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Good fears, bad fears, and your best self

Mind KEY / Lifestyle  / Good fears, bad fears, and your best self
Fear unquestionably shapes growth and positive life changes--if you let it.
Being fearless means understanding that there is beauty in overcoming fear. Image by JoAnna Schillaci.

Good fears, bad fears, and your best self

By Shefaa Ramadan

What is fear?

Fear isn’t all bad; fear unquestionably shapes growth and many times in surprisingly positive ways. If we can learn to understand our fears and overcome the reaction we have to those fears, we can truly live a fearless life.

Fear can be that little demon on our shoulders holding us back from personal growth and happiness. It has and will–when we give it the power to–stop us from allowing ourselves to experience the world in ways we wouldn’t know possible. Fear is that intangible thing that influences our everyday lives. It may distort the mind or cloud the brain, and we as human beings are inundated with messages of fear all around us.


Fear unquestionably shapes growth

I have found there are two kinds of fears: good fear and bad fear.

The good fear is the one we should hold on to, it’s the fear that gives us strength when we encounter dangerous situations. The bad fear is the fear that keeps you from fully living. It is the monster in our heads whose scary to face. Fear is lying to yourself, so you can go back to being comfortable. You have no life, and your life just stops, living in the comfortable world that you have created.

Olympia Lepoint, a rocket scientist and educator who helps individuals overcome fear, explains in her TEDx Talk, “If we do not have a way to reprogram our minds, to overcome fear, we will never be successful at our own specific missions in life.” A great way to do this is to “name your fear and reject it” according to Lepoint.


Being Fearless

Imagine being able to accomplish something you never thought you would achieve. How would you feel after completing it? Being fearless will impact your life in ways you wouldn’t think possible. If you live your life in fear, you will not allow yourself to grow and learn and to become the best version of yourself. Ever wonder how many opportunities you’ve lost because you’ve allowed fear to get in the way? There comes a point where fear becomes debilitating and if you don’t do anything about it, it will control and consume you.

By living less fearfully, your life will improve immensely. You can break the cycle and face your fears to become fearless.

Living a fearless life doesn’t mean living your life with no fear, however. In fact, according to neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Theo Tsaousides, “Feeling fear is neither abnormal nor a sign of weakness.”


Beat fear and overcome your self-imposed limits

Everyone has experienced fear, it comes in all different shapes and sizes. So having the courage to be the best version of yourself will enable you to finally grow and enjoy your life.

How do you become the best version of yourself? You admit your fears and you face them. You must believe in yourself and let the fear and trepidation break free. Speak up when others want you to remain silent. Own your emotions and don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed, guilty or judged for them.

If you believe in yourself, you can conquer the world. Don’t ever say or let anyone tell you something is impossible. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it. It’s okay if you fail and fail more times than you’d like. It’s a journey and through that tough and struggling journey that is how you learn. Never give up, each failure is a lesson that you can learn from and those lessons can produce great outcomes.

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