Last week, we started our journey to reframing our minds. We started by talking about my favorite, failure.
(If you missed it, you can click here to catch up.)
This week I want to talk about something that MANY people misunderstand – FEAR. Have you ever tried to reframe fear?
You may or may not agree with what I’m about to say, but fear is no longer preventative. It’s merely another signal.
Let’s dive in.
What IS Fear?
If we want to get specific, and we do, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. Originally, fear was intended to act as a survival mechanism. It’s your body’s fight or flight system that evolved to keep you alive.
While the reason for true fear hasn’t changed. Over time humans have developed additional uses of the word fear. I feel these uses are what prevents us from seeing clearly.
What I have found, is that unless someone is acutely aware of this shift in the word FEAR, it’s often used incorrectly. Let me explain.
Reframe Fear? Is That a Thing?…
By understanding that fear is an automatic response to perceived threat, we can adjust how we respond to it over time.
Rather than noticing fear and instantly hitting the brakes on whatever you are doing. You now have a chance to reprogram your brain to keep up with environmental changes.
One: NOTICE the fear
Two: Say to yourself “I FEEL afraid.” (Acknowledging)
Three: Assess WHY you feel fear. Is your…?
- Life at Risk?
- Body at risk of physical HARM?
- Body likely to feel PAIN?
Four: Did you say yes to any of the three above points?
- Yes: RUN! YOU ARE CLEARLY IN TROUBLE!!!
- No: Sorry toots, you’re not experiencing FEAR. Continue to step 5.
Five: Rename your “fear”. Is it actually a lack of confidence, lack of knowledge? Perhaps you’re just feeling unsure of yourself. Now that you know it’s not fear, you can get to the root and really address it.
I guess you could say we rename fear to reframe fear. Cool huh?
Let Me Reframe Fear for You; An Example!
As someone diagnosed with BPD and Social Anxiety, this is a skill that I had to learn and I have to use ALL THE TIME.
This skill enabled me to break free of an abuser. I learned how to connect with society (in my own way). I saw a drastic improvement in my well-being and started a now successful business.
The most recent example happened just a few days ago in fact. You see, I shattered a tooth. This meant I had to go out and deal with dentists. On top of that, the experience was less than pleasant.
By the time I reached the time for extraction, I was FEELING fearful. You know what I did? Followed my steps!
Because I was at a dentist, a highly trained dentist, I knew that my pain would actually be reversed. I was seeking treatment to improve my health. I wasn’t at risk at all. When I start to analyze deeper I can admit that my concern comes from having to interact with so many individuals at once. It’s hard for me to abide being close to people very often. I was about to have several hands reaching deep into my mouth. I was UNCOMFORTABLE.
Knowing I was uncomfortable enable me to better share and express my concerns. not to mention handling my physical responses (such as shaking).
Go Reframe Fear!
Shaping one’s mindset allows for the shaping of one’s world. Incorrectly naming and giving power over to a “FEAR” as a whole can prevent you from taking chances and moving forward. Taking the time to work the process and reframe fear leads to improvement. It’s cause and effect. You can’t avoid it.
Take a chance, conquer your fear, and then come back and tell me all about it. I would love to hear about your journey.
PS: Make sure to sign up for our email list below too, and I’ll send you the rest of this series as they drop!)