Fear can change our entire lives as we know it. The outcome of every situation depends on how much of importance we give to fear.
Fear of moving to a new city might rob us of new and unique experiences.
Fear of choosing a new career path might force us to stay in a job that we never really enjoyed.
Crippling Fear of getting into a new relationship might stop us from new learnings.
When I started receiving challenging projects at work or had issues with my Visa or had terrible health or a difficult time with my relationships, I gave the steering wheel of my life to Fear. As a rash driver should, Fear took me down roads that made things even worse than the original problem at hand. I would fear that I would get fired soon, I would fear that I would get kicked out of a country, I would fear that there was something seriously wrong with my health and so much more.
Fear also crept into my life when I least expected it. I would be sitting down drinking a hot cup of tea on a beautiful weekend, and suddenly out of nowhere, Fear would slowly whisper into my ears, “You are just one phone call, one accident, or one medical result away from all your happiness disappearing.” But Fear wasn’t the problem. The problem was my attitude.
How could I blame Fear? It was only doing it’s job to keep me safe (by keeping me awake throughout the night to think about the worst/all possible scenarios that could happen to my family and me so that I was well prepared for the unknown).
9 out of 10 things in our life are not under our control. If we Fear about each and every uncontrollable scenarios that might happen to us, we will never be able to live the one Life that we have (and know of).
Also, Fear manifests into our future. If you constantly fear that you will lose your job, you will lose your job down the line. If you Fear that you will never gain happiness, that is exactly what would happen because you are training your mind to take actions based on scarcity rather than confidence/self-sufficiency.
A few months back, I came across a fantastic creativity workshop, led by author Elizabeth Gilbert. The workshop talked about choosing Curiosity over Fear. It was extremely helpful in reframing the way I looked at things..
During challenging situations, we could either let Fear take charge, which would push us to a freeze/run mode or take the help of Curiosity, which could help us find new and creative solutions. I would consider Curiosity as the act of facing Fear with a smart, intellectual and confident mind.
I tried to apply Curiosity to a few of the challenges I was facing at that time. It worked wonders!
Yes.. my health was bad.. but why? What dietary or habit changes could I make to improve my life?
Yes.. my relationship with someone was weird. But why did their words trigger me? What was it inside me that gave my inner control to someone else’s actions or words.
Curiosity helped me let go of control. It helped me expand my horizon to infinite possibilities. When some of the things didn’t go my way, I would become curious and ask myself, “Why didn’t it work out for me? Maybe there was something much better waiting for me”.
So next time you face a challenge, think if Mr. Curiosity can help?