A common pitfall I frequently fall into is trying to conquer my fears by brute force and exposure. I find myself arguing with my emotions, and fighting with them and yelling at them because I am trying to stop buying into them and believing them. In the end, I wind up being more stressed out and stimulated, and still believing the same rotten anxious beliefs.
This is also the case with anxiety provoking scenarios. It is doing things despite feeling fear. I feel like I just have to expose myself to the gut wrenching high anxiety situations and just “do it” in spite of feeling the strong fear and anxiety. Because I am very bothered and disgusted with myself of feeling anxious in situations where I should be stronger and fearless. So I feel cowardly, which is something I’m not proud of. I mean, after all they say, “courage is not being fearless, it is doing things despite feeling feaTo add to this, Islam has an emphasis on speaking up if you see something wrong. You should either say something, or do something about it. And advise your fellow muslim brothers and sister. And true sincerity is advising your brothers. And not doing so is a sign of weak faith. And silence is betrayal. What happens is, I over pressure myself, and stress myself up much more, and then I despair about my situation because of how much fear and anxiety I have. I feel completely stuck and unable to get out.
Yesterday morning, I prayed next to my neighbor, and he was shying away from the “feet to feet” stance in prayer. He didn’t wanted to keep his foot next to mine. After prayer, I wanted to tell him, but I got nervous and didn’t. I regretted doing this and I thought of a scenario of getting him a neighborly gift, and then reminding him of it at that time. Then next morning came, and I saw him walking to prayer, I knew this was an appropriate opportunity to advise him. But as I was walking, I started worrying about it, and his reaction, and reminding myself forcefully about how Allah controls peoples hearts and Allah will make him pleased with me, even if he gets mad at me, and dislikes me for what I did. I made sure not to pray next to him, because at this point I was thoroughly nervous, and overstimulated from anxious thoughts and I couldn’t deal with more stress.As a result, I did not have focus in my morning prayer, which is much higher precedence than telling people about feet to feet. It also lead me to feeling overstressed, and me feeling despair that I can’t get out of this situation, and I’m stuck. There is no worse feeling then having a prayer completely devoid of khushu’ and concentration.
A couple realizations I had after the fact.
-This approach didn’t prove useful.
-Naturally, humans have to take baby steps to develop. Things don’t happen overnight. Like exercising, doing martial arts, getting in shape. All of this requires gradual development.
-Studying Knowledge is also done gradually. There are sequences and series of books that scholars go through to further enhance and deepen their knowledge.
-In general, things happen gradually in this world. It takes time for development.