Fear has many faces
Fear manifests in many ways and is almost never straight forward. It wears disguises. It hides. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
says, "One of the reasons fear can be so powerful is because it lurks in the dark — unnoticed, in the recesses of our minds, it acts without us knowing it." Because of fear's clandestine behavior, the first step in overcoming it is to be aware of it and when it is taking over.
Disguise 1: Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is that voice inside your head that says you are not good enough. You are not beautiful enough. You are not talented enough. This is fear manifested as self doubt. Well, everyone has an inner critic and some of them are assholes. This statement made by Danielle Krysa,The Jealous Curator
, in her keynote speech at Alt Summer 2015
. She encouraged the audience to own this fact and wear it as a badge of honor. Hear it recongize it, acknowledge it and tell it to f*ck off.
Psychologist and author, Lynn Newman
says when you start hearing your inner critic, use these 5 simple responses
- So what?
- Who cares?
- Big deal!
- Why not?
- What if is doesn't matter if I'm ________ or not?
Using these statements causes you to second guess your inner critic and build back your confidence.
One trick I use when my inner critic is preventing me from doing something is I ask myself, "What is at stake? What am will I miss out on if I don't do this?" Putting it in perspective so you can push through the fear and do it.
Disguise 2: Jealousy
Jealousy or envy is one of fears more cunning disguises. It isn't aparent from the outside the true feeling you are experiencing is fear. Jealousy thrives on comparison and competition. But instead of healthy competition , it is a competition you can never win. Focusing on your self worth and value instead of others is the first step.
“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative - self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them. ” -Jennifer James
Disguise 3: Procrastination
Procrastination is rooted in fear, whether it is fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or fear of judgement. In his article, Beating the Fears That Cause Procrastination
, Leo Babauta gives three keys to beating those fears.
- Shine a Light - because fear lives in the dark, shining a light on it and understanding the fear is the first step to overcoming it.
- Small Tests - to see if your fear is irrational, run a small test. Do a little of the task and see if your fears are real.
- Win With Information - rationalize the task with your knowledge about the situation and you will discover your fear is irrational and unfounded.
Disguise 4: Anger
Anger is one of our most powerful and recognizable emotions. You feel it deep in your chest, in your soul, rising from within. But what is causing all this anger?
"Under all anger is fear, and under all fear is fear of loss" - Unknown
Most common for me, anger is caused by the fear of losing control. I get upset with my kids because they wont listen to me. I'm disappointed at the outcome of a decision made by someone else. I get mad because everything isn't happening the way I planned. I don't have complete control.
Psychologist and author Pavel Somov
says managing anger is about managing the fear behind it. Working to overcome the fear causing anger will take the anger away.
Question: What disguises your fear?
Leave me a comment and tell me how your fears manifest.