Rabail Umair Khan
Get Past Your Fears — where your purpose calls you
Updated: May 8, 2020
We all experience fear in one form or the other. Ironically, our very purpose in life requires us to overcome these very fears. Overtime, I have come to realise that if you truly want to go after your dreams, then you’ve got to get ready to experience real discomfort.
Naturally, we humans are wired in a way, that necessitates us to keep ourselves safe, even when there is no real threat, but rather only perceived ones. Yet, the most beautiful things can only be felt and accomplished when you get to the other side of all your fears, out of your comfort zone.
One of my biggest fears is public speaking. I was always that student who would pretend all focused and studious just so that I don’t get called out. And yet now my biggest dream is to speak on a platform that would allow me to help people understand their internal struggles better.
Putting myself out there scares me A LOT, and yet I am doing just that because the fulfilment of possibly helping even one individual far outweighs my fear. However, this took a lot of work and it is truly because I have learnt the art of getting past my mind, and that’s exactly what I am about to share here.
WHERE ARE THESE FEARS COMING FROM?
Growing up I thought, these thoughts are REAL and they are coming from me. But what if I tell you that these thoughts have nothing to do with you and are often not anywhere close to the reality.
FEAR is basically F.E.A.R = False Evidence Appearing Real. The sooner you accept this, the sooner it will no longer intimidate you.
To add on to that, based on research, any emotion (for example, fear), you experience has an average lasting period of only 90 SECONDS! That’s right, ONLY 90 SECONDS! So if you just sit with your emotion without adding fuel to it with your negative thoughts, it diminishes as swiftly as it came!
3 TIPS TO OVERCOME YOUR FEARS
1. Process it
I am big on this! Sometimes our fearful thoughts seem so big and all encompassing in our mind, that we start believing it. I truly believe that, if you break it down, then you will come to realise that, it was not as complex as you made it to be. Additionally, getting to the root of your fears, helps in unwinding it further.
Let’s say you have a very crucial presentation coming up and you are feeling extra anxious. What can you do? I say face the fear and sit with it and ask the right questions! Why am I feeling this? Does it have anything to do with my past experiences? Am I prepared? Is there anything else I can do to feel more prepared?
Always remember, fear is ultimately an emotional response. When you ask these questions you are engaging your thinking mind, in scientific terms, it’s called the prefrontal cortex. This, quite literally means you are short-circuiting the anxiety, which is an emotion, coming from the emotional part of your brain, that is, the amygdala.
2. Label your inner critic
Every one of us has an inner critic within us. Who is constantly being critical over every step we take. As cliché as it may sound, we are truly at times our own worst critic.
Does this sound familiar,
"Goodness, this is not good enough"
"Uh I am such a failure. Why am I even doing this?"
"I should just quit."
The good news is that this is normal and we all have such thoughts. But the bad news is that if you give too much attention to it, then it hinders you from going after your dreams.
You can over come this by giving your inner critic a name! Miss Critical, Lucifer, anything that lightens the situation for you — the sillier the better! As strange as it may sound, it works and it is scientifically proven that when you learn to label your inner critic, it loses power over you because you realise that its not you saying all of that, its LUCIFER!
Now if you have tried every thing and are still not able to let go of your fears, then the last tip will DEFINITELY WORK!
3. Talk it out
Yes as simple as that. Find someone you can confide in and share your fears with that person. Sometimes when we talk about it, we realise how irrational our fear was. Even if that person can’t give you a solution, chances are, you are already feeling a billion times better.
Furthermore, talking about it will allow you to hear a different perspective and that fear will no longer seem as daunting anymore!
I truly hope that these tips help you cope better when fear comes in your way again. I just want to put it out there, that this takes time and practice. Slowly, but surely, with time and consistent effort on your part, you can overcome your fears and achieve the things you truly desire in your life!
I want to end this off with my favourite poem by Rumi:
Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open? Move outside, the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.
Originally published on my Medium, on September 18, 2019. Click here to access it.