A thought on fear

Today I am going to talk briefly about fear.

More specifically, why we fear things, and how to deal with fear.

Because if we want to keep moving forward in life, and create big things, we will all come across (encounter) fear at times.

Like speaking English in front of an audience.

That can be scary!

And make you want to run away.

Why We Fear

Fear used to keep our ancestors alive.

It kept us from running into a dark cave and getting eaten by a huge bear.

Or a dragon.

It was necessary for survival.

The thing is, most of us don’t have to deal with bears any longer.

And dragons don’t exist anymore. I’m pretty sure, right?

But we still fear things, even though we live in much safer times.

The deep reason why we fear has changed.

Survival vs. Shame

We still feel the same feelings when we face possible failure, like getting eaten alive or not finding food for you family, but now those feelings revolve around shame.

Shame = a painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one’s actions, thoughts,circumstances, or experiences

Even the definition can bring up painful memories.

Shame can kill our dreams, because shame (or the possibility of shame) amplifies our fear of fear, keeps us from trying new things, making big moves, and putting ourselves out there (expressing yourself to the public).

Shame can make us incredibly scared to practice a foreign language in front of others.

Speaking English at home in front of the mirror is no problem, right?

But in a business meeting with English speakers, that can be terrifying.

And not because you’ll literally get eaten, but your ego might.

And your ego tries very, very hard to avoid shame.

How to Combat Your Fear of Shame

The first step in changing a damaging behavior is recognizing it.

As soon as we give shame a name, as soon as we call it out, we can begin to move forward.

Our fear grows as long as we don’t notice what she behind it, and continues to prevent us from doing the things we need to do in order to build our dreams.

To live life more free of fear.

Yo find more freedom.

Like free from the fear of speaking English!

There is fear that is necessary, however.

The fear of not being able to pay your bills. The fear of not taking care of your health. The fear of not trying.

But fear of not being as cool, smart, or valuable as others Will limit you, and freeze progress.

So the next time you face a fear that you know is based on shame, take a deep breath, know you’re doing your best, and walk into that cave to face that bear. Watch out for the dragon too.

Kevin

Want to transform your English learning with lessons like these? I create a weekly podcast which you should definitely check out. Download five of my best episodes (with transcripts) here