Conquer your Fears
Fear saves our lives. Fear is a primal emotion that most animals feel because of its undeniable usefulness in keeping us safe. Just knowing that situations are dangerous is not enough. Only feeling afraid ensures we do our best to avoid danger. Therefore, feeling afraid or anxious is a way of adapting and surviving, and not intrinsically negative.
Having an anxiety disorder is, by definition, an abnormality in the way we experience anxiety, its source, its intensity, and our ability to use it to our advantage.
Being clear about the goal of treatment has important practical implications. Is the objective to feel no anxiety? To function better? To prevent anxiety from getting in the way of achieving our goals?
Societies often make happiness a goal. Avoiding suffering in general, and fear in particular, is seen as a must. But millennia of evolution have made human beings that are remarkably good at keeping themselves and their loved ones safe. Evolution hasn't perfected the making of beings meant to be calm or happy.
Conquering your fears, rather than eliminating them is a hopeful, achievable and empowering approach to anxiety. Understanding our anxiety helps us ensure that our emotions are truly looking after our own best interests. Feeling anxious for the right reasons and at the right time helps us engage with the world in a way that makes our experiences meaningful and keeps us safe. Awareness of our anxiety and control over it can lead to a fulfilling purposeful life.