4 Mindshifts on Fear You Need to Have

by Tess


Guest post from Alden Tan.

I got a very scary story to tell you.

I had an extremely fearful experience right in my bedroom the other day.

You see, I was in my room just watching some TV and having my dinner.


Suddenly out of nowhere, my right thumb had a weird, stiff sensation. It was lightning-quick, only for a few seconds.

For the rest of the night, I could not bend my thumb at all.

I immediately freaked out on the spot.

Why did I have this immense fear over a tiny thing.

Because the inability to move my thumb reminded me immediately of my dad, who died of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

ALS is a fatal disease which destroys one's neural transmitters. Basically, your body starts to disintegrate slowly because of the brains inability to send signals to the body.

Mysterious and incurable, no one has ever found out what causes ALS.

That night I feared I had ALS.

I certainly overreacted. I remember the terrifying grip of fear and how it grasped hold of me on the spot. My mind went wild with crazy ideas about how I was going to die in the next few years, slowly and painfully.

I felt my emotions implode, the shrapnel bouncing in and about.

I prayed to the universe or whoever was out there for help, promising that if all was okay, the next day, I'd lead life to the fullest and be thankful for whatever I have.

The next day my right thumb was back to normal, bending in all its glory.

Apparently I gripped my huge cup too tight for too long, causing it to stiffen up for a bit.

I felt kind of stupid thinking of my own death the night before, along with the "thumb exercises" I tried to do.

It was just a huge overreaction… with good cause.

Fear is one crazy emotion that when switched on, can totally change the course of your life. Fear is all around us, and anything we see can trigger that scary feeling within…

… meaning fear, in that sense, also exists within us, waiting to emerge.

Since my "prayers" have been answered, I thought a lot about the aspects of fear and how it affects our lives.

4 Mindshifts on fear you need to have

1) Fear is not the overreaction. 

You are.

That frightful feeling of anxiety that makes you feel all anxious inside isn't due to fear.

Fear is a very natural emotion that keeps you alert. It gives you the senses to be normal and not take unnecessary risks like jumping off a building.

It is your battle with fear that creates a conflict inside of you, hence giving you those uneasy feelings.

Once you recognize this, be wary of how your thoughts may go awry when you try to fight fear. It's simply in your head. So don't over think things like I did or your may end up creating wild scenarios which don't exist.

2) Control is an illusion

Most people create fear in themselves when they allow uncertainty to take over.

It is when we ask, "What if?", "Why?" or "What is it?" that causes us to be fearful and lose control. We can't predict the future.

But guess what? Control is pretty much an illusion.

Even if you are prepared and confident, can you honestly say you have a firm grip on life and that everything is going to go your way?

Life is a mystery. It's unpredictable. You can't stop undesirable things from happening.

Just live life, and go with the flow. Let go of control.

3) Embrace uncertainty

The future is uncertain, so control is an illusion.

We can never have a perfect rein over things.

Instead of cowering from uncertainty, embrace it.

Please share your thoughts below!

Alden Tan is a blogger who quite his job last year to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. He crafts his stories through his experiences as a break dancer and a bouncer at a club. He does it all with style by not caring about what others think.

Photo: Stuart Miles

Please join The Bold Life for free and receive my free ebook, How to Be Bold. Please share this post with a Tweet and a Like.


This course will show you how to face and erase fear in any difficult situation you face.

Go beyond doubt, excuses and worries Positively anticpate your future Find meaning, happiness and success

Click here to learn more!

FREE Guide
How to Be Bold
Get Over Your Fear and
On With Your Life!

Related Posts

No related posts.

    { 23 comments… read them below or add one }

    Dan Garner November 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Fear or as you clarify in #1 above, reactions to fear, can destroy lives. I know several people that make almost all of their decisions based upon irrational fear. I know a 70 year old woman with a half-million dollars in the bank, house paid off, a retirement income, social security, and virtually no debt; yet she lives in constant fear of running out of money. Fear is not the problem, it is our reaction to fear.

    Learning to embrace uncertainty takes work for a fearful person. Taking small steps of “letting go” and a lot of positive mantras, reading, and possibly therapy can help.
    One thing that worked to help me let go of my anxieties and fears was to go ahead and state the worst case scenario, face that, and then make a plan to ensure that the worst case scenario would not happen.

    Thanks for the guidance.

    Dan @ ZenPresence
    Dan Garner´s last post…Value


    Tess November 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    It just goes to show that even wealthy people are fearful. I love your worst case scenario exercise. It’s just all such a big fat illusion in our heads! Thanks for sharing.


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Hey Dan,

    Indeed! Thanks for that story.

    Trying to control irrational fear can be an extremely hard thing to do, yet it’s so ironic! To actually try to control fear.

    Yes trying to visualize the worst case scenario helps. For me, I personally do the same too, but I recognize that it’s mostly in my head i.e. doesn’t exist yet. And I just live life happily instead of worrying if it would happen.


    Galen Pearl November 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    This post and the previous post really helped me work through something that has been triggering a lot of fear and anxiety in my life recently. I can see that I’m doing it, and I can usually shift, but then I find myself right back in fear and I have to shift over and over. These two posts helped me work through to a different perspective and understanding, which hopefully will help me move forward instead of in circles! Thanks!
    Galen Pearl´s last post…Miracles, Anyone?


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Hey Galen,

    Glad it helped!

    What do you mean by shift exactly?

    I think understanding fear and gaining different perspectives would definitely help! It’s even very helpful to learn about others’ perspectives on fear based on the specific context even.


    Galen Pearl November 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Alden, When I say shift, I mean that I shift out of the fear loop that my brain and body are engaged in. Like you, my mind can start spinning out dire scenarios. My body responds by releasing stress hormones. And the loop begins.

    Sometimes the scenario is something I’m replaying from the past; sometimes it is an anticipated misfortune. Either way, I try to look beneath the fear at the underlying beliefs and try to question them in a way that opens up my mind and heart and interrupts the fear loop.
    Galen Pearl´s last post…Miracles, Anyone?


    Tess November 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    So happy we at TBL can be of help. Sometimes I find that I have to shift several times a day. That’s why I’m so into affirmations! Thanks for stopping by.


    Bobbi Emel November 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Alden, I’m glad you’re okay! Maybe it was meant to happen so you could share these lessons with us! Thanks for once again teaching us to not freak out even though something scares us.
    Bobbi Emel´s last post…How to stop worrying


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Hey Bobbi,

    Yes indeed! The very next day it became the perfect blog post online!

    Haha well, if you freak out, just relax and go to sleep.



    Betsy/Zen Mama November 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    You hit everything right on the head here! I esp. like that control is an illusion. But Embrace Uncertainty is definitely the favorite! I’m looking forward to checking out your blog!!
    Betsy/Zen Mama´s last post…75 Ways to Release Your Fear and Be Bold This Halloween!


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Hey Betsy,

    Thank you!

    Embrace it all and just be happy!


    Elle, motivational blogger November 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Alden you describe perfectly that old, new thought concept FEAR false evidence appearing real.

    Happy it was all an illusion. :-)

    Love Elle
    Elle, motivational blogger´s last post…All You Need Is Love.


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Hey Elle,

    Indeed! It’s always in our head, and then we mess it up further by letting it take control of our feelings!

    Speaking of acronyms, I read another one on fear the other day:

    F**k everything and run.

    Maybe it’d help some people :P


    Victor November 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I like the reminder to go with the flow — you can’t control things — control is an illusion. That was the biggest takeaway for me. This was a great post. Thank you for sharing! :)
    Victor´s last post…A $2000 Pair of Shoes | VictorSchueller.com


    Alden November 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    No problem Victor!

    Yep things are and always will be an illusion. Let loose a little. Don’t hold on to things too tightly!



    Cathy | Treatment Talk November 2, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Hi Alan,

    Great insights on fear. Our health is one of the biggest fears for many people and we can go to that irrational place fairly easily. I like them all, but “Control is just an illusion speaks to me.” Going with the flow causes less stress and more joy. Thanks for sharing.
    Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last post…Trauma and the Twelve Steps: Introducing Dr. Jamie Marich


    Alden November 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

    No prob Cathy! I’m glad they helped.

    That irrational place is a scary place… At the end of the day it’s simply only in our minds.

    And we just got to let it go, of control too that is.


    Jo November 2, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Hi great post – I love it. You’re right that fear is rarely ‘real’ it’s a combination of physical responses, memory, old patterns, rehearsing disaster, and testing our metal. Very few of which have anything to do with the here and now. But when we’re in it it sure feels real! Thanks for posting this
    Jo´s last post…Happiness Is Not The Absence Of Problems


    Alden November 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Hi Jo,

    It’s real indeed, but only in our heads.

    We may have our expectations or defense-mechanisms of sorts, but I think it’s best to let it go and realize they don’t even exist yet!


    Vidya Sury November 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Alden, great to see you here! What a great post! You know, two years ago, when I had to visit the doc for a general check up and she told me I had to have a mammogram every year because of my high risk for breast cancer, first I was mad. Then I was scared. I’d imagine pains and all sorts of worst-case scenarios. A few days later, i was so mad at myself – I scolded myself, telling myself to appreciate what I have, not what I might be at risk for. Uncertainty is something we often grow/breed by feeding it our fear.

    Thanks for a great read! How’s the be-buoying going?

    Thank you Tess. Pleasantly delightful to see Alden’s post here.
    Vidya Sury´s last post…What Are You Grateful For?


    Alden November 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Hey Vidya!

    Glad to see you here too!

    Thanks for sharing that! Oh man I can totally relate to you. When I thought I had ALS, I was just going insane in my room! I felt like I was already dying and it honestly the first time I felt the fear of death itself.

    Now THAT’S scary.

    Bboying is going great as usual! It’s helping me shape a product I’m making now :)


    Tania Belkin November 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Wow, this is a great lesson. What really hit home for me was when you said that Control is an illusion. It is so true :)
    Tania Belkin´s last post…Fall, Winter Warming Spiced Drinks


    Alden November 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Glad it helped Tania!

    It is an illusion indeed. I keep coming across that idea in many personal development blogs.

    Just let go of control, and flow with life.


    Cancel reply

    Leave a Comment

    CommentLuv badge