Fear

As salaamu alaykum and welcome!

Today I want to talk to you about Fear.

I want to discuss this topic because most of what we don’t do in our life is because of fear.

I receive many messages from women who tell me about their goals, dreams and all the beautiful things they want to do with their lives. When I ask them what is stopping them, I always get the same response: ‘I am afraid…’

Fear – I know this emotion well. It has stopped me in my tracks many times in life. I’ve shut down businesses, quit jobs, given up projects, held back from speaking my truth, left fun hobbies and interests, and so many other things in life.

When looked at from this perspective, fear seems like the enemy that we all must avoid, but did you know that we need a certain amount of fear to survive?

Fear changes a person’s body so that he or she will be ready to run away and protect him or herself from danger. So for example, if you were walking alone at night and you had a choice to walk down a dark alleyway, but your body sensed fear, then this emotion could help you avoid possible danger.

At the time of the early Muslims when there was a real threat of coming under attack, fear would have been a useful emotion to be more alert. Nowadays the chances of a sphere being driven through our bodies or being crushed under a rock due to our belief is much smaller, and so we don’t need to be on constant guard.

The problem is, our mind doesn’t know that. It is on ‘protect and survive’ mode, and so whenever you want to do something, it instantly registers all the dangers and causes you to feel the emotion of fear.

Quick breaths and heartbeats, tensed muscles and shaking are signs of fear. It’s also tough to sleep when you’re afraid because your body is primed to be on the lookout for threats.

We have gotten to the point in many of our lives where there are very few things that we genuinely need to fear. Yes, we sometimes come up against the odd angry person who doesn’t like our dress code or life choices, but most of the things we fear are not dangerous at all.

Being afraid of making a mistake in front of others, being afraid to share a post on social media in case no one ‘likes’ or comments, fear of attending events alone – These are just a few examples, and there are so many more that I could take up a whole blog post mentioning them.

These are things that we don’t genuinely need to be afraid of to save our lives, but that fear often prevents us from taking action.

I googled the definition of fear and was pleasantly surprised by the results:

an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or harmful.

This definition is so great because it indicates that fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief.

Think about that for a moment. If fear is just an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief, we can get over that. It is the belief that we are holding that something or someone is dangerous, it’s not actually true that they are dangerous (well, not in most cases, anyway), but that belief is what makes us afraid. We are scared of pain, and we are afraid of something being a threat.

While fear serves us in genuinely dangerous situations, there are plenty of times that it doesn’t help us, and is holding us back from living our lives.

I plan to share a series of blog posts with you on this topic, as I know it affects so many of us.

Next time I will be discussing fear in more detail, but for now I would love to hear your thoughts on what I have shared so far.

How does fear show up in your life?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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