Your fear is never, ever going to go away! Fear is a universal experience that follows us throughout life, regardless of age or experience. Fear is a part of the human experience. It is something that is built into your mechanism to keep you safe, secure, and alive. While we all deal with and struggle with our fears, many of us have yet to conquer our fears. But conquering our fears doesn’t mean we extinguish them. The question that we should ask ourselves is “how can I navigate fear so that it becomes my friend?”
One of the keys to dealing with fear is Awareness. Acknowledging, knowing, and understanding our fears is truly the best way in controlling our fears. Being aware of the thoughts you’re having around a situation, challenge, circumstance, or problem is a great starting point.
Take for instance public speaking. Public Speaking is of the top three fears in the world. Why?
It is because Public Speaking is the culmination of many of our greatest fears, such as the fear of:
- Not Being Good Enough
Do any of these reasons strike a chord? If they do, we have something in common.
My biggest fear has always been about being vulnerable. As I explored my fears, I too uncovered that underneath the vulnerability, sat the fear of being ridiculed or being seen as stupid. In truth, this was because of an incident from my years in high school.
Most of our fears, aside from imminent danger, are created through unhealthy, internal dialogue. While they feel real and have real-world impacts, they are fundamentally made up.
You might fear something because of something horrific that happened to you as a child.
You might fear something because of an embarrassment you faced in your past.
You might fear something because you aim to be perfect because in the past you felt you had to be in order to be loved.
Can you see a theme here? They are all from the past.
Our game, your game is to leave the past in the past, where it belongs.
You may become aware that you are lugging a backpack with all your past incidences around, bringing them into your present situations. Or in many people’s cases, into your future.
Because of this, we trap ourselves with negative messaging:
- I am not going to do that because I made a mistake last time.
- I am not going to put myself forward, as I don’t want to be embarrassed.
- I am not good enough to speak on stage, because I don’t want to be ridiculed like in school.
So, what is the solution I hear you say?
First, you can change your perspective of an incident from the past. If you can change the narrative and meaning of an incident, it can serve you rather than work against you.
Second, remember the lesson of the incident, but don’t hang on to the feelings of fear it gave you. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t carry them with you.
Third, don’t view your past as a mistake. Your past led you to this point in time and you should celebrate that. You are pretty awesome!
Finally, be ok with having an internal dialogue that is just wanting to keep you safe.
As Susan Jeffers’s book is titled: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
If you allow yourself to push through that fear, you WILL grow exponentially
If you let go of being perfect and embrace that life is ups and downs, it is what you do in the down times that will define you.
If you feel the fear and do it anyway, you will learn to enjoy the stretch.
You will then equip your family, your children, your friends, your clients, and your audience to do THE SAME TOO.
You are the best, and don’t let anyone tell you anything different.
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