Fear is the engine of success

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Professor Bandelow, many people are currently afraid of unemployment. What helps, when worries take over and all we ask ourselves is: Am I good enough for the job?

Borwin Bandelow: I recommend a reality check: Consider whether you are the one who works the most spooky of all employees. Especially women often misjudge. Almost always, the very people who are not on the list are the ones most afraid of: those who, for fear of mistakes, do everything right anyway.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: And when all are fired?

Borwin Bandelow: I recommend a well-dosed fatalism. Where my fears can not move, they just block me. It makes no sense to grieve over it. Fear is a good engine, but a bad guide. If you're actually fired, consider whether that's really the big catastrophe. We tend to always find the exact job that we have right now, although that may not be the case objectively.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Quite difficult, so factual to deal with their own fear.

Borwin Bandelow: Then get some new fears.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Pardon me?

Borwin Bandelow: Do what you have never dared before: dance tango, skateboard, address a man in the pub. Embarrass yourself. Are you scared! I went skating the other day, though I can not. Always bent forward so that I do not fall on the back of my head.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: And what does that mean?

Borwin Bandelow: You make such a small, manageable practice area for your fear. In non-dangerous terrain you learn to deal with and defeat her.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: That helps when it comes to the preserves?

Borwin Bandelow: It's about keeping the inner structure in balance. We have a system of fear, a system of reasoning and a reward system. If the damage feared by the fear system does not occur, our brain rewards us with a release of feel-good hormones. So fear has something very positive, but most people overlook that. Winston Churchill once said, "There is nothing better than being shot at and not hit."

"Reason says," It will be again. "Fear says," Pustekuchen! "

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: You have been managing the anxiety outpatient department in Göttingen for 20 years. Do people give you the door now, in times of crisis?

Borwin Bandelow: No, no more than usual. Fear patients come because of quite unrealistic fears. They are afraid of pedestrian zones and elevators or get very sudden panic attacks. In my practice nobody has ever been threatened with terrorism, job fear or money worries.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Does that mean that we people are basically coping well with the real threats?

Borwin Bandelow: Better at least, as it sometimes makes the appearance to the outside. Man is designed to deal with worry. Being afraid is normal.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: How do I know if I'm just worried or already sick with anxiety?

Borwin Bandelow: Of course we all ponder, have fears, about the fact that the partner dies, you could get sick yourself or is not good enough for the working world. As a rule of thumb, anyone who thinks about his or her anxiety for more than half a day or starts making professional or private decisions based on their anxiety, for example, rejects a promotion because he would have to talk so much to strangers, or not without the partner If you dare to go to the supermarket, you should go to the psychiatrist. This has nothing to do with healthy fear anymore.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: What do we need fear for?

Borwin Bandelow: Our fear system keeps us from doing things that hurt us, such as abusing the boss or driving a car against a tree. However, fears can also become independent and block us: Many people are lonely only because of their immense separation anxiety. Others do not write applications because they are afraid of the rejections. The result is that they miss everything possible in life. In a kind of disappointment prophylaxis they put their hands in the lap.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: How do I manage to return to life at such a stage?

Borwin Bandelow: Talk, you should talk.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Is it always good to talk about your fear, or does it not make you even better sometimes?

Borwin Bandelow: In no case should you suppress fear. I always advise talking to as many people as possible.Maybe not with your own boss. But telling a friend about it helps a lot. She does not have to say much.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Why is it so hard for us to break the spiral of concern?

Borwin Bandelow: Our fear system is often stronger than the system of reason. It is older in human history and biologically higher: After all, fear should ensure our survival. Reason then says: It will be again. The fear says: puff cake.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: How do I outwit the fear? With relaxation, a break from overseas?

Borwin Bandelow: The talk, you just have to reduce the stress, ten weeks Bahamas or Hawaii, then the worries, I consider quite nonsense. I think exactly the opposite: stress can help against anxiety. You just have to pick the right one. Win victories in small stages, focus on things that are fun, boost the reward system: that's what you need. It should be stressful. For example, writing a book is a hell of a stress to me, but a good one. Once you understand how the body works, you can better handle the fear. That can even reduce my fear of failure. After all, failures ultimately lead only to the fortification of happiness.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Please? How can an application cancellation contribute to my happiness?

Borwin Bandelow: That's a bit bitter, of course. Nevertheless, a monkey who gets an apple every day has a daily payout in the reward system. After a few days, he gets used to the apples, and the distribution ebbs. But if you now change the experimental setup and the monkey randomly gets an apple only in 50 percent of the time, the reward system jumps back, even though he only gets half as many apples.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: In other words, the monkey worker is lucky to receive a few cancellations because they are the ramp for the big payoff when it finally gets the job done?

Borwin Bandelow: Something like that. And besides, a rejection is always better than putting your hands in your lap and not even trying.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Does it help someone who does not dare to say "Trau dich!"?

Borwin Bandelow: The problem is our behavior: every time we pinch the situation we are afraid of, the fear increases. Marie Curie said, "You do not have to fear anything in life, you just have to understand everything." I once did a survey of my patients. Nine percent said they never needed treatment after a doctor told them how an anxiety disorder works.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: And how does it work?

Borwin Bandelow: We differentiate between three forms of anxiety disorders: social phobia, which is a kind of extreme shyness, then generalized anxiety disorder, which theoretically sees real dangers as totally overly dangerous, and the panic disorder, out of the blue, without external Reason to enter into fear reactions. The symptoms are identical in all forms: palpitations, tremors, sweating, dizziness.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: How many people are affected?

Borwin Bandelow: 18.1 percent of Germans have an anxiety disorder.

"Too much fear paralyzes, too little makes us a drowsy"

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Can anyone catch that?

Borwin Bandelow: Yes. Younger people are particularly affected; anxiety patients are on average 36 years old. And if someone succeeds, I always think: he or she is afraid.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Fear makes successful?

Borwin Bandelow: It is the rocket engine for success. Success always means work. And the energy you need comes mostly from fear. Take, for example, the social phobics: those who think that they are not recognized by the others, and make a special effort.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde: Fear for the workplace, can it be such a rocket engine?

Borwin Bandelow: He who is afraid suffers. This is very unpleasant and must not be trivialized. Nevertheless, the worry of losing a job is a very important motivation. The Yerkes-Dodson Law describes a curve that provides optimal performance at a medium level of anxiety. So: Too much paralyzed, too little makes you a drowsiness. Just as a car has four wheels, man must be afraid.

Prof. Borwin Bandelow, 57, a specialist in neurology and psychiatry, psychologist and psychotherapist, is president of the Society for Anxiety Research and has been head of the emergency department in Göttingen for 20 years. His popular science book "The fear book: where fears come from and how to fight them" became a bestseller.

more on the subject "Fear" read in the dossier of the current ChroniquesDuVasteMonde (from the 11th of March at the kiosk). therein:

Afraid of the partner? A couple advisor about the powerlessness of women.

Nothing unhealthy: Why it pays to worry about the diet.

And an interview with Sarah Kuttner about her first book - including sweats and tachycardia.

Exclusive to ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com describes the journalist and author Kathrin Passig how she has her life under control without self-discipline and bad conscience.

"The fear book: where fears come from and how to fight them" Borwin Bandelow Rowohlt paperback 384 pages 9,95 Euro

How to use fear as an engine for success (May 2021).

Panic Attack, Göttingen, Car, Winston Churchill, Crisis, Dossier, Fear, Interview, Prof. Borwin Bandelov