“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear
but finding a way through it.”
– Maya Angelou
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Do you remember your first kiss? Sweaty palms, heart racing, butterflies? Unless you have philemaphobia, [fear of kissing] then somehow you managed to push past that fear and go for it! It was probably one of the scariest things you have ever done, but you did it!
Yet, no one ever asks, “How did you get over the fear of going in for your first kiss?”
When you experience strong emotions such as fear, your adrenal glands release adrenaline into the blood stream which causes a sequence of biological reactions in your body.
- Adrenaline brings about the fight or flight response. Your heart rate increases, muscles tense, breathing speeds up.
- It increases blood and oxygen flow to your muscles and internal organs
- It restricts blood flow to other areas
- It dilates your pupils
External fear is defined by fear or anxiety that is caused by an outside source. Examples of this would be a fear of heights, a fear of spiders, or a fear of the ocean.
When a person is faced with a situation that exposes them to an external fear, they can experience discomfort and anxiety.
Internal fears are usually associated with low levels of self-worth. People who experience anxiety from internal fears typically have low levels of self-confidence or self-esteem.
Examples of an internal fear are doubting your capability to accomplish something ,or questioning your talents or value.
Think back to that first kiss again.
“Am I going to do it right?”
“Does my breath stink?”
“What if they stick their tongue in my mouth?”
In order to overcome internal fears, it is important to build your confidence and self-esteem. Once you recognize your internal fears, you can start to build yourself up and face your anxieties head on.
This is not easy to do since confronting your fears can produce a lot of initial anxiety. You will have to stay in the feared situation and stay with the heightened fear response until it begins to subside, which it eventually will.
Confronting your fears instead of backing down can bring about a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. “I DID IT, I WENT IN FOR THE KISS!”
Every time you confront your fear, you gain power, and your anxiety loses strength. Every time you confront your fear you prove to yourself you have the capability to cope.
Fears We Face:
- Fear of failure: Afraid to try something new? Afraid to step out of your comfort zone? Failure has such a negative connotation but failing at something is an opportunity to learn from your experiences, grow, and try again. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Fear of not being accepted: We fear being rejected; we fear not fitting in. Working on your relationship with yourself, loving yourself and being happy with who you are helps give you that confidence and self-esteem to say, “This is me and I’m amazing”. Not everyone will like you, and that is okay!
- Fear of judgement: People will judge you, that’s life. Let them judge you! Be you and be proud! You can’t control other people, if you are happy with your choices, you are being authentic, you’re a kind person—then dance like no one is watching! It’s your life, not theirs!
- Fear of the unknown: None of us can predict the future or see what life will look like in five years. What has COVID-19 done to us? Caused us to live in fear of the unknown with increased anxiety. Letting the fear of the unknown keep your senses heightened can be beneficial at times, but letting it consume you is unhealthy.
Fear can motivate you to be brave and try things you would never try, say things to your boss you never dreamed of, lean in for that kiss, or move onto that next unknown chapter of your life.
Let fear encourage you to try those things you were always too afraid to do or try. Let fear help you achieve things that you thought were impossible.
Don’t let fear rule you, don’t let it hold you back—let it be your guide. You didn’t let the fear of a first kiss stop you, you were scared but you leaned in and went for it. So today, I challenge you…take a step forward, lean in, and kiss the world!
Remember, You Got This!
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