Overcoming fear is part of life. They say fear is only in the mind, so is the idea that overcoming fear is a single act or moment that lasts forever.
Conquering fear is a process. If you want to master a skill, it will be a process of growth. Like exercising, if the muscle(s) aren’t continuously worked, they will regress.
Fear is bad enough, and gets written about quite a bit. A concept/aspect of fear that I am yet to encounter literature on is the habit of fear. The habit(s) of thinking, perceiving, and/or acting in fear based ways can remain long after the fear itself has been conquered.
These habits of thought, perception, and action can cause the illusion of regression, which can then cause a regression in the model of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have noticed within myself that even when I don’t feel any physical fear or anxiety when attempting to do something that once terrified me, I will sometimes still not follow through with the right action that is in line with my goals. Why would I not take action if I’m not feeling afraid or thinking fearful thoughts?
Because there is a vacuum of space in my mind and spirit where fear used to be. The habits of fear based thoughts, perceptions, and actions are so cemented into my being after so many years, that it isn’t enough to blow up the concrete, I have to build something new as well.
It is both frustrating and humbling, because it exposes the progress I have made as well as the lack thereof. It lets me know I have much work still left to do after what feels like two lifetimes worth of an odyssey of the mind, heart, and spirit.
It is also something I was/am unprepared for. I thought once I stopped having such frequent, intense panic attacks when pressed up against the edge of my comfort zone that I would just naturally move forward by larger and larger increments. I falsely assumed once I reached a certain point of progress I would only take steps forward as opposed to continuing to take steps backwards.
I thought conquering fear was a destination, not an ongoing process.
But there is no aspect of personal development that is a final destination. Constant growth, evolution, improvement, change is required to achieve any and all goals. Whether the goal is material or immaterial, internal or external, physical or metaphysical.
I just wish I would have known that there would be a vacuum of space that existed where the fear used to be. The habit of fear in addition to the fear itself. That getting to the top of the mountain doesn’t mean much unless there is infrastructure below me to get back down and move on to the next challenge life has to offer.
I know what I have to do and should do which is choosing to do courage and taking right action. But I have fallen into holes in the ground of not doing what I know I should/need to do, then getting caught in the paralysis of analysis. Getting trapped in a cycle of going to sleep determined and waking up with progress amnesia. So many bad habits formed and cemented during all of my formative years. I go to sleep having made progress getting out of a ditch only to wake up in the morning to find I sleep-walked my way back to where I was yesterday, last week, last month, etc.
Habits, not the fear itself, but the residual effects of living a fear based existence for 3/4 of my life. I don’t feel afraid but I act afraid. I don’t take action when I want to because I am so used to being to afraid to act that stagnation is the status quo.
The habit of fear. Another obstacle to get to self-mastery. Though this concept feels more like black ice than a brick wall.