Why we need trust more than fear, especially right now
After almost six weeks of isolation, working from home, keeping 1,5 metres away from everyone around us and stocking up on food, what we learned from this pandemic is not crystal clear yet. Are we going back to normal? And what is “normal” exactly? Is this “normal” better or worse than before?
Some of us have been drawn into fear and all the scary scenarios about the future. Some of us were more hopeful and trusting. And most of us were just drifting from one side to the other, back and forth, a never-ending bounce from fear to trust.
The ones who chose fear
First of all, there is nothing wrong with feeling fearful. In fact, we should be thankful for being able to have that feeling, because that’s the only way we can protect ourselves. From the time we were infants, we have been equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger, threats or we feel unsafe.
We need fear so that we can be better prepared for what’s about to come. We need fear so that we can be alarmed and use all our potential to get out of a challenging situation. There is harmful fear and healthy fear; the first one leaves you exhausted, upset, demotivated and gets in the way of living the life you want, while the second one helps you get what you want and solve the problems in your life.
However, after acknowledging the healthy impact of fear on us and accept its presence in our life, we should leave the detrimental effect of it aside.
This is what happened to the ones who got stuck in the “fear” side:
- They got paralysed.
- They felt restless and unable to relax.
- They started catastrophising and thinking about the worst-case scenarios.
- They started feeling more hopeless.
- Their mental health deteriorated because of all the stress, the despair, the panic.
- They became more isolated from the people closest to them.
- They had physical symptoms and pain.
- They had difficulty sleeping.
- They lost their faith in humanity.
But we don’t need that in our life, especially right now. As Viktor Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
The ones who chose trust
Choosing to trust and have hope is not as easy as it sounds. You have to fight on a daily basis with concrete evidence that things are not optimistic and nothing seems hopeful for the future: news, journalists, analysts, they are all there to testify to that.
However, it’s our mental health and inner peace that we are trying to protect right now. If this doesn’t exist, then nothing else can function around us. If our health (mental and physical) is not in a good place, there is no point in talking about work, money, family, children, love, friends or fun.
After overcoming the resistance from the outside world, which we have limited control over, we are in the position to strengthen our inner world, which we can have greater control and responsibility over.
This is what happens to the ones that choose to trust:
- They are grateful for all the things they have in their lives.
- They can accept what is missing at the moment and they are in peace with that.
- They focus on what is important in their life and they see the real value of it.
- They connect with the people who matter in their life and they deepen the relationship with them.
- They are able to turn away from meaningless and destructive negativity and not only to notice the nice things in life but also to amplify positive stories.
- They have hope, which is greater and more powerful than control.
- They are able to focus on the present moment and base their decisions on the here and now.
- They accept uncertainty as a normal part of how the world functions.
- They accept uncomfortable emotions and they navigate in a more calm way through sadness, grief, anger, confusion and fear.
- They have the ability to move their attention to helpful thoughts rather than getting stuck in meaningless rumination.
- They get to be more creative and they find new ways to spend their time.
- They use this time to pause and re-evaluate their life and their life decisions.
- They don’t force themselves to be productive but they take the opportunity to learn all the nice things they wanted but never had time for.
- They feel grateful, and they honour and respect the people who have taken care of and protected us during this period.
- They check in with their kids, neighbours, and partners and help them in the best possible way.
- They notice kindness, beauty, togetherness, support, connection, love and compassion and they spread them around.
- They are heroes.
We need trust more than fear, especially now, not because everything is great, hopeful and blooming, but exactly because some days are neither great, hopeful nor blooming. And we need to survive those days and come out stronger and resilient, instead of exhausted and defeated.
Are you feeling more fearful or hopeful (or perhaps a combination of the two)? Let us known in the comments.
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