Identifying Discomfort: Fear

Discomfort appears in many different forms and if we are not aware of it or if we ignore or avoid it it can have a powerful (and often negative) impact on our lives and relationships.

Do you know where you are?

Fear is a very powerful type of discomfort, and is quite pervasive in our society today. Imagine being a human thousands of years ago, hours away from your village on a hunt, and you hear something rustling in the bushes in front of you. You first thought drift toward a tiger, getting ready to pounce and tear your face off. You heart starts pumping faster, blood in your brain and other organs moves to the heart, lungs, muscles, getting ready for “fight or flight“. This places the body in a high state of tension, adrenaline is pumping through your veins and nonessential processes like digestion, higher level thinking and healing, all are placed on hold.

Unfortunately,our bodies have not learned to distinguish the fear of a tiger from the fears we face like sitting down to take that test, approaching the cute girl on the street, or presenting your new idea at staff meeting at work. You body still responds to fear in these situations as if they were all tigers, and the more fear your harbor the more deteriorating it can be. You mind and body are not functioning properly, you lose control of your thought to emotions, and are capable of doing things that you would never do with a clear mind. Suddenly all of the time you spent studying is worthless because your brain is bleeding out (almost literally), the girl on the street passes by and you pretend not to notice her, and instead of presenting your idea at work you sit on the sidelines.

So, in most situations these days we can see that fear is unnecessary and antiquated at best. Learning to recognize fear, and accepting the fear empowers you to act despite it. Being aware of your fear disconnects you from the fear, simply stating “I am feeling fear” can help you regain perspective and control of the situation. If you catch yourself feeling fear, so a brief survey of your surroundings to see if there are any tigers around, if not, then fear is probably not necessary. But without taking the first step of accepting the discomfort of fear, it will control you instead of the other way around.

The Scared is Scared

It seems like children are born with all of the secrets of the universe already in their minds and that wisdom gets knocked out of our heads by the time we become “adults”.  This video below does a great job at addressing fear, and fear of change.