The Fear Factor and How We Can Overcome Times of the Unknown

We all know about moments of fear or major anxiety. We are so scared that it takes our breath away and our body reflects our inner tension by responding with all kinds of aches and pains. Often, no accident or personal threat is needed to enter this state of anxiety and fear. Sometimes it happens when we are confronted with unwanted changes leading to an unknown destination.

When I look back on my life, the biggest fear I experienced was probably leaving my home country and moving to a new place (America) without knowing what was waiting for me. The fear of the unknown was a big challenge. Trusting that everything is going to be all right was an even greater challenge. Living in a new world without friends or family members, not having a job and relying on my husband to secure our living was the ultimate challenge. With my role as a mom of a small child and leaving behind my life as a manager in Germany, I had to fight the biggest battle ever – saving my dignity and self-confidence. There was a fear factor, and it took me a lot of (positive) energy and resourcefulness to overcome this difficult time in my life.

What about you? Do you recall moments or times in your life when you felt someone was pulling the rug out from under you? Do you relate to the feeling of a free fall without knowing where you are going to land? Have you ever experienced a threat either from another person or due to circumstances that virtually scared you to death? Have you ever feared for your life, your job or your relationship? There are so many situations where the uncertainty about what will happen scares us.

What can we do in these times of the unknown, and how can we overcome fear and anxiety? There is no single answer to this question, but I would like to give you some ideas of how you can get through this phase of your life without losing yourself.

Stay calm

Don’t get into a state of alarm. Instead spend time doing activities that calm you down. Walking, reading or simply allowing time to unwind will help you to stay calm. Nature and animals have a healing effect, so just open the door and go for a long walk. There are so many answers in the calmness, and there are many ways to create a space both within and outside ourselves that keeps us calm.


Stay balanced

Staying in balance means that mind, body and emotions are in tune. None of the mind, the emotions or the physical body should dominate the other; instead, you should strive for harmony between all of them. We feel balanced when we have a sense of ease and feel as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar. When I want to regain balance, I ride my horse or take my dog for a walk. I get into “horse time” by focusing body, mind and emotion and using all my senses to experience what is going on around me. This is what horses do all day long on the pasture.

Take a 360 degrees perspective on your life and your problem will seem smaller and smaller as your fear vanishes. Look at the birds, smell the flowers and notice every single sensation that is happening inside your body and also what is around you.Walk slowly with your eyes open and soak it all in. In just a short amount of time, you will feel balance and inner connectedness. These are the times when nothing can push you off your feet, and you will build strength and confidence for anything that might happen.

Surround yourself with positive energy

There are so many energy suckers out there waiting for you. They are like vampires but instead of sucking your blood they long for your energy. Stay away from these people who burden your life. Surround yourself instead with people, friends and family members who bring positive energy into your life, people who like to laugh, love, play and are fun to be with. Everyone can have moments of despair, but a person with positive energy will pull out of a tailspin fast, and the last thing they want is burden somebody else. These are the friends to look for because they will help you to stay on a positive note instead of pushing you off the cliff.

Trust yourself, life and others

This is probably the most difficult but at the same time most efficient way to fly lightly through life’s challenges – trusting. You probably have experienced many breaches of trust in your life, but nevertheless keep on trusting. Trust yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to. Trust others that they are honest with you and trust that life is good to you. Any negative experience only means that there was a little bump in the road – nothing to worry about – it just makes the trip a little bit more interesting. Learning to trust does not happen overnight, but it is worth working on.

In my coaching with horsesprogram, we use horses to develop the ability to trust. Horses reflect our inner emotional state and they can show us the way to building trust. The topic of trust is broad and I will write about it in another blog, but for now my message to you is: Everything is going to be all right. You will find the right answers to all your questions and you will solve even the biggest challenge – have confidence in yourself and others – have trust. FEATURED QUOTE

There will always be moments of fear in our lives and it is ok to be scared as long as the fear does not take over our mind, body and spirit. Acknowledge your fears, but don’t put your energy into fighting the fear. Instead put your energy into living a mindful life staying calm, balanced and trusting in yourself, others and the outer world.

I would like to end with a quote by Lao Tzu:

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”

So I guess there is a simple answer to fear. If we just stop worrying about the past and the future and instead live in the now, there is not much room left for fear. As imperfect and loving human beings, we might not always be able to stay in the now, but this should not stop us from trying.

Be a woman and act like one.

I offer Business Coaching, Coaching with Horses and Consulting Services in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura County.  I also work as a Personal Coach and Problem Solving Mentor throughout SLO County. If you’d like to transform your life with power and ease, please contact me; the first consultation is free of charge.

To purchase my latest book that will inspire you to Be a Woman & Act Like One, click here.

About Hertha Wolff-Arend

I am a business coach and writer located in Paso Robles, California. I am the author of the book Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in business and life’’ and I write a blog for women with the same title. I give motivational speeches and offer leadership and personality trainings to women. I also work with business owners and managers to support them in their leadership skills and personal development. As a strategic consultant, I also help companies with their communication and marketing strategy. Born and raised in Germany, I spent most of my adult life in Europe. I have a German university degree in languages and economics and I worked for many years in the advertising industry as one of the few female managing directors in Germany for major international advertising agencies such as Young&Rubicam, TBWA and Bates. My client list consisted of mainly blue chip clients, where I was responsible for their communications strategies and the development and execution of the advertising concepts. Just to name a few clients: Lufthansa, Danone, Kraft Foods, Bosch, Singapore Airlines, Ericsson, Campbells etc. In 2004 I relocated with my husband and son to California. I graduated from New Venture West in San Francisco as a Certified Integral Coach and started my own coaching practice in 2007. I am fluent in German and English and have conversational skills in Spanish. Aside from my dedication to work and family, I am a passionate dressage rider. I am devoted to supporting women in business, with a focus on women in the lower and middle management who are aiming at a career in the higher ranks or who want to develop their own business.
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