A Fearful Friday


Today’s exploration and reflection has been stimulated by the recent panel discussion I was part of concerning the career opportunities for people with disabilities or Disability status.

In the afterglow of a panel discussion on the possibilities of “Disabled” individuals retaining their employment status the subject of Mental Disability was raised and not discussed (hopefully in future discussions).

Just as MS and other neurological afflictions can be ‘Invisible” so too are all the Mental challenges facing individuals, Fear being one of them, Anxiety, Paranoia …the list can go on

It was very encouraging to see that the majority of attendees truly believe there will be continued employment opportunities for them should they suffer some degree of disability in the future. That shows incredible trust and faith in their employer.

This reflection centers around such a non-visible affliction, Fear

Girl afraid
Where do his intentions lay?
Or does he even have any?

She says:
“He never really looks at me
I give him every opportunity
In the room downstairs
He sat and stared
In the room downstairs
He sat and stared
I’ll never make that mistake again!”

Boy afraid
Prudence never pays
And everything she wants costs money

“But she doesn’t even LIKE me!
And I know because she said so
In the room downstairs
She sat and stared
In the room downstairs
She sat and stared
I’ll never make that mistake again!”

From the most awesome Morrissey and The Smiths.

This song deals with the fears of a boyfriend/girlfriend with a play on the words

“boy afraid, girl afraid”. (True story ! 😊 )

Definition of fear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

b(1): an instance of this emotion

(2): a state marked by this emotion

2: anxious concern SOLICITUDE

3: profound reverence and awe especially toward God

4: reason for alarm DANGER

Definition of solicitude

1a: the state of being concerned and anxious

b: attentive care and protectiveness also an attitude of earnest concern or attention , expressed solicitude for his health

It has been said that Fear is one of our oldest and most fundamental emotions. We typically experience it first as a child and it can manifest itself throughout life causing both internal and external disruption.

Unless countered Fear has the ability to seriously disrupt an individual’s life ambitions, hamper their sense of fulfilment and generally destroy many facets of their self esteem (in addition to many other elements)

So what does this look like? (And this is by no means a definitive one size fits all scenario)

A friend was suffering from massive anxiety after losing his job.

“What is frightening you most about that?” I asked him.

“Everything,” he responded.

With an unstable world economy, increasing unemployment, and other important issues and concerns near and far, many of us, driven by the unknown, are triggered into feeling vague, overwhelming fears.

Our minds do a fantastic job of running ahead of us and declaring doom and gloom.

We all have fears.

Life doesn’t exist without them.

Leadership does not refrain from having them.

Business works to sell things by capitalizing on them.

Creativity reflects our efforts to overcome them.

FEAR wants us to Forget Everything And Run!

But what would happen if we didn’t run?

What would it look like to handle fear differently?

Here are 5 simple ways to conquer your fears:

1. Expose it: Our natural inclination is always to eliminate something that we are afraid of. But if you can expose the fear for what it is, it begins to shrink.

2. Face it: To gain a deeper understanding, we must courageously look it in the face.

3. Dissect it:  Analyse what the fear is about it. Try to identify exactly what you are dealing with.

4. Lean into it: Rather than running from fear, take yourself through it.

5. Fear originates in our desire to control of the future, our need for assurances and safety.

But as we know, the only real assurance we have is how we react.

Our fear offers us the opportunity to redirect our lives with new understanding and new perspectives.

Our fears are here to teach us something.

When fear stops scaring us it will not stick around.

Lead From Within: Fear will always be present in our lives. When we can lean in and stare it down, we can participate in working through it in spite of any transitory anxiety, fear, or discomfort.

This is a direct extract from a blogpost by Lolly Daskal

5 Simple Steps to Conquer Your Fears – Lolly Daskal | Leadership

Whoaaaa there Lolly, perhaps its not so easy for everyone just to be self-reflective and have enough insights to self-evaluate.

I know there are many, many people who simply just “Can’t” face the day-to-day angst.

What then is their solution?

I don’t believe there is quite so easy a 5-stepper

Mental Health in general is not just a quick fix.

In fact, the various Mental Health awareness campaign’s do a lot to try and foster a better understanding of what can be done to attempt to improve mental wellbeing.

They too typically have a 5-stepper…Strange …collusion ?

In a nutshell they suggest the following.

Connection, Giving, Engaging-in (physical) activity, Learning something new and Taking in your surroundings, ….sounds easy enough (I’m still sceptical)

Connection is about relating to one and other and feeling understood. Speak to the people in your life, be it friends, family, colleagues or neighbours. Build new connections to expand your circles – this could be at work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Developing these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Giving encapsulates many things – from showing goodwill and generosity of spirit to giving presents and giving up our time. Evidence suggests that ‘giving back’ or helping others promotes wellbeing for all ages. Why not do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. You could even volunteer your time with a charity or join an online community to give and receive peer support in equal measure. The key to giving is to look outwards, as well as inwards. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Engaging in regular physical activity is known to go hand in hand with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Not everyone needs to be a fitness fanatic to boost your wellness through activity. Simply step outside, exercise your green fingers or organise a games night. You could go for a walk or run, cycle or dance. Exercise releases hormones that make you feel good. Most importantly, being active is about discovering a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Learning something new is good for your brain and often exciting for the learner. Trying something different, rediscovering an old interest or signing up for that course you’ve always wanted to do can also improve our confidence and widen our skillset. Take on a new responsibility at work, do some arts and crafts or pick up an untried recipe. The challenge and enjoyment of learning new things gives a sense of fulfilment that is second to none.

Take stock of your surroundings, be curious, catch sight of the beautiful. Being in a state of ‘mindfulness’ has been shown to be associated with a positive mental state. Greater awareness of the world around us helps us see the unusual and notice simple pleasures like the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you’re walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be present to your feelings and environment. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you

A great exercise to help you in that process is to identify and evaluate your skills and abilities before actually creating your personal challenges.

Many times, fears are based on assumed internal shortcomings that each and every person has.Therefore, it isn’t good to set out an impossible challenge for yourself, as it will only hurt your self-esteem.

Art by KAET

This strikes me as the ideal opportunity to call on a trusted friend or family member who can be objective and grounded in helping gather insights.

My theory on coincidences…Gibbs Rule #…39 (😊 ), yes , there are no such things…

Last night on our Cable TV channels … “After Earth” with Will Smith, with a memorable quote from a rather interesting movie set on an Earth where “everything “ wants to kill you !

At one point in the movie, Will Smith’s character says, “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create.” Human characters in “After Earth” are detected by alien creatures by the fear they exhibit, and can survive only by relaxing.

A lesson ? Relax  or Kill the Monsters ?

I am afraid…I am afraid my condition deteriorates before I am ready to accept it, I am afraid I will run out of battery when I am out with Helga (scooter Helga!) in the fields, I am afraid of getting stuck somewhere and being unable to walk…all rational to me but fear’s nonetheless.

So…what to do ?

For me , Plan ahead, mitigate risks, accept alternative scenario’s … Live for the day  and never look back ( in anger ? I hear you say ….) No that was Sally wait …

Seriously though it is never an easy solution to just be told …”Don’t Worry” , it is an option of course however that is something the individual has to accept and process.

The real answer is I believe to be aware, Danger is real, Fear is how we perceive it.

We are simply not trained , taught or readied for it. We learn this by experience. If we are fortunate we learn how to deal with it …the alternative is Monsters 1: Human 0

Now if only I could easily partition and manage Pain…

And not one mention of espresso…I’m shocked !

 “I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
— Frank Herbert

Speaking of fears I cannot …simple leave without mention of TFF, tears for fears and one of my all time favorites..

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

Frank Herbert

Published by Daniel Taylor

MS Warrior with an affinity for 80's New Wave music and deep philosophical ramblings...and coffee , definitely coffee

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