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How to turn fear into your best ally!


Let’s get things straight, having fear is not something we should beashamed of. It´s a completely natural coping mechanism residing in our reptilian brain and in many ways, it’s enabled us to be here today.

In simple words, we experience fear when we believe the future will bring us more pain than pleasure. What’s interesting about fear is we only experience it when we think about the future, BUT the future does’t exist until we take the time to imagine it! So simple yet so hard to remember as a concept! Definetly one of the approaches you can take on how to improve mental health.

Our fears tend to arise from stored imbalanced perceptions which inevitably impact the way we make decisions. For example, I could say “I am not going to take risks anymore because of what happened recently, I felt so ashamed, it hurt me so much, I just can’t bear to experience it again”.

But how do you know for certain taking a similar action will bring the same results? While it’s important to learn from our mistakes (pain can be agreat teacher at times), it’s key to acknowledge our brain experiences pain twice as strongly as pleasure, leading us often to avoid risk and seek safety.

We experience different kinds of fears in our life whether it’s the fear of being rejected or of not being recognized enough, but my “favorite” fear of all fear of failure.

Don’t we all love a bit of failure? This fear holds us back the most as it impacts the way we live our lives, especially in the way we approach the concept of taking responsibility vs blaming something or someone.

Blaming the outer world is a typical coping mechanism to protect our ego when things don’t go our way: we feel attacked and get defensive because deep inside we’re not taking our fair share of responsibility. When we choose this approach, we choose to lose as we don’t take the opportunity to see how this event can serve us in our personal growth and development. This is what developing a positive outlook is all about!

The good news is that having a positive outlook is a skill we can practice in our daily lives and that is what our wellbeing hacks at 3ssentia are designed for. They are 2 min science backed experiences that willtrain your mind to let go of stress and negativity.

Want a small taste?

Try our "Trust in the unknown" hack by clicking the picture below!

The beauty of this powerful approach is that once we get the hang of it, we are able to transform feelings of anger,frustration, grief into ones of calmness, hope, and belief. We can turn ourcheek and say “Thank you fear for making me better!” Now that is a great way of taking care of yourself and one of the best ways to manage stress.

Being able to look at things from a different angle has an immense impact on our personal well being and effectiveness: science shows when we believe in our choices, we set higher goals for ourselves and ultimately are able to achieve our goals faster.

As the great Nelson Mandela once said “I don’t lose, I either win or learn”.

With that in mind, we must also learn to put things into perspective and realize not everything is within our control.

Imagine writing an urgent email when suddenly a power cut impacts the whole street. I get angry, frustrated, I am putting a lot of energy into my state of negativity: an infinitely more productive approach would be to let go and re-channel my energy into what’s within my control, a great tip on how to focus better :)

“When we can’t change the outcome, we arechallenged to change ourselves” Viktor Frankl

Part of this change comes with the realization we can’t determine or predict all future outcomes. While it’s good to have self-belief, it’s equally important to welcome our inability to have full control. When we become obsessive control freaks, we are acting again from a place of fear.

When we learn to free ourselves from what we can’t control, we are truly practicing self-love. We should learn to open up and welcome uncertainty as life is rarely a ride without bumps. Easier said than done, I know!

But that is also an essential compotent to becoming more adaptable which is not only the most important skill to thrive in the present and future of work according to an IBM study but also one of the main themes of our BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF CHALLENGE!

So how can turn fear into our ally? Talk to her. Start by giving her aname as the process of “labeling” is scientiacally prove to help reduce our initial level of arousal. Invite her to sit down and grab coffee together, ask her why she’s here, understand what can you learn from her and how it can help you progress in your journey. It's one of the most powerful stress management techniques out there!

When we move from a reactive to an interactive approach, fear becomes on the way rather than in the way. It’s only when we learn to deal with it peacefully that we appreciate its purpose and new avenues open up.

Fear is powerful. Use it to your advantage!

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Filippo di Lenardo

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