What are you afraid of?
Afraid to fail? Fear of public speaking? Getting sick? Running out of money? Fear of death? Fear of loneliness?
To begin with, we need to try to understand why we are afraid.
We are all afraid. The feeling of fear is a natural response of the body to certain situations in which it feels at risk.
Fear has the function of keeping us safe.
It prevents you from approaching the edge of a cliff, getting out on a motorcycle at very high speed and riding alone on a dark street at night when there is a danger of being mugged.
Therefore, being afraid does have its use. At times it can preserve your life.
The problem is that just as the feeling of fear can help and be useful in certain situations, it can be very disruptive and become an undesirable limiter in others.
In such cases it was better if it did not exist. It is in this second type of fear that I want to focus on this article.
For example, I remember that my paternal grandfather was afraid of flying. We who had to go and visit him. He never came to see us because of that.
If you share that fear, it may be preventing you from taking a trip that would stay with you forever as a wonderful experience.
Take the fear of public speaking. If that is one of your fears and you cannot overcome it, it will greatly limit your career development.
I also remember the time when I started to get interested in getting a girlfriend.
For an inexperienced boy, making this approach the first few times is something that requires courage because it involves a fear of rejection.
A fear that most of us who have gone through this phase had and knew how to win. At some point it became easy and it was never a problem again.
Maybe you have the dream of having a business of your own, but you are not going ahead because you are too afraid of losing the security you believe you have in your job.
If that fear prevails, it may be that you reach the end of your career frustrated by never having fulfilled that dream.
Fear is one of the main reasons we don’t do many of the things we would like to do.
Fear is paralyzing. It prevents us from taking our dreams forward. Therefore, learning to overcome fears, in situations where this fear is hindering, is certainly something useful for our lives.
There are ways to overcome fear. Here are some suggestions that can help you not to let your fears get the best out of life.
Not all tips will work for all cases. Depending on the type of fear you will have one or another more suitable. You will have to see which ones are most interesting for your situation.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway
We have to face the challenges that life presents. They are what make us grow and develop.
The fear may not go away. But you can do it even with fear. Are you afraid to introduce yourself to someone? Swallow fear, go there and introduce yourself anyway.
After a few times you will gain confidence and the fear will disappear.
- Failures are welcome
There is no more guaranteed way to fail than just not trying.
If you are afraid of failing, you will always be in your comfort zone and nothing really important will happen in your life.
Failures should be welcomed and seen as learning opportunities. There’s a phrase attributed to Thomas Edison that says “I didn’t fail. I only discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work. ”
The more you fail, the more you learn and the stronger you become.
Facing it this way will help you lose your fear of failure.
- Focus on what you will gain
Many people fail to do something they want out of fear of what they are going to lose and what may go wrong.
Ex. They do not start the business they would like to have for fear of losing job stability and the business will not work.
Instead of focusing on what can go wrong, who knows how to focus on what can go right? For example, thinking that you can have much more personal satisfaction and financial abundance.
It is focusing on what you can gain instead of what you can lose.
- Change your belief
The secret to overcoming fear is to realize that fear is often not derived from a real risk scenario, but from imagination.
Our imagination may be responsible for creating the scary scenario.
Two people in front of a roller coaster in an amusement park. One imagines that it will be super fun and gets excited to go. Another imagines that it is dangerous and is afraid.
The fact is the same for both. It is the interpretation of reality that is different for each one.
To eliminate fear, consider other possible interpretations of the situation. You will quite possibly find one that is more encouraging.
- Observe your internal language
You may be thinking with negative words like “It won’t work”, “She won’t like it”, “It’s too complicated” .
All of these types of internal dialogues reinforce fear. If you find yourself with this type of thinking, consider thinking the reverse “It can work,” “It may be that she likes it” .
- Practice affirmations
Affirmations are a practice that can help you change your way of thinking and thus fight your fears.
- Find out
The scared person may be like this for lack of information. Because you don’t know what to expect. Better information can help to bring peace of mind.
For example, someone is afraid to invest in a business because they do not know exactly the return they can get.
In this case it is really prudent to find out to have the necessary data to know if it is really worth going forward or not.
- Challenge your comfort zone
Living in the comfort zone is easy. Everything is quiet and you feel safe.
There is only one catch. It does not grow and cannot develop in life.
To overcome fears it is important to challenge your comfort zone by doing things that regularly make you afraid. But a positive fear. For example, if you are a shy person, challenge yourself to start conversations and meet new people.
- Use pressure from others
Have you ever been afraid to do something and there was a person who was there by your side saying, “Go, go, go for it” ?
Having someone to give you a push like that can help at times.
- Imagine victory
Are you afraid to drive? Visualize yourself winning the challenge. How cool it will be to win this victory and have the freedom to drive up and down. This will serve as a motivation to overcome fear.
- Divide to conquer
One way may be to break the problem down into parts and conquer one at a time.
For example, let’s say you have a great fear of speaking in public. First start by talking to yourself in the mirror.
Then speak to a trusted person. Then put three in front of you. Just as a rehearsal. This can help you not be afraid and make you feel ready to speak to a wider audience.
- Control your imagination
Much of the fear of everything comes from a fertile imagination that imagines the worst future scenarios. He thinks it will be a disaster and everything will go wrong. Control these thoughts by trying to imagine future scenarios that are positive.
Ask yourself “What’s the worst that could actually happen?” . This is a very useful question.
You will often see that the worst is not so bad and so it is worth going ahead.
For example, are you afraid to ask for a raise? Probably the worst that can happen is to receive no. Then go ahead and everything continues as it was. No major disaster is going to happen.
- Avoid perfectionism
Perfectionism can be an enemy of fear. If you are afraid because you want everything to be perfect, it can be paralyzing and you end up doing nothing.
Instead, let go of the desire for perfectionism, do the best you can and accept the result. This type of mindset helps you to face fear and move on.
- Celebrate your victories
Every time you manage to evolve in relation to your fear, celebrate. This helps to develop security in the victory over fear.
For example, if you are afraid to speak in public and managed to do your training speaking to three people in the family, it is an evolution that deserves celebration.
Modern life has brought us a series of fears that would be better if they did not exist. They are fears of things that hinder our growth and the achievement of our dreams.
But these fears are not exclusive to you.
Even people who achieve great things are afraid. The difference is that they see it as an opportunity for learning and growth. Fear teaches. It presses our limits to move to the next stage.
Learning to deal with the psychology of fear can very positively transform your life.
Everything that we want to be important in life requires we leave the comfort zone.
Making the decision that you are not going to let your fears stop you from living the life you want is in the end one of the best things you can do for your personal growth.