Neurohacking Everyday Fear

Week 1

Stress Badge of Honor

Fictional vs Factual Fear

Drawing clear lines between fact based danger and the stories we tell ourselves is essential to mastering your daily fears. 


Both factual and fictional fear keep us safe and you and I experience them both, but the key is to learn how to let the energy of fictional fears be like a strong wind that moves you forward instead keeping you stuck.


A lot of dangers can be easily marked real, because Imminent physical danger is pretty easy to perceive, but all the other, less cut and dry fears can be tricky to navigate. We want to find the fears that are pointing to our growth edges, blind spots and roadblocks, so our time together, we aren’t going to focus on what to do when overt FACTUAL fear strikes – our bodies know what to do already and in those moments of true crisis when.


Examples of factual fear would be jumping in to save a drowning child in a lake or finding yourself pinned under the twisted metal of a collapsed bridge. Factual fears exist in our shared reality and are happening in real time, not the past or the future. Factual fears are those born of reality based dangers and have more to do with the current action of the scene we’re living and less to do with our personal monologue.


In this course, we’re going to focus on the fictional fear and strategies on what to do when a fearstorm hits. A fear storm is my word for those times in our life when we are fully in the throws of fictional fear.  You know what that feels like – and during these times our minds keep making everything worse and if we let it, our fears can spiral us into making bad decisions.


Fictional fears are just like fictional stories, except they can be a lot less fun and bring us a lot of unnecessary struggle if we let them. Most of the best fictional stories are born of some truths. Same goes with the fictional fears in our lives.


For example, a fictional fear I have recently experienced happened when my partner was off at a business conference in Vegas, my brain goes to “what if he meets another woman? What if he’s unfaithful?”


Even though he has never given me any reason to doubt his loyalty, my brain can still go into full irrational mode with worry about a reality that doesn't currently exist.


A common office fictional fear is the dreaded, “Can we talk?” – anytime someone says that my mind goes directly into the fear zone. The only thing worse than Can We Talk is Can we talk … later!


Usually our fictional fears can be traced back to origin stories from our past. Sometimes these old stories are things we ourselves have experienced. Sometimes they’re stories we’ve been taught or told so many times that we believe their true. Mapping our current fears back to their origin can be both easy and hard and we will dive deeper into this during our time together.  


Think of fear as an energy resource, like wind, solar, or ocean tides – this energy can either propel us forward toward on the path we want to go or it can create big swirling storms that keep us going around and around in circles where we end up feeling battered, lost, and stuck.

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