Learning how to see your fear as an ally and not your enemy.
Fear is that one word we can hear and the hairs on the back of our necks stand up. Fear is the feeling or thoughts that stop you from pursuing a goal, based on the idea it might go wrong. The fear response is located in the area of our brain called the amygdala, the amygdala stores every experience that has made you scared or happy. When we want to do something new, our amygdala compartmentalise whether the new decision is good or bad. The brain equates good with safety and familiarity and bad with danger and vulnerability; based on this information it can be determined what we do next.
We might not be able to overcome our fear because believe it or not, it is there to protect us but we can befriend it.
Seeing your fear as an ally rather than an enemy is one way of befriending your fear. Speak to your fear as you would to a friend or a family member. When you start to be governed by your fear, use the following phrase ‘Thank you for your protection but, I would like to take on this challenge”, this phrase allows you to acknowledge and thank the amygdala for its protection but understands to grow you need to step out your comfort zone.
One way we can feel the fear and do it anyway is by starting small. Start by doing small tasks that take you out your comfort zone for example, if you have a fear around speaking to someone new without stumbling over your words, why not practise in the mirror what you would like to say during the conversation, allowing you to feel confident and at ease when it comes to the real thing.
For many cities and towns across the world lockdown has been gradually lifting since COVID-19 and this announcement can cause anxiety around adjusting to the new way of living. If you are feeling fearful about going outside, a way to combat this feeling is by going somewhere in your local area. You might be flooded with lots of thoughts but remember to use the phrase ”Thank you for your protection but, I would like to take on this challenge” and acknowledge your achievement with confidence. By feeling good you will start to be more inclined to do other activities with more confidence and less fear.
On this blog, I specialise in talking about wellness and continual self-development and I stand by the statements ‘ Self-development is key to uncovering and discovering old and new things about yourself’ and it’s a great experience to undergo. However, if this search turns from being healthy to an unhealthy constant search of finding one’s self, it can end up with someone being exhausted and burnt out.
When we are in a constant battle of over analysing every situation we remove our true self from the experience because we are constantly searching for something that doesn’t need to be altered.
I often see people beat themselves up about habits they want to form but, I am reminding you that you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. What doesn’t help is when you start to blur the lines between developing healthy habits on a self-development journey and an unhealthy habit of searching for something that’s not there.
You wouldn’t dismantle a fully working, functional pen so why do the same to yourself?
We are in a digital era where technology is rapidly moving forward and new social apps keep popping up everywhere. We enter the rabbit hole of aimlessly scrolling through these apps, constantly updating ourselves with the latest news and sharing information with the world to get a response. We are inundated with a unanimous amount of information about the harm our phones are doing to us.
So what can we do to change this worldwide discussion on the negativities about our phones?
It all lies in the intent of using the phone.
The producers of technology thrive from our constant use of technology, have you ever noticed whenever you get a message your phone brightly lights up or when you get a notification the sounds or vibrations lasted a bit longer than usual? Theses are all savvy techniques to keep up connected to our phones and they’ve been planted so in-depth within us, it’s automatic reaction to grab it.
We all fall into this trap including myself. I have a love-hate relationship with my phone because on numerous occasions( too many that I want to admit) I will be using my phone for a particular reason and then all of a sudden my finger has exited out of the thing I was intended to be using and automatically, I unconsciously head over the social apps where I spend an endless amount of hours scrolling through, trying to get to the end of the page; which you’re not able to because the creators want you to keep scrolling. In the end, I feel unproductive and wasted an insane amount of time.
So how do we intentionally use our phone? Here are some daily habits you can do to intentionally use your phone:
Having a habit tracker will enable you to keep a record on how productive and intentional you are doing with your task- I use an app called Habit that sends reminders on healthy habits you would like to form. As you tick off the habit for the day, the percentage goes up and before you realise it will be 100% and you’ve formed a long term healthy habit.
Having a set timer or blocker that helps you stay off your phone can boost your productivity and not heavily rely on your phone for social use.
Don’t use your phone before you go to bed- You will often find yourself not being able to sleep from the brightly lit screen.
Only use your phone for what you need to do!
Create a phone-free zone
Turn your phone upside down, this will help from constantly picking up your phone when a notification arrives.
What are your top tips for using your phone intentionally?