STRONGER TOGETHER: Is fear taking a lead role in your decision making?

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Last updated: 20/10/2022

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses fear and self-reflection.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

What are you afraid of? Heights, snakes, flying?

Tanya OShea IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

All of these fears are valid, and very common amongst us. But what about when it comes to your day-to-day life? Is fear holding you back from doing something you want to do? Perhaps it is related to a relationship, work, or study.

Fear, like all emotions, is the physical sensation that we experience when biochemical and electrical chain reactions occur within our body.

Yet here’s the thing.

Our brain can’t distinguish between what we imagine and what is real. Perhaps we hear a noise and start imagining someone is breaking into our home. Our brain starts producing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to prepare us to fight or run – it is part of our human wiring to keep us safe and survive dangerous situations.

But when fear becomes a driving force in decision-making where the stakes are considerably less life-threatening, we need to evaluate exactly what is causing our fear and why.

We need to determine whether what we fear is an immediate threat or a legacy of our past that we continue to carry with us. Maybe it is fear of rejection, failure, or judgement that is preventing us from making a change or pursuing an interest.

Often, we know what we should do, but fear paralyses us or holds us back.

We look for answers and confirmation everywhere but within. And it is why we are never truly satisfied, nor do we find peace in the opinions of others.

What is one thing that you would do today, if you knew that you couldn’t fail?

Time to get real.

What is holding you back from doing it?

Is it fear? If so, are you going to be in danger if you do it?

If not, you have given yourself a green light to get clear about what is driving that fear and how you start putting strategies in place to overcome it.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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