Do you remember the first time you were afraid?
My first memories of fear include some dangerous situation: I remember in first or second grade running away in the schoolyard because of the school thug that came every morning to take our breakfast money.
Another day walking with my cousin an aggressive dog crossed us and began to bark at us, I still remember the chills in my body.
In this type of situation, you activate your reflexes, survival instincts kick in and they have a logical and reasonable explanation.
The other day I heard a sentence that made me think: “We are not afraid of things or situations, we are afraid of the feeling that we imagine that these situations will produce“.
Think about it: We are not afraid of the barking of the dog, we are afraid of the pain that we imagine that it will cause its bite. We are not afraid of having our breakfast money taken away, we are afraid of being robbed, ridiculed and, above all, hungry.
We are not afraid of the dark room that appears in the film, we are terrified by the feeling of the unknown, of not seeing, of losing control of our senses.
The fear of public speaking is one of the biggest “popular fears”, in fact, it groups a lot of fears to emotions: fear to feel rejected, judged, fear to not know or to feel incapable.
There are fears that do not seem to be related to our survival, at least physical, they have to do with the survival of our forged identities many times, in limiting beliefs about ourselves.
When we challenge one of these fears, we challenge the beliefs that originated it. When confronting the fear of speaking in public, we teach ourselves to be able, not to judge and to contribute with our voice.
When we are faced with the fear of changing a job that suffocates us or breaking a toxic relationship, we are taught that we deserve something better.
Every fear is an opportunity, not to change the circumstances we thought caused our fears, but to change the perception we have about ourselves.
By changing the way we identify ourselves, the interpretations and judgments we make about everything we perceive of the world also change and, where there was once a fear, there is now a reason to celebrate and be grateful.