Overcome Your Fear Before it Overcomes You
There is nothing wrong with feeling afraid. It is but normal to lose your confidence and feel nervous when faced with a new task, to feel anxious when you are about to deliver an important presentation, or have the feeling of uncertainty when you are about to meet new people.
It’s also normal to fear the unknown. Fear is a normal emotional response to environmental and emotional stimuli.
When Fear is Not Okay
The problem isn’t being fearful or losing your confidence at times– the problem begins when you start being gripped with so much fear that it holds you back from moving forward.
Is your fear holding you from learning new things, and taking challenges?
Although fear is a normal human emotion, it should never take over you in such a way that you start building a cocoon to isolate yourself from anything that is remotely fearful.
Do you fear failure, rejection, criticism or taking on new responsibilities?
Just don’t. By allowing those fears to torment you, you are deprived of a life of wonder, excitement, and possibilities.
Now is the time to overcome your fears, face it once and for all, and move forward.
Follow this 3-step program next time you’re paralyzed with fear:
1~Stop and breathe
Stop what you are doing and take deep breathes until you calm down. I know this is cliché, but it’s important to do this before you try anything else. Deep breathing increases your oxygen intake and blood flow to the brain. This will help you to calm down and think clearly.
2~Identify what it is you fear EXACTLY. Put a name to it!
I know lots of people who are often instantly gripped with fear by a sudden event, only to find out that they really don’t even know who, what or why they are scared. I know it sounds crazy, but there are people like that.
To overcome fear, you need to be aware of what it is. Find out everything you can about the cause of your fear by asking yourself these questions:
- What are you scared of?
- What triggered this feeling? Is it triggered by a memory, perhaps?
- What is your initial reaction to this feeling? In most cases, it’s not always fear, sometimes it could be uncertainty, excitement or stress.
- What are the circumstances surrounding it?
3~Cure fear as if you’re curing food sensitivity (or allergy)
A friend of mine is sensitive (somewhat allergic) to cheese and other dairy products. Too much dairy products upsets his digestive system but he eats them, anyway! Is he crazy?
He couldn’t eat anything dairy before, then one day he decided to drink a glass of milk. He paid dearly for this one drink, but he continued anyway. Now, he can eat almost any dairy product. By overcoming his fear of his digestive system’s reaction to dairy products, he was able to enjoy other food items he wasn’t able to eat before.
Likewise, you can develop immunity by repeatedly exposing yourself to your fears. It will be hard at first, but your body and mind is built to adapt, so there’s no doubt that you’ll overcome these fears soon.
This is not medical advice; I’m just relating how some people overcome their allergies and how this very same method can be used to overcome your fears.
Rinse and Repeat
There’s no clear cut way to overcome your fears for good, so the only thing that can make you bolder or braver is continuously vanquishing your different fears one by one.
You will always have certain fears depending on the circumstances you face—that’s just normal. But you need to keep facing your fears every day, until it becomes a way of life. By that time, your fears won’t be as intimidating and you won’t be frozen to the spot everything something surprising happens.