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How Fear Is Deep-Rooted in Our Everyday Life and Controlling Us

How Fear Is Deep-Rooted in Our Everyday Life and Controlling Us

Right now, you’re living your life in fear. You probably don’t even realize it, but fear is controlling you – your life, your relationships, and your decision making. Don’t worry though, you’re not alone. In fact, everyone around you is going through the same thing.

You see, fear is powerful and taught to us at a young age. You learn what you should do and what shouldn’t do to avoid punishment and discomfort, that things that naturally cause fear. Now that you’ve grown up, however, fear comes from a number of different sources. And if you don’t know the source of your fear, it is nearly impossible to overcome. In fact, it makes it easy for other people and situations to control you and your actions.

The Sneaky Ways Fear Controls Your Life

Settling Is a Sign That You Fear Your Dreams and Desires Are Unattainable

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Maybe you have always wanted to travel the world. Now, you work as a travel agent planning other people’s trips and you think, “close enough”. Or, maybe you imagined yourself in a romantic relationship. Instead, you find yourself with somebody who is “nice enough”. Settling is a sign that you fear your dreams and desires are unattainable. You fear failing to achieve your hopes, forgetting your innate resilience to overcome failure.

You Try to Be Perfect to Avoid Criticism and Failure

Are you always striving to be perfect at everything? Ask yourself a very important question: Is it your definition of perfect or somebody else’s? Many of us drive ourselves crazy trying to have the perfect job, the perfect grades, the perfect body. Usually, somebody else has defined what is that perfect job, grade, body, or other achievement. So, why do you want to try so hard to be somebody else’s version of perfect? You have the fear of failure, of being left out, or of being judged.

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You Get Sick Often Due to a Lot of Unknown or Unrecognized Fear

Living with a lot of unknown or unrecognized fear can cause stress-like responses in your body. One of the most common stress-induced symptoms is feeling sick[1]. Have you had a sudden bout of unexplained gastrointestinal problems? Gaining weight but you haven’t changed your diet and exercise routine? Maybe you’re just feeling an overall sense of tiredness, body aches, and headache? Fear is weakening the resilience of your immune system.

How to Win The Battle against Fear

It’s time to have faith in your resilience so you can face your fears. Think about your life and the things that make you worry or cause you stress. Write them down. This act will allow you to focus on what you need to fix to get control of your life.

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You Have to Locate The Target to Hit it

If you don’t know exactly what your biggest fears are, you’ll never be able to conquer them.

Think of your worst dreams, the nightmares that wake you up at night. What’s happening in these dreams? Do you find yourself naked and terrified in front of people? This could be a sign that you’re self-conscious and afraid of what people think of your body. Focus on body acceptance and try to remember all the areas where you excel. This practice will help move your focus and fear away from your body insecurities and toward everything you should be proud of.

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Another way to identify your fear is to think of the moments in life that make you most nervous. Is it when you have to speak in front of large crowds? Or maybe you’re nervous when you meet new people or when you have to work on a group project at school or work? Think about the root of this fear. You are probably most afraid of criticism or of being rejected.

Feelings Are Temporary, Resilience Is Permanent

Consider the worst cast scenario of any of your fears. So you stutter through the introduction of your speech or you accidently spill a drink on a new acquaintance. Maybe you’re passed up for a promotion at work. In the end, does it really matter or is it just a temporary discomfort?

As you navigate this process of identifying and overcoming your fears, remain confident that your resilience will see you through. You can and will bounce back from anything – including the worst case scenario. This is your life, you should be in control – not fear. Take the risks you need to find your happiness. You’re worth every bit of it.

Reference

[1] WebMD: Stress Symptoms: Effects of Stress on the Body

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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