Learning how to stop living with fear is the most important initiative we can take.

The anxiety we feel interferes with our quality of life and does not allow us to function as we should. Personally and professionally, we are handcuffed.We miss out on jobs, social bonding and activities, travel, and intimacy that we should have. Fear is crippling and will prevent us from living the fulfilling life we deserve.

James Allen, a famous philosopher, poet, and author of the book, As A Man Thinketh once said,

“Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.”

There was a time when I struggled with anxiety and fears. It finally came to a point that I decided I needed to learn how to stop living in fear. I had missed out on many opportunities in life. Symbolically, I looked myself in the mirror and told myself it had to stop.

The research process was long and I didn’t know where to start. The social anxiety kept me from joining groups or asking the right people for help. I struggled for many years to admit this to myself, it was that much harder to share this with others.

 

The greatest realization I’ve had is that I don’t believe anybody ever truly conquers their fears.

You just learn the tools and skills on how to deal with it. Think of it as practicing to become a very good swimmer.

You can still drown, right?

Once I realized that my fears would never go away and I was just learning skills to overcome, my emotional growth exploded exponentially.

Like the analogy I used for drowning.

  • If my fears are my inability to swim how much can I enjoy the beach?
  • Can I enjoy pools, boating, or any water sports?
  • Metaphorically using the beach to represent our life, how much more enjoyable are those activities if you know how to swim?

Below I’ll go over the steps I took and continue to work on. Hopefully, these can help or provide a springboard for your own journey to learn how to stop living in fear.

 

 

Fear Is Not Real

One of the strongest concepts we can understand is psychic equivalence. Psychic equivalence is a primitive mind state.

Our inability to make a distinction between thoughts in our mind and our external surroundings. What we think in our mind we assume to be true.

If your child thinks the boogeyman is under his bed, he believes the boogeyman really is under his bed. To share one of my honest fears that relate.

I have always worried about something reaching out and grabbing my foot as I would get into bed. This was a fear that began when I was a child that carried over into adulthood. No matter how foolish I knew it was and I knew that it wasn’t true, I had to focus on repressing that belief.

This can be a common reality in people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. They are convinced they are actually in the situation of the original trauma. They suffer a complete loss of perspective between contents in their mind and the reality around them.

Another example of psychic equivalence we can see as adults, is on our dreams. We temporarily lose the awareness between the reality of our external world and the thoughts happening in our mind.

Start Practicing A Martial Art Or Begin A Fitness Routine

Exercise and physical fitness has been scientifically proven to alleviate anxiety and depression. Even from moderate exercise, endorphins are produced and released in your body.

Endorphins are a chemical in our body that transmit electrical signals within our nervous system. Our perception of pain is reduced by endorphins activating the opiate receptors in our brain. Structurally very similar to morphine, endorphins also bring about feelings of happiness and well being.

Practicing Martial Arts has long been a successful path for people to gain confidence. You get the benefit of exercise but also structure and discipline to follow, and goals to achieve. The confidence you cultivate through the Arts will also help in learning how to stop living in fear.

Not all Martial Arts are the same and each of us is an individual. Research and find a Martial Art that fits you and the path you want to be on. In a previous article I wrote here, I provide a brief synopsis of a few popular Martial Arts. I repeat this often, but take advantage of the free trials and classes that all schools offer and find the right one for you.

Find Mentors That Speak To You

Listening to life coaches, “self help gurus”, reading, and listening to spiritual journals has helped me immensely. An easy suggestion I found to get started was to use my iPhone to download podcasts and listen to them in my car via Bluetooth. You can also find many videos on YouTube as well.

I start my day like this whenever possible. If I don’t need to drive anywhere in the morning I play the podcasts through my headphones as I stretch to “wake up” my body and mind for the day.

 

Below I list some recommendations of my personal favorites.

Most of them will have books you can get, YouTube channels, and podcasts to follow. You can also use their names as a reference point for searching other individuals who might best fit your needs. I’ve attached links to their books and websites when available.

Nick Vujicic 

Browse Nick Vujicic Books

Tony Robbins

Browse Tony Robbins Books

Billy Atwell

Browse Billy Atwell Books

Les Brown

Browse Les Brown Books

 

Some additional books to add to your resources. These two I’ve previously written articles on, The Book of Five Rings & The Art of War. Another Martial Arts related book is Hagakure which I’ve found to be a great resource.

 

Other books I’d recommend:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety not to be confused with Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life

Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment For Fear Of Flying It deals with the fear of flying but outlines an approach to take to many phobias and fears.

how to stop living with fear

Find Your Spiritual Center

Most of us have our own perception of spirituality. Normally it revolves around a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves. It is our own unique personal connection to divinity. We may share the same religion or spiritual path with our neighbor, but our spiritual relationship will be distinctive to us.

Spirituality is an expansive concept that can continue to grow as we search for a meaning in life and ourselves. It’s an infinite learning experience of perpetual growth and understanding that will never end.

 

Having a spiritual base also provides countless benefits towards physical and mental well being.

Forgiveness, a practice reflected by most traditions of spirituality has been shown through modern science to have numerous health benefits.

Including:

  • A longer life span (18% reduction in mortality rate)
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved immunity
  • Better cardiovascular health.

 

There are many avenues you can search to find your spiritual base. You can revisit and strengthen a more traditional faith you grew up with. Also, you can explore the hundreds of alternative healing methods and spiritual approaches that are available.

If you already have a spiritual path begin reinforcing it. Search for the root of your belief.

I’m not a psychologist, a self help guru, or anything like that. Struggling for many years with unwarranted fears handicapped me from living life to its fullest capacity.

My goal with this article was to share the critical steps I took, and continue to take everyday. This is how I learned how to stop living in fear and hopefully some of these steps can help someone else.

 

If you struggle with any fear or anxiety please share it in the comments.

If you’ve taken steps to stop or manage your fear please let us know what you’ve done.

6 Comments

  1. Feji ben

    Hello there,thanks for this awesome article it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.i must say that this year 2020 we must overcome every epitome of fear and i must say that you have done a great job as this ideas are what would really salvage this situation

    1. Lee Goupil

      Thanks Feji!

      I hope some of the ideas on overcoming fear can be a benefit for you. 
      The books I listed are a good resource, search the authors and I’m sure you can find YouTube videos or other content from them.  

      Thanks for reading and please share this article if you can. 

  2. Shanta Rahman

    Many thanks to you for sharing this great article with us . We all live in a society where we have to move on with fear . I rarely realize how much we are harmed by this fear . Because we have very little courage to conquer fear .Through your article we will learn to conquer fear, because here you have shown some research that is really awesome . But before this article I got some support from my smartphone’s YouTube video but that was not the result of that question. Your research like this really deserves much praise .I agree with you that to overcome fear we have to be confident in ourselves .This can be called an art .Fear cripples people and does not allow us to live the full life we deserve, causing us to become mentally ill. What I want to convey to all of you through this article is that personally, no matter how professionally your father overcomes this fear, you will surely succeed. Finally, I must say that I must obey the words given in your article and I will overcome fear .

  3. Kell

    Indeed, fear is something that can cripple our life if allowed. Fears are driven by anxiety about something that may or may not happen and cause a catastrophe. The best way to avoid being afraid is to plan your life so that bad things don’t happen.

    Of course it isn’t always possible to forecast and accident, illness or unforeseen event but planning ahead can help the individual minimize fears so that there’s no need to go around worrying about what might happen to destroy your day.

    And another thing is to develop a positive exercise program, eat nutritious foods, and develop a spiritual program which includes a network of friends. You’ve already provided some steps we can use to stop living in fear which are awesome especially understanding that fear is not real.

    Nice article.

    1. Lee Goupil

      I appreciate the compliment and the feedback you provided Kell.

      Planning I’m sure can certainly help some people. 

      Habits and and small tricks here and there can assist us. 

      It’s about learning what works for you.

      In the book  Soar I mentioned in the article, the author talks about stress hormones causing the anxiety and fear and steps to take to minimize or avoid those. 

      An example for me would be flying with my child. 

      As strange as it might sound I actually hold my child close and smell him when I feel the anxiety during the fight and that calms me down. 

      Works better than liquor.  🙂 

      Thanks for reading. 

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