Updated: Oct 16, 2021
Fear is a good thing. It is our inbuilt human survival instinct.
Fear guides our fight or flight responses which helps to keep us safe and alive.
When the pandemic struck us suddenly, we were taken through a whirlwind of emotions.
One of them is fear.
We fear that our loved ones will get afflicted by this illness and get added to the number that grows day by day.
When we see people stock piling consumer items, we fear that we do not have enough for ourselves and our dependents.
We fear the loss of our job and income.
But most importantly, we fear death.
If fear is a good thing, how do we then deal with it? How do we turn our fears into strengths, especially during these tough times?
1. Feel it
Look at your fear not as your enemy but a part of you.
Sometimes we react as though fear is something to be hated.
Fear is like a bunch of ants that crawl onto us that we can’t wait to get rid of.
But we can’t get rid of fear when we ignore it as well. How often have people told you to ignore a certain feeling, only to have that feeling intensify as you go along?
Fear doesn’t end there when we choose to ignore it and distract ourselves with other things.
Don’t fight fear. Face it head on.
Pay attention to what fear does to your body, your thoughts, and to your mind.
2. Express it
It is also important to name your emotions and express it. Research shows that naming our emotions can help in our self-regulation. It can simply be by saying:
“I am fearful of getting infected by the virus”,
“I am fearful of the potential loss of opportunities”,
“I am fearful because I am not sure what is going to happen to the economy and how it will affect my family and my job”.
“I am fearful because with the changes, I do not know how to keep up with my KPI and drive profits to the company”,
“I am fearful because I am not sure how to contain people’s fear in my company”,
“I am fearful because…”
3. Reframe it
Reframing is to look at things from a different perspective.
We can get stuck in our perspective because this has been our pattern of thinking for many years.
These are some questions that may start us to consider the crisis from a different lens:
1) What are the opportunities that arise because of the situation?
2) What am I still grateful for despite this pandemic?
3) What are the things I can control right now?
4) What can I focus my attention right now to help in my situation?
5) Who are the people that I can count on right now?
6) What are my resources that I have to cope?
4. Respond to it
We respond to our fears by dwelling on what we can control.
We are not able to control the spread of diseases due to people’s actions.
We are not able to control effects of the economic situation due to the pandemic.
We are however, able to control our personal hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease.
We can choose to wash our hands regularly; we can choose to maintain our social distance.
We can choose to act in a socially responsible way to prevent the further spread of the disease.
We are also able to control the choice of what we can do during periods of downtime.
We can choose to reskill and to upgrade.
We can choose to read that book which we have been wanting to read but put aside for a long time.
We can still choose to spend quality time at home with our children and our loved ones, engaging in activities which we never did before.
Your Fears Can Become Your Strengths.
Fears will remain as fears if we let it.
But fears can also transform into strengths if we let it.
When we choose to perform actions that we are able to control, we can slowly see that we are stepping out of our comfort zone and embarking on a different path.
Fear can cripple us and make us be stuck at the same spot.
But fear can also propel us forward to step on an exciting uncharted territory.
Before this, we do not realize we can be this creative when we think of ideas which we could do at home with our loved ones.
We do not realize that when crisis comes, it forces us to think of different ways to manage our business, our clients, our employees.
When we decide to embrace our fears, and focus on things we are able to control, we are giving ourselves permission to reach a higher ground.
It is normal to be fearful and worried about this pandemic or any crisis that hits us.
Knowing that we have a choice helps us to maintain our stability in such circumstances.
What will be your choice today to achieve some stability in your lives?
Let us turn our fears into strengths today!