Fear is a powerful emotion. Can you think about the last time you were afraid of something? When did it set in? As you reflect about it – was it before, at the time or after something happened?
The interesting thing about fear according to Edith Croteau, Speaker and Life Coach, is that it is not in the present – it is about the future. So, what is it about the future that affects your behavior?
Let say you have a fear of falling. A few years ago, I fell down the stairs in my house and broke my wrist in three places. Since that time, every time I approach a set of stairs, I stop at top, take a deep breath and brace myself. I replay that fall and it is scary – yet I push through it.
Edith posed the question – what do you really fear – the fall or the result (what happens after the fall)? Most likely, you fear the result – that you will be hurt if you fall. If you do fall, you’ll be hurting so bad you won’t even be thinking of that emotion because you are dealing with the results of the fall.
Being afraid of falling affects how you act or behave around later situations where you may fall. You may never fall yet fear influences your decisions and choices. Right or wrong.
Examining our internal belief system is the first step to overcoming how our emotions impact our decisions.
Consider other places where fear influences decisions and choices in your life. Perhaps you have experienced roadblocks in moving forward on a project, relationship, job change or other significant decision. Does being scared have a positive or negative impact on your progress or reaching desired outcomes?
Finally, how would your decisions differ without fear? Would moving forward be easier? If you reach your goals, would you feel greater satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment? Making those changes may bring more fun and less stress in your life. You can decide if the tradeoffs are worth the effort.
This is interesting on a number of levels. Yes, fear is future oriented. If people would learn to live in the moment, they would have less stress and less fear. Fear is nothing but worry. Worry can be best described as thinking about a future event and predicting a bad outcome. It is a choice we are faced with repeatedly. I spend a major portion of my speaking career talking to audiences about how fear affects performance, productivity and personal satisfaction, I am extremely educated about fear, why we have it and how it impacts us. Yet try and get me near the edge of a precipice and you will fail. For reasons I am yet able to adequately explain to myself, I feel that I will fall off that edge. Oh, well. I can’t be perfect. 🙂