Managing FEAR in the Moment

March 16, 2009 Blog

Who isn’t having a few fears running through them these days? We are surrounded by the news about our faltering economy, Wall Street, bank crisis and so much more, so we are wondering how are you doing?

Fear is a normal human response yet it is also a conditioned response that runs on automatic if we let it. Some define fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. All this to say that fear feels real and yet often times it is merely a thought that we believe to be true.

How do you know if it is real or not? First, observe yourself thinking the thought. From this position of objectivity, 1) ask yourself what evidence or proof you have that validates your fear or thought then, 2) notice the intensity of the thought, the emotions that are arising and the impact it is having on you physically. Next, move your attention to your gut and say “I have a thought that is creating a reaction (describe the reaction you are having) in me. What will I choose to do next?”

Having a strategy ready when fear arises allows you to acknowledge it, assess it and then move into action. As Theresa often says, “the goal is to shorten the window of time that we are on automatic [or having fearful thoughts in this instance].” Fear will continue to arise in us and we will continue to catch ourselves on automatic. The good news is you have control as to how long it runs its course and the impact it has on you.