Real fear: the running for our life or having someone trying to kill us is not a day to day occurrence for most of us.
Most fear today is in the form of worry, embarrassment, anxiety, and stress. However, our physical bodies treat both kinds of fear the same way with the flight or fight response. When there is nothing physical to fight and there is no place to run too, the tension rises.
Fear is an enemy of success.
Fear stops people from taking advantage of opportunities.
Fear wears us down physically and can make us sick.
Fear closes our mouth when we want to speak.
Here are some ways to deal productively with those feelings:
Action cures fear
When we face difficult problems we stay stuck until we take action. Sometimes we hope things will get better. And hope is a start, but hope needs action to win the day. Give this a try. The next time you face a big (or a little) fear. Take a deep breath. Steady yourself. Ask this question: what action can I take to conquer this fear?
Sometimes the fear is something you can act on directly. For example, a fear of writing a report is causing you to procrastinate. The thing to do is to START. Start in the middle if you know what you want to say there. Make an outline of the different sections that need to be included. Starting, even just a bit will get you moving. Don’t worry about the outcome, just get started. You can always revise and fix things later.
Other things cause fear that you can not impact directly. A fear of something you can’t control such as a tornado or getting in a car accident. The thing to do here is to change your focus. Try to do something totally different. Clean your house. Play with the kids. Help someone else with a project. Since somethings are out of our control, the best thing to do is the focus on things that are in our control. Do something that makes you happy. Or work on something worthwhile so you can feel successful.
Keep in mind that while action casts out fear. Waiting and hesitating cause fear to increase. The longer you procrastinate on starting that project or report the harder it will be to do. Take action promptly. Be decisive. Just do it!!
Negative thinking increases fears
Everyone faces plenty of embarrassing, unpleasant and discouraging situations. How you think about and deal with these situations will have a huge impact on your success.
Unsuccessful people dwell on the unpleasant situation. They replay the movie in their minds, reliving the experience. At night, it is the last thing they think about before going to bed. They can recount past hurts with all of the emotion and intensity as if it had happened yesterday or this morning. By doing this, they strengthen the connection in their brain, basically hard-wiring the hurt. By reliving the event multiple times it is almost as if they have lived through the trauma over and over again.
Successful people also experience negative situations. However, rather take the event to heart, successful people tend to not give the situation another thought. At a minimum, they try to move on and give it as little thought as possible. They deal with whatever is necessary for the situation and then they move on. Yes, it was awful or discouraging but they are not replaying the negative event over and over. They realize that things happen and work to try to never have this happen to them again. This thought becomes a distant memory and not an ingrained “this always happens to me” thinking.
Successful people specialize in putting positive thoughts into their memories. The focus on thinking uplifting and encouraging thoughts about themselves, situations and others. When you remember situations, concentrate on the good and forget about the bad. Let the bad memories fade. When you are alone with your thoughts focus on recalling pleasant, positive experiences. This will boost your confidence and make you feel good. Before bed, recall the many good things you have to be thankful for. Recall your victories and accomplishments.
Feel the Fear
The feeling of fear can be amplified when we try and push it away. The harder we push the more paralyzing the fear can be. Nobody likes feeling the fear. However, if you will allow yourself to feel the fear, you will notice that the feeling will quickly dissipate. The situation will feel more manageable. />
The next time you are feeling stressed, sit quietly for a few minutes. Take deep breaths and notice what is going on with your body. Where do you feel tightness or tension? Don’t judge the feeling, just notice it. After several deep breaths, you will probably notice that the place of tension has shifted. Continue this process until the feeling is mostly gone or at least at a manageable level. The more you do this the more quickly you will be able to enter this quiet, calm state.
I hope that these tactics and techniques will be helpful to you as your go through life. Following our dreams will always come with a certain amount of fear. Learning to deal with those feelings and move through them will be a necessary part of making your dream a reality. I would love to hear if you have any tips, tricks or ways of dealing with your fear and negative feelings. I hope you will post below.
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