The fear is completely imaginary.
In this situation there may be no factual evidence that there is a problem that we should be afraid of yet we react physically as if there is. Our mind has complete control over our body. It starts producing excess adrenaline, increases our heart rate, makes us more vigilant. In reality, the sound of a mouse rustling through the bushes can create the reaction.
The symptoms of a fight or flight type of fear may have arisen because we believe we “may”, “possibly”, “perhaps” be in bear country!
We never saw a bear, heard a bear or even know if a bear is in the area, but our body has just produced all of the chemicals and psychological responses it would if we had witnessed an aggressive bear.
I know that is an extreme analogy but this happens every day in our life. We freeze in moments that are driven by a mental picture of a perceived problem not a real problem.
We are able to overcome these types of fear by practicing taking control of our mind. It is no different to a persons fear of flying. The fear comes from the fact that you may crash when you fly in an aircraft. Statistically however, you are 5 times more likely to die in a bus or a train crash or 7 times more likely to die in a car crash. The same person that fears flying, likely has a driving license and drives to and from work every day making the fear irrational. Programming our mind to understand that facts are more important than imagination goes a long way towards helping you cope with fear.
We make the problem larger than it really is!
In my keynote presentations I talk about this from the perspective of focussing on the future. If we hold a pen up 2 feet in front of our eyes and focus on the pen, it seems pretty large in context with our view. If we now focus on the background the pen almost disappears. The same is true with our challenges. A focus on the future allows us to keep moving forward while exerting pressure on the problem that confounded us initially.
I have used this technique many time in my adventures with great success.
If you want to find out more about some of the things that have gone wrong on my adventures, you can read my book which was inspired by this column.
The Accidental Journey – Living on the Edge is free on Amazon for the next two days. Simply log in to amazon search for mark jennings-bates and get yourself a free copy.
Mark is a Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Adventurer. To enquire about a speaking engagement or to sign up for one of his free courses, visit www.markjenningsbates.com