Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Doubt your fears

Depower them. Calm them with their own doubt.

Fears are the mind killer. They taunt the lizard brain into fight or flight. They thrive on ‘what if’ scenarios that haunt the imagination. There are no limits to what the mind can fabricate.

But the head is psychologically safe, physiologically sound.

Fright tries to wrestle with human insecurity and scratch away the varnish of bravery.

Can you endure the storm?

Fears are in their very nature abstract. Face them in their stark simplicity and they lose potency.

Categories
Productivity & Work

Trust the routine

The writer, blogger, or boxer must always keep in training. The artist or athlete can’t wait for the muse to inject them with productivity serum.

Routine is much more compelling than inspiration, which is fickle, comes in flashes, and rarely sticks.

On the flipside of consistency, is also imperfection. The practician not only faces the resistance, they also face human error.

Showing up every day is one thing, doing it again knowing that a positive result won’t yield is yet another habit to develop.

Error is human. You need some form of struggle to remind you what needs tweaking. However, when the going gets good, you’ll want to maintain it.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to do it all again tomorrow, build off the confidence of yesterday.

I’ll leave you with this advice from thought leader and psychologist Benjamin Hardy.

Get this clear: confidence is a direct reflection of past performance. Hence, yesterday is more important than today. Luckily, today is tomorrow’s yesterday. So, even if your confidence today isn’t optimal, your confidence tomorrow is still within your control.

Benjamin Hardy
Categories
Psychology

Making peace with fear

We can make peace with the anxiety of anticipation. But it’s the hope that kills. What we need to gauge the nerves is preparation.

One way of accomplishing this is through fear-setting, a practice which requires that we envision the worst outcome. By going toward the fear, we undermine its strength and power our resolve. 

The counterintuitive nature of the fear-setting approach is why it works. Using our imagination, we literally live through something before it happens. The mere process of visualization provides action steps that tame the monkey mind. 

Wrote the Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” At least we have mental exposure to help stem the tide. 

art by @rebeccahendin

Categories
Psychology

Managing the amygdala, the fear center of the brain


If humans didn’t have an amygdala — the two tiny almond-shaped nuclei in the temporal lobes of the brain — we wouldn’t have any fear. We wouldn’t know how to process risk, thereby letting us go hug a bear or climb the highest cliff.

But we do feel fear and in most cases, we’re smart enough to run away or not do anything as a survival tactic. The problem becomes though when fear has us running away from the very things we wish to accomplish.

As they say, do something enough and the fear dissipates. The habit of practicing public speaking reduces presentation anxiety. Shooting hoops every day will make you more confident at the free throw line come game time.

The obstacle is the way

Risk-taking helps develop courage which helps engender competence. We shouldn’t ever feel fear, but we should be able to manage its impact.

In doing anything more and more, whether it’s through risk-taking, practice, or visualization, we can dull the senses. We can take things on without thinking about them or second-guessing ourselves.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

Crossing to safety

gif by Wells Baum

Home is where the heart is, but it is not where we discover what the world is about.

All reality exists in the streets, behind the shadows of a passerby.

What is artificial is the parochial nature of home.

We are blind to what we can’t see, organizing our periphery to notice and absorb what is under our control.

What remains ensconced remains enclosed, behind a wall of shallowness. People often make the mistake of accepting the reality of the world presented.

We flinch at what we don’t know. Little do we know, that discomfort leads us to the other side.

When we strive to get outside the bubble, we may come out changed.

Categories
Arts Books Productivity & Work Quotes

Define your fears instead of your goals

Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

— Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art

Echoing Seth Godin, “Habits are more important than fears.” Or as Tim Ferriss says, “Define your fears instead of your goals.”