As humans we all experience fear, even some of the most successful and confident people experience fear. Fear can be a good thing because it prevents us from taking steps that can harm us, but quite often our fears are based on exaggerated assumptions. These fearful thoughts come in the ways of working towards our goals & dreams.
Some of the common fears we experience:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of being rejected
- Fear of not meeting our own expectations
When we realize that we’re being excessively fearful, how do we over come them? Here are 3 ways:
1. Have a Proper Perspective
The reason for the fear is often because our perspective of the situation is skewed. Our fears are based on wrong assumptions. By correcting these assumptions we get a proper perspective on our situation.
Put your fearful thoughts in perspective by asking the following questions:
- What is the worst that can happen if my fear came true?
- What is more likely to happen if that fear were to be actually realised?
- What is the best outcome possible for me, if I acted in spite of my fear?
Once you’ve answered them, discuss these questions with a close friend. Getting another point of view on the situation will help in getting a proper perspective. You’ll realize that:
- The worst possible outcome isn’t so bad, and is something you can handle.
- The best possible outcome is very rewarding.
2. Replace Fear with Curiosity
I learnt this lesson from a National Geographic ad. When you’re fearful you create a barrier of separateness between yourself and the world/other people. This perception of other becomes a threat, and you have thoughts like “What will he think of me?”, “What if it doesn’t work out?”, “What if I fail?”. These thoughts close a person from taking action.
But when you’re curious it opens you up, and brings in enthusiasm. Thoughts of fear are replaced with thoughts of curiosity.
So to be more curious, replace the negative thoughts of fear like “I’m afraid they’ll not like my idea” with “I’m curious to know what others think”. Become an interested person who’s open to new ideas & experiences.
3. Trust in Allah:
Allah says in the Qur’aan: “Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Qur’an Chater 2 Verse 277]
If you have trust in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, then you can overcome anything. Allah also reassures us in the Qur’aan that:
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, let believers put their trust.” [Qur’an Chapter 3 Verse 160]
If you believe from the depths of your heart that the Creator of the universe wishes the best for you, then no matter what happens, you won’t be worried. As long as you know you’re taking the right action then no matter what the outcome is, you’ll surrender to it with peace. There’s nothing to be afraid of, because there is nothing better than being content with the knowledge that the Creator of the universe is doing what is best for you.
Once you’ve taken action in spite of the fear, take time out to celebrate! This will reinforce in your mind that having the courage to face your fears is a rewarding experience.
Be fearless – Be Muslim.
So now we’ve discussed how we can overcome fears, tell us what your biggest fear is or share with us the ways you have overcome them! We look forward to your thoughts below.
About the Author:
This post was kindly prepared and submitted by Arif and Ali Vakil. Arif and Ali are brothers, who are running a family real-estate business in Bangalore with their father. Together with their corporate background, they’ve got a keen interest in a variety of topics, many that revolve around the Purpose of life, Islam and Spirituality. They pen down their thoughts sometimes in words other times in pictures at their blog.