Growing up, we are taught directly and indirectly that fear is negative and should be avoided at almost any cost. To complicate things, fear and anxiety often go hand in hand, causing us to become disconnected and keeping us from achieving our full potential.
We are taught to move away from fear and anxiety instead of using it to evaluate our situation and what is triggering it. It is ingrained in us that fear is embarrassing and humiliating and is to be ignored and hidden. We are rarely taught that fear has a flip side. It’s better if we just ignore fear, stuff it down, and never think of it again … right?
The truth is, fear is a natural part of life. It can even be a helpful guide in certain situations. We cannot fully escape fear in our lives. That’s why Jay Shetty explores fear and coming to terms with it in Chapter 3 of his new book, Think Like a Monk.
“We will never fix our world to be in a place that we will live without uncertainty and fear,” wrote Jay Shetty. Fear isn’t bad. It’s simply a warning we need to pay attention to. How we move forward from the initial fear and anxiety is what truly matters.
So what, then, do we do with fear? In cases where danger is involved, our response is clear – run! Fear is a critical warning that allows us to pivot and survive true danger.
Most of the time, however, fear appears in the everyday, mundane things of life and holds us back from truly reaching our full potential and purpose. Fear triggers a stress response like fight or flight. When we allow fear and anxiety to hold us back, we are allowing it to block our true emotions around situations. The longer we hold on to fear, the more toxic it becomes.
In fact, we can even become afraid of fear itself. Fear of fear will keep us in a cycle of misguided self-protection. Fear begins to drive and control us, and we lose sight of the real problem. We may notice fear’s warning, but we fail to see its guidance and apply that guidance to our lives.
When fear takes hold of our lives, we’re headed for trouble. The body’s natural response to stress can have a negative impact on our overall health if it builds up and occurs too often. Jay Shetty says we must learn to differentiate between true danger and normal fear and anxiety.
Fear is natural and important, but we cannot allow it to control us and take over our lives. Learn how to recognize and work with fear as it comes up by ordering your copy of Jay Shetty’s new book, Think Like a Monk. When you make friends with fear, you’re able to go farther and accomplish more than you ever dreamed.