Engraved on a medallion, I saw the words “Fear is the thief of dreams” and I have come to believe this saying. We probably have experienced fear at some point in our lives and know what it’s like to have that weird feeling in your tummy when things are not going right. That feeling is a great place for us to learn a lot about ourselves and discover the strengths that we have even in the midst of the weaknesses that surround us.
I believe that fear is a thief because when we are fearful, it removes the positive emotions and leaves us empty and bombarded by other negative emotions. Here are a few examples of the things that fear can steal from us:
When we are fearful, it is hard to feel confident. It is hard to remember that we are worthwhile and can face challenges.
Fear can drain you physically. It can make you feel exhausted and tired and not willing to try anything.
Nothing screams “I’ve lost my faith” than when we feel fear. It brings with it unwanted anxiety that causes us to question ourselves and our abilities. Unfortunately, fear can also make us feel like we cannot depend on others, or that others cannot depend on us.
Fear can strip you of your motivation to get things done. You may feel to curl up in a corner and ignore the fact that you have things that you wanted to accomplish.
How then can we “burglar proof” our lives so that fear does not continue stealing from us? Here are a few things that I have found helpful with clients, and when I allow it, with myself.
* Remember that fear is a natural emotion. You are a human being with a variety of emotions. Accept that you are having this feeling.
* Write down (if you can) what is going on in your life at that present moment when you are fearful: What are some things that you can control to reduce the fearful emotion? Be mindful of things that can increase the intensity of the fear
* Call someone. I believe that we were created to be social beings, we were not created to live in isolation. Reach out to someone that you trust to calm you down and to talk things over with.
* Your life does not have to be controlled by fear. Remind yourself (in whatever way works for you) that this will pass, and believe that you can overcome this obstacle.
*Continue to believe in yourself. Resist the temptation to doubt yourself and your abilities. Read an inspirational book/quote to keep you encouraged.
*Remember that fear is a healthy emotion, it is a warning sign. It all depends on what you do with that feeling.
* Breathe slowly and deeply. Say a prayer or meditate.
If you have other ways that you try to protect your life from being attacked by fear, share it with us!
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Last reviewed: 28 Apr 2013