How Can I Get Out of the Fear Trap?

fear Aug 15, 2020

Have you ever felt like fear was controlling you? How do you eliminate fear in your life?

You are going through your day with high intentions of accomplishment. Things are going great! Then one news flash on your cell phone catches your eye, or a friend messages you to take caution because of some awful event in your city. All of a sudden, fear tries to take over!

How are we facing today’s challenges of fear?

Everything seems to be changing around you. Network news, social media, messages on your phone are all screaming out fear. Looking at the events of today, you would think that every corner of the world is being inflicted by turmoil and despair. News stories are centered around the pandemic, riots, and destruction in our cities - actions that have caused much anguish and interruption for many lives. We may wonder if we will ever return to “a normal life.”

These fears are broadcast daily by the journalists’ pen, daily news and on social media. Some days it seems that we are only hearing bad news which is intensifying the fear. If we live into this fear and bad news, we are allowing it to take us over and we end up being terrified.

Walking through a grocery store recently I noticed that many of the people shopping in the store looked very sad. They looked like they were carrying the weight of the world by the way they walked. Even though masks are required, the sadness in their eyes was unmistakable. Some turned their heads and wouldn’t make eye contact when I said “Hello.” I saw their fear.

I feel empathy for anyone who is going through any kind of fear. It can be crippling. And this fear that has been stirred up is a pandemic in and of itself. It has wreaked havoc on our communities and world.

Are we going to allow our lives to be run by this fear? We don’t have to allow it to control our lives!

We make choices! Just as we choose what we’re going to wear today, and what task is at the top of the day’s priority list, we choose how we want to be remembered by those we meet throughout the day! My choice is that I will show up happy and sharing my joy! I am showing up as my best self!

We don’t have to live into Instead of adding to the feardemic by mirroring other’s gestures and actions, my choice is to greet them with pleasant smiles and a positive attitude. You may ask “how do they know you’re smiling behind a mask?” They can’t see your smile behind the mask, but you can be sure they can see your enthusiasm and joy with by talking with your body language. Standing tall, smiling eyes, and a pleasant “Good Morning” goes a long way in brightening up a person’s day. Letting them know that you see them and care enough about them to wish them a good day may be just what’s needed to lift their spirits.

Taking time to make phone calls or to writing positive notes to friends and neighbors that we are unable to visit lets them know that you’re thinking about them, and that you care. These gestures tell them that they aren’t alone. You are giving them support – if only in a quick note or call.

By not letting ourselves fall into the fear trap; by showing others that we care about them and we understand them; showing up with positivity and joy we are showing up as our best selves.

If we remove the feardemic in someone’s life today, even for just one minute, they will remember it for days to come.

Diana Gillig, CHPC

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