Neurohacking Everyday Fear

Week 13

The Myth of Fearlessness

If you’re like me, you were never taught how to recognize or deal with your fears unless they escalated into illness. Our education system is focused on teaching reading, writing, math and sciences. And although health education standards do exist for primary and secondary schools, they generally focus on physical health things like diet and exercise. Even when emotional health is part of the curriculum it usually tackles things like self-esteem and conflict. Although there are a few progressive exceptions out there, it’s not the norm.

 

Personally, I didn’t even think about fear, beyond just feeling it, until my 30s when I became fascinated by it. I started researching fear because I was raised to be fearful... all the time! I was never taught how to properly express dark emotions and as an adult found that living in a state of constant fear with no way to positively express them was ruining my life and my happiness. I knew there had to be a better way out there, so I went looking for it and will be sharing what I found with you here in this course. There are many different tools presented here, because we are all both uniquely different as much as we are the same. The set of fear tools that will work for you will be just as unique as you are, so try them all out to see which ones are the best fit for you.

 

During my research, I would constantly come across the mantras of “fight the fear”, “Conquer your fears” “Become fearless” ...which as a biologist I knew were ridiculous slogans because unless you have severe brain damage to, let’s say, your amygdala, it is biologically impossible for you to be fearless. Telling someone to “be fearless”, is about as helpful as telling someone who is dieting to just “be hunger-less” – thanks for nothing!

 

So, we move out of childhood, pretty much unprepared to deal with the fear saturated culture we live in as adults and can easily be swept away by the tidal wave of fear messaging, we receive every day.

 

Now, I am not talking about real, in your face, actual threats to your survival. No amount of reframing is going to allow you to fall 200 feet unscathed. I’m also not talking about those fears that are born out of phobias and mental health challenges. The fears I’m talking about are the ones that may be rooted in some form of reality, but mostly live in a future that may not ever exist.

 

In order to better adapt our ancient fear responses for modern life, we need to get curious about where these fears are coming from then get creative about how we can reframe them to better suit our modern lives, and finally get committed to practicing reframing so it becomes second nature.

 

Our fears live in the future and the future is not this inevitable destination, it is a place we all have the power to create and the best time to work on your fear stories are before that spider is in the corner of your room... right above the bed... because where else would he be? Right?

 

Each one of us has the power to choose a different narrative. To make sure we’re the deliberate author, not just the reader of our fear stories.

Fighting and Struggling to be Fearless is exhausting, so instead let’s reshape our relationship with fear through evidence-based strategies like rewriting and reframing...because we are always just one rewrite away from changing our lives.

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