I have this emotion that stops me from reaching any goal that I set for myself. An emotion that affects me in more ways than one. An emotion that if I let continue, it will get the better of me. That emotion is fear. Fear can take over my whole being and effect my mood completely. I am going to try and explain in depth on how fear has taken over my emotions and prevented me from achieving the things I want in life. I will also be including some scientific statements on fear and how it effects individuals. In doing so, I hope that sharing this would at least be a step forward in me taking control of that fear.
What is weird is that when it comes to fear, some would assume that it is to do with people; being scared of others. With me though, that is not the case. I genuinely am not afraid of anyone, not saying that I wasn’t when I was younger, I would say that I was, and I wasn’t. I would say I was more afraid of situations that I would find myself in. During my teenage years (13-16), things use to happen that made me scared to even leave my house, scared of getting robbed (again). It wasn’t just fear, it was fear and paranoia combined; making me believe that I was a target of everything because that is how it felt. I began to feel anxious because of this, so situations I would get in would make me feel uneasy and weak, I would feel like I would pass out (sounds dramatic I know) and would even have mini panic attacks at times. That fear eventually went away over time because I realised that I shouldn’t be afraid of anyone or situations, especially because of the past experiences I was in.
I must admit that I was a negative and paranoid person when I was a teenager; which manifested into negative things and situations that I was in. Over time I started becoming more and more positive which helped me with my confidence and fear that I had. That fear I once had of people and negative situations was gone; I only feared one being and that was/is God. With that being said, it was not an easy journey to become a positive person, the struggles that came into my life made it seem like an obstacle course to just get a positive mindset. Things were out of my control in my life; which made it harder for me to remain positive, yet I managed to do it by the grace of God.
Fast forward to my twenties. Where currently I have developed a new sense of fear. Not one of anyone, but the fear of failure, failure of not doing well and never being happy. This type of fear is worse than fear situations or anyone because this is a constant fear that eats away at my mind daily. I overthink of my future, my career, my life, my finances; literally the smallest things regarding my future causes so much stress in my life. This fear effects my mood and can literally change me from a happy friendly person, to a moody and antisocial one.
I have been doing some research on fear and why it is so prominent in mine and other people’s lives. Some will say that it is down to Science; whilst others believe that it is just an emotion that is part of human nature. However, it has been proven that it is not only people who fear, as animals and creatures are afraid, if not more afraid also.
The Science of Fear:
In science, fear is created as a fight or flight response by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small region that is located at the base of the brain, near the pituitary gland. Even though it is very small, the hypothalamus plays a crucial role within the functions in the human body, including: releasing hormones, regulating body temperature, maintaining daily physiological cycles, controlling appetite, managing sexual behaviour and regulating emotional responses. So, to produce the fight or flight response, the hypothalamus activates two systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. The sympathetic nervous system uses nerve pathways to initiate reactions in your body, for example if you were to stub your toe, the sympathetic nervous system will use the nerve pathways to cause a reaction. The adrenal-cortical system uses the blood stream, for example, if you were to get into a situation that causes you to be scared, the adrenal-cortical system will then cause things such as, muscle tension, or an increased heart rate and blood pressure.
In some ways I can believe that science and fear go hand in hand, but also believe that is one of the natural emotions of a human being. I have written multiple pieces that I have yet to put out to the world; afraid to put it out there, sharing my thoughts, emotions and belief on things. I ask myself constantly, ‘What is stopping me?’. Every day I ask myself this and the more I think about what is stopping me physically to put my writing out there; I have no answer…. No answer because there is nothing stopping me at all. If there is something stopping, that something would be myself. I let the fear of putting things out there and the fear of not knowing the future prohibit me from taking that step out of my comfort zone for my future.
I know that every goal that I want to achieve is attainable because I believe that no goal is too big. But, even though I believe this, I find it hard to put everything into action to get myself there and this is because of the not knowing the future or how I am going get to where I want to be. Currently, I am at a point where I must overcome that fear by throwing myself out there; no matter how anxious it makes me. In overcoming this current obstacle, this will be my first post in 18 months; it will be the first step I take to achieving my career and life goals.
Links to Science of Fear