We all fear something or the other in life. Few of these fears are carried forward from a young age. They could have originated from a traumatic experience or an awkward moment or could simply be a false assumption that we have been holding on to for a while now.
Like everyone out there I grew up with a slew of fears too- Fear of bugs especially roaches that was ingrained into my psyche since my childhood. Fear of facing the public, speaking in public or attending public gatherings.
Fear of being judged and mocked as a result of which I didn’t blog or write for many years until I started this blog. Fear of losing my loved ones that I still live with and as a result dread every call that comes in at an untimely hour.
So, I have had my fair share of fears and I have managed to overcome a few of them over the years. For instance, I overcame my fear of heights by going para sailing one day, my fear of being myself, by starting this blog and using it as a means to express my thoughts freely. I also recently became a member of Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. My fearing of losing my loved ones still lingers on but I have learnt to put my trust in God and usually comfort myself by reminding that In sha Allah we will be reunited with our loved ones in Paradise one day. And then I still have a few fears that remain unconquered such as the fear of the dark and of driving, which will probably need more effort to get rid of. We all live with our own fears and don’t need to be a participant in some reality show to confront these fears, we do our best and battle with these fears every single day. And as we strive to beat these age-old lingering fears we also give way for new fears to prevail over us each day.
For instance, when I became a mother I by default overcame this fear of creepy crawlies and transformed overnight into a fierce lioness who would do anything to protect her little ones. While on hand motherhood did make me a stronger woman, on the other hand it also made me vulnerable as a person. For it brought along a new fear, the fear that every parent has, of losing their kids or dreading that something wrong would happen to them. So, motherhood finally taught me that we can’t control or manage all our fears. Some fears are meant to be and we can tackle these fears only by surrendering and putting our trust in the Almighty.
And as for the other fears, they are nothing but stories that we tell ourselves and it’s up to us to either tell a story that would empower us and would help us move forward or one that would be an obstacle and would push us backwards. One such fear that I tackled recently was the fear of drowning, which I had developed due to a minor accident during childhood. This fear had crippled me and had stopped me from trying out any risky water based activities for all these years.
Hence, I finally decided to go snorkeling but then I didn’t know how to swim and was deeply afraid of drowning. My first attempt made me lose my balance and fall face down in to the water and I immediately sprung out of the water gasping for air. I was struggling to breathe through the tube and wanted to give up and head back to the shore. But then I was determined to explore the underwater world and decided to give it another shot. This time though I focused my complete attention on the breathing technique. I waded through the water at the shallow part of the sea with the snorkel on. I kept reminding myself to focus what was happening inside the water rather than above it. And as I got a little more comfortable with the snorkel, I let go of my fear and in no time, I was floating. I immersed myself completely into the moment and gradually all the background noises were drowned out and I could only hear my own breathing. The sudden silence helped me to calm down and soak up the experience. It felt surreal and relaxing as though a huge burden had been lifted off me. For the first time ever in my life, I had tried to float and snorkel on my own and not only did I survive it and lived to tell the tale but also, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I can’t wait to go back and try it again. And now when I look back I feel that I was so silly for not giving it a try for all these years. I was overreacting and stopping myself from trying out new things.
There is hell lot of stuff that I haven’t done simply because I was scared and kept telling these insane fear stories to myself for so long. These fear stories are mere assumptions and can be transformed into positive affirmations.
All we need to do is to change our beliefs by conditioning ourselves to be brave. In future, simply take the plunge and choose to be an action hero rather than a mere spectator. When your mind tells you that you can’t do something, just change the story and instead give yourself a pep talk – “Yes, I believe I can do this and this is what I need for it”. STOP! when you hear yourself telling, “I don’t have time” and instead say “Let me schedule this right way”. And when you get scared to do something or to face a tough situation, reprogram your thoughts, muster up the courage and declare,” I will be fine, I have got this!”.
Don’t let your thoughts drag you into a downward spiral of negative thinking. Interrupt this negative chatter in your head and focus on your self- narrative and say out loud, “This is my story and this is how it’s going to happen”.
Be mindful of your thoughts and take control as you are the author of your own life and it’s time that you changed it, One story at a time.