Special Edition: Converting Fear Into Productive Behaviors

The coronavirus has understandably triggered fear in all of us…to varying degrees. How we respond depends upon our understanding of fear and how best to put it to use.

Fear

Here are some little known facts about fear.

  1. Fear is an emotion, an automatic response. We can’t prevent it. Indeed, we shouldn’t want to because it protects from unexpected dangers.
  2. Fear is also a message from our subconscious mind. The message is fear is forgetfulness. In the moment of fear we forget that we’ve never failed to deal with any situation we’ve faced…regardless of how dire it seemed.
  3. When we remind ourselves that we’ve never failed to deal with any situation, especially those with which we’ve had no previous experience, we open our minds to potential solutions.
  4. Fact 3 is inevitable. If nothing else fear eventually exhausts us. In that exhausted state fear subsides and we begin seeing potential solutions to the situation we face. Knowing this we can avoid all the pain and anxiety that we would experience prior to becoming exhausted by applying fact 3 earlier in our thought process.

Fear contagion

When we fail to employ the knowledge of fact 3, we nurture our fear and fear is contagious. Others feel our fear, our anxiety, and they too become fearful and anxious.

Confidence contagion

The same is true for confidence. When we employ fact 3 and remind ourselves that we’ve never failed even when we’ve had no prior experience, we gain confidence in our abilities. We discover ways of dealing with the situation we’re facing that were previously obfuscated by our fear.

A plan of action evolves and with it even greater confidence and excitement in the possibility of overcoming what previously frightened us. This is when fear gets converted into productive behaviors. This is when you once again feel in control to the extent possible. We are never fully in control of any situation we face.

As others see you calmly and confidently dealing with the situation, their fear subsides, they see possibilities, they find solutions and employ them, all the while gaining confidence and comfort from the actions they take.

This is how confidence becomes as contagious as fear…only more powerfully. Because while fear ultimately results in exhaustion, confidence continues to grow and excite enhancing your energy instead of depleting it.

For you

When fear strikes:

  1. Acknowledge it as an automatic response.
  2. Recognize that you can choose to nurture your fear or set aside quickly in order to convert your fear into productive behaviors.
  3. Recall how quickly solutions came to mind when you set aside previous episodes of fear.
  4. Recall the energy and power that you felt as you saw potential solutions and your plan of action developed.
  5. Then act quickly on that plan. Action prevents fear from regaining power.

These steps will enable you to quickly convert fear into productive behaviors.

For our kids

Live the message. Nothing will help your kids overcome their fears more quickly than seeing you setting yours aside. Don’t hide your

fears. Instead allow them to see that you too get frightened, but that you have the tools to quickly set aside your fear and move forward quickly and confidently with resolve. They will mimic your behavior.

When they ask how you’re able to do that, refer them to the 5 steps listed above. It’s a gift that will enable them to live joyfully despite the inevitable, and often unforeseen, challenges they’ll face.

Overcoming the virus

We will overcome the coronavirus. In the process we’ll learn valuable lessons, life will return to a more normal state. Economies will rebound and the coronavirus will become just another situation with which we’ve dealt.

This may be God’s (Universe’s) way of letting us know that the rampant divisiveness, and blind commitment that we’re right and everyone who doesn’t agree with us is wrong, has gone too far. That the infinite wisdom created a common enemy to fight…to bring us all together.

Regardless, I’m confident that the better aspects of our humanity are going to surface during this trial and we’ll become better people for it…at least for awhile.

Feel free to share this message with anyone you wish.

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