Fear is often a good thing; in fact it often saves people’s lives. Perhaps fear has saved my life on dozens of occasions, both as a curious child and an adventurous and careless, young adult; however, there are 2 different types of fear. There is the instinctual fear that we are all born with, the fear that ensures we are safe from predators or other natural dangers and helps us make it to a ripe old age.
Then there is the fear that paralyses us and prevents us from making any progress in life; that is the fear that I’m going to focus on in this article. Worry is another name for the type of fear that I will discuss here.
How many times have you been overcome with fear in situations where you were about to attempt something new or face a situation in which you once felt completely helpless or useless? For many of us, the answer is countless times. The education system we are currently using to teach our young is clearly flawed, in the sense that it does nothing to prepare virgin minds for the life that lies ahead.
Rather than allow students to express themselves and their own individuality, as well as discover the latent talents each one possesses, Teachers tend to stifle and label students who appear to be in anyway different. This leads to all these new conditions we have these days like ADHD, ADD and many other such concocted names.
Is it any wonder then, that people are so fearful these days of stepping into the open and being noticed? People would much rather settle for a life of mediocrity in the shadows than face the masses of critics out there.
The problem with hiding away and settling for less is that we end up living in a cycle of constant worry and paranoia. Constantly worried about bills and disappointed in our inability to achieve anything, but not knowing how to change, how to live freely, or how to express who we really are.
However, the key to overcoming your fears and doubts is to just stop running from them. Learn to control your thoughts. Listen to them, what are they saying, are they making sense? “Worry,” 9 times out of 10, is unfounded and only serves to make things worse. Despite already knowing this, most of us have no idea how to stop worrying.
Think about something else. Whenever a worry thought appears just stop, observe it and whatever you do, do not allow it to grow in power. You know what I mean, worry thoughts breed like rabbits and before you know it, one worry thought has turned into a dozen and you are left feeling drained. Take control of your mind and choose your thoughts wisely.
William W. Atkinson in his book, “Thought Vibration” said this about worry: “You do not need to fight worry-that isn’t the way to overcome the habit. Just practice concentration, and then learn to concentrate upon something right before you; and you will find that the worry thought has vanished. The mind can think of but one thing at a time, and if you concentrate upon a bright thing, the other thing will fade away.”
How can you practice concentration? There are a number of ways. Meditation is the most effective way of gaining control of your mind as while you sit stationary and inactive, you are able to observe thoughts that pop into your head. You’ll see that many of your thoughts are merely reactions to noises around you and thoughts of the day just passed or the day to come.
Stopping those kinds of thoughts is good practice and holds you in good stead for the times when you need to stop worry thoughts. Stop those thoughts and concentrate on your breathing only. Do that for 15 minutes a day before you sleep or when you first wake up and you’ll become quite adept at thought stopping within 3 weeks.
Remember this process then. Observe the thought. Stop it in its tracks. Immediately focus on something else more positive.
Take back control of your mind!