BLOG_2020_11_05_dont let fear stop you
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
5 NOVEMBER 2020
Fear talks to us, sometimes during the dead of the night. We are awakened at 3 am thinking about “What ifs?” And when we listen to those fearful thoughts, we inhibit our true potential, joy and happiness.
Do any of the following circumstances sound familiar to you?
◽️Sheila loved nothing more than to dance but she wouldn’t go out on the dance floor because she thought she’d look clumsy and ridiculous.
◽️Sanjay knew he deserved a raise, but he was so nervous about approaching his boss, he never asked for one.
◽️Noor’s fear of bears was so great she wouldn’t go on a camping trip with her friends. And their campsite wasn’t even in bear territory.
◽️And here is the one I most dislike: Christina doesn’t take any action in getting her dream business started because she is so afraid of failing. But yet she is miserable at her job; her talents and value are often overlooked with her very own potential loyal customers waiting for her to show up.
Fear is that nattering voice inside our heads that says, you can’t, you shouldn’t, what if…. Fear keeps us from taking risks that might enrich our life or it holds us back from doing some things we need to do. Experience new and exciting vistas? Accomplish something really great? Fear says, “Not on your life.”
This isn’t to say that fear is all bad. At its best it’s an instinctive built-in reaction to help us survive. Without fear we might attempt to stroll across freeways or scratch behind a lion’s ears. But given the upper hand, fear can dominate our lives and make even the innocuous—taking a walk or making a phone call—a daunting experience.
"Ninety-nine percent of what we worry about never happens", according to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. “There’s a voice inside our heads that’s always heralding doom and disaster even before we get started on something,” she says.
On its own, fear and/or anxiety won’t just disappear. The following are some strategies to help you deal with fears that might be holding you back from something you want or need to do. (You’ll learn even more in the webinar.)
- Get information. In an information void, fear clicks in to do what it thinks is its job – to keep you safe. But when you find out about what scares you, you replace fear with knowledge.
- Learn how to do it. If there’s something you’d like to do, but you’re afraid to try, take lessons. We’re not born knowing how to ride horses or make pottery. We are not even born knowing how to walk!
- Find models. Let someone who’s not afraid model courage for you. Just as fearful behavior breeds the jitters, courageous behavior invites confidence.
- Talk about your fears. Keeping your fears bottled up inside magnifies them. Taking them out into the light can shrink them. Find a good listener who won’t pooh-pooh your fears or make judgments.
- Talk to yourself. Self-talk filled with positive messages can change fear energy into positive energy. Eliminate the “can’ts”, “shouldn’ts” and “ought-tos” from your self-talk vocabulary.
- Use your imagination. Before you arrive at the party, imagine the other guests are as frightened as you are. Or see your audience as people who really want the information you have. Visualize yourself doing what you are afraid to do; see yourself as graceful, strong and capable.
- Focus on the little things. Keep your mind on the details, not the Big Picture. Complete the report word by word, pay the bills one by one, see the group individual by individual.
- Expand your comfort zone. Getting out of your comfort zone take practice. Take a small risk each day. Make one phone call, ask for one thing you want, go to one new place. Little by little your confidence will expand, too.
- Relax and breathe. Sometimes the physical response to fear creates even more fear. Physically relax your body and breathe in and out to release tension.
- Ask for help. If your fears are pervasive or severe, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, in which case you should definitely seek help. If your fears are not debilitating, but still get in the way of doing what you need or want to do, asking for help can make all the difference.
Take a ten-minute break to sit somewhere quiet with your eyes closed...
▫️ Think about something you have always wanted to do but didn’t because you were afraid.
▫️ Now think about what that fear has cost you.
▫️ Next, imagine what your life would look like right now if you had successfully done it.
Would you feel more alive, or have learned a valuable lesson that would be useful in other areas in your life?