it in its Place

Summary: Building off of this week's vocabulary word, pernicious, we take a look at the emotion you voted as top on your list in blocking your ability to speak clearly. Today's post kicks off a series on fear and how to overcome it.

Fear is pernicious. It can stop you from doing the things you love and can keep you from moving forward. RyanS recently wrote to say that fear often keeps him from growing in romantic relationships. How does fear hold you back?

In Beyond Talk's poll, "What Stops You From Speaking Your Truth?" you rated fear as the number one emotion that holds you back from saying what you mean. (Sadness was number two, followed by anger, excitement and "other.") And how can you get what you want out of life if you can't really speak your own personal truth? How can you go for your dreams if you can't be honest with yourself about what they are?

Here are some ways to recognize your fears, so they don't turn into phobias:

(1) Know what fear feels like. All emotions manifest themselves physically, so pay attention to what your body feels like when you realize you're afraid. Most people experience some combination of shallow breathing, rapid heart rhythm and a tightening in the stomach. A numbness in the extremities, especially the hands, is also common.

(2) Note what's causing the physical fear. Often, it's easier to recognize the physical sensations of your emotions than it is to name their underlying purpose. But give it a try—even if it's scary. Think about where you are when such feelings arise; then note who is around you (they may be related to the fearfulness) and, if possible, why you think the frightening feelings have stricken you.

(3) Keep practicing. The more frequently you do steps 1 and 2 above, the easier it will eventually become to recognize fear right as it's starting. When you have the ability to know your fear as (or before!) it arises, you are empowered to stop it in its tracks.

We'll look more deeply into some of the root causes of fear, how it affects our lives (both for better and for worse) and how we can change it as our series continues. What does fear do to YOU?

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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