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Why You Feel Fear + How To Flip It Into A Positive

Written by: Dara Connolly, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Pandemic, natural disasters, increasing divorce rates– Yikes! It’s no wonder more than half of us live in fear!

According to a recent study, 51% of Americans live in fear and I was certainly no exception. For most of my life I was a chronic worrier who obsessed over random events– most of which never happened.

“What if the bridge collapses when I drive over it?’ ‘What if I give you my heart and you break it?’ On and on my fear went... However, as the author of Flip Your Fear and now as a Fearless Confidence Coach, I have discovered useful ways to help reframe fear and flip it into a positive.

Imagine yourself in these scenarios:

Walking into a job interview…

Giving a new speech in front of thousands…

Asking someone out on a date…

Asserting yourself to a difficult person…

Experiencing severe turbulence on an airplane…

Simply imagining ourselves in a stressful situation may induce fear-based symptoms. You may have noticed your heart begin to race, a quiver of butterflies in your stomach, maybe even a lump in your throat, or your palms begin to sweat. The feelings of fear and anxiety can be so vivid and strong that simply imagining ourselves in a stressful event can cause our body to have a physical sensation.

If this is you, you are not alone.

All of us feel fear at some point. The problem is, most people think of fear as only being detrimental and harmful but there is a very good reason we feel it. Fear is a natural emotion and apart from phobias (fears so severe they interfere with your ability to function), fears are healthy and in some cases even helpful.

I have narrowed down the 3 different types of purposeful fear and how you can turn them into a positive:

1. Protect and warn

Imagine you are about to walk down a dark alley– alone in the middle of the night in a bad neighborhood. Your body would be negligent of doing its only job– to protect you– if you did not feel a little fear in this situation. In this case, the purpose of your fear is to protect and warn you.

This type of fear usually shows up as a physical sensation (wide eyes, alertness) or as a message from your intuition to warn you to pay attention.

Intuition is the reasoning voice of fear– that says, “maybe I should take a different route”. Our intuition is a powerful tool that may warn us of potential danger and keep us safe– but we have to listen to it for it to be effective.

2. Guide and educate

Imagine it is the day before you are about to give a huge presentation at work in front of an important client. Your body may feel fear as butterflies in the stomach, a restlessness night sleep, or even impostor syndrome (a feeling of you can’t do this). This fear is showing up to guide and educate you that you may not be as prepared as you need to be. You can interpret this as an opportunity to practice and prepare (build your competency)– when you do, a big part of this fear will dissipate.

3. Help us Grow

Most of us feel fear around common situations that involve change, judgment, failure or rejection. These situations are a part of life and not something to avoid or dread. Instead, look at what you can learn from these scenarios. For example, you may fear the loss of a job or marriage and worry, “What am I supposed to do now”? A better question to ask is, “What is this fear trying to teach me”? These situations may be inevitable and whether you worry about them or not is unlikely to change the result.

Our fears are a natural part of our process to grow and learn. We may not like the process, but growing involves change and anytime we do something new fear may appear.

When I was younger, I was timid and could not imagine speaking on a stage– let alone talking to strangers. My fear of speaking was overwhelming and caused me great anxiety. However, by taking little steps to move beyond my comfort zone, I realized I am very natural on stage. My fear challenged me to grow and expand into a new comfort zone with new fears to explore.

When we realize fear is a healthy part of life that can help warn us, teach us, or grow we realize we no longer have to fear it.

If your fears are preventing you from being present and living a fulfilled life I am here to support you. I have created tips to help you begin living with fearless confidence.

Click HERE to get your free tips.

Accountability is the multiplier for success. When we set out to make improvements to our lives, consistency and support are key. Information alone does not transform us. My weekly Mastermind for women is a supportive space for educated women looking to overcome fear, increase assertiveness, and master self-confidence.

Mastermind for Women

To learn more about working with me privately Jump on a Call with me HERE

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Reach out to me to let me know you’ve read my article. I’d love to hear from you!

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Dara Connolly, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

"Dara Connolly is the author of the new book Flip Your Fear and founder of PTC™– an award-winning confidence program for women. Dara was the ultimate juxtaposition– a Black-Belt martial artist and a lifelong timid wallflower filled with fear! She now helps women who are tired of getting talked over or feeling ignored to– Speak up to be heard, kick Fear to the curb, be TEDx confident!

She is a TEDx speaker and nationally recognized expert in the field of confidence who has helped thousands. Dara has been featured on FOX, CW, The Connect Show, The List Show, Dr. Laura, and other media outlets. Her mission: Every Woman Can Live with Fearless Confidence."


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