Whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, fear of what other’s might think or say, fear of public speaking, fear of not being able to solve a problem… Fear blocks our ability to focus, come up with creative solutions or advance towards our goals.
We all have fears. They are normal and we need them. Fears have contributed to the preservation of our species and still help us in dangerous situations. In order to walk beyond fear or in spite of fear; you need t first understand what kind of fear you are dealing with.
Real fear comes when we are facing a predator (an animal with big teeth or a person who might hurt us). That kind of fear helps us to immediately take a course of action: Flight or flee reactions which is normal and needed. All other thoughts are blocked in order to be only focused on the situation at hand.
The second kind of fear is created in our mind, our imagination. We project in the future an outcome we absolutely do not desire. That creates anxiety and provokes doubts about our current situation. We might plague our vision of the future with our current reality, extrapolate the circumstances without adding important factors such as : will, brain, lucky brakes, persistence and the unknown.
Fear prevents us from thinking. It blocks our neo-cortex and jams our creativity. Fear of anything is associated immediately with death, a bigger fear. And faced with death, we lose sight of everything else. It is imperative to overcome fear in order to increase productivity.
Here are 10 ways I use and coach people on that are very effective on overcoming fear, destroying it, ignoring it, …
1- Write it down on paper:
Write down what ever scares the living daylights out of you: You’ll get fired, you don’t have enough money, your project will be a huge disaster, you will lose all your friends, you will die (well of course, eventually)…
In light, darkness disappears. Some of your fears will immediately evaporate when you write them down. They were strengthen by your relentlessness avoidance.
2- Prove them wrong
For those who persist in the light of day, on paper. Write all the evidence you can think of that they are wrong. One of those evidence that can be proven is that nothing in the past is proof of the same reoccurring in the future simply because you know better. If you can find more evidence, go on a hunt.
Carry a piece of paper and notice everything that proves the fear wrong. By switching your brain to the contrary of what you thought, you will start noticing different realities around you that will prove what you want. Search and you will find.
3- Do, do, do, do
In action, fear dissipates. If you are fearful of a lack of something, make a list of everything you can do (search on the net by asking <<how<<) and start doing. It is in movement that you keep your balance. When you stand still, your mind may go in overdrive.
Create a substantially long and detailed to-do list and work at crossing off things you have done. This will build your self esteem and your self confidence and you will boost your level of energy.
I know it sounds so corny. But, most people don’t know how to breathe. The deeper, longer you inhale; the longer you exhale; the more relieved you will feel. Act as if relieved and you’ll end up becoming it and the more relaxed and relieved you become, the more creative solutions you will generate, eventually bringing you closer to your destination. Learn to breath deeply all the time.
5- Look ahead and not besides you
A mistake most people do is to look at the problem and not their desired outcome. Fear, stress, anxiety… are indicators that you are thinking about what you do not want to see happen. Guess what? It has not happened yet and probably will not.
But focus on a ditch and you’ll end up driving in it. If you focus on what you do not want, it will expand in your brain and eventually you will create that eventuality in your future. The future is a blank canvas on which you can paint what ever your heart desires. But, if you paint a dark outcome, that is what you will create. There are an infinite amount of possible outcome. You chose.
6- Stop thinking about it
There is a theory I am starting to believe in a lot as I tested it many times. It states that the more you look at a boiling pot of water, the slower the water will boil. Really weird but I feel it is so right.
Things happen when you least expect them. The awaited phone call from a lost love when you actually meet someone new. The letter of acceptance to the out of town college you dreamed of going to when you find a job you love right where you are. The pregnancy just as you adopted a child…
Why is that? Is that a way of the Angels up above to make fun of us? Nope. I believe two things happen. The first is we attract what we are. So, we have more chances to attract that which will make us happy when we already are happy. That we will attract that what we wanted when we feel we already have everything.
I also believe their is kind of big push and pull equilibrium in the Universe. The more we pull on something when we want to have it, the more the Universe conter-balances that energy by pulling in the opposite direction. When we let go and tend to our lives, the thing we wanted comes to us naturally.
7- Some things you can control
We all need to accept the fact that we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. This comes from a real control freak. I don’t know if you’ve ever played chess or backgammon or monopoly on your own (is it just me?) but it’s get boring pretty quickly. The element of surprise needs to be included for our lives to gain a sense of magic and excitement.
I personally make a list diving the page in two section. My to-do and God’s to-do. Some things cannot be controlled so let them go to the powers at be and focus on your end of the deal. Do your best on your end and let go of the rest.
8- Catch a squirrel
I used to do this fun thing with my dad when I was a kid. Thank God he wasn’t one of these dad’s always worried her daughter would get hurt. We use to sit next to each other on a bench with crushed nuts all over us. Sit in silence. At first, nothing would happen.
But, after a while, we would see one, then two, then a dozen or thirty squirrels surround us. They would all be frightened at first. They would jump, grab a nut and run away. After a while, all squirrels would comfortably sit on our heads, shoulders, laps, knees, feet… Chinese tourists would stop and take pictures. Some posing with us. Today, I guess our videos would go viral.
Have you ever tried to catch a squirrel running after it? After you ever tried to keep someone close by chasing after them? What ever you run after, tends to run away. Learning the art of stillness will help you get what you want much faster.
9- Focus on the outcome
Practice imagining the outcome you wish for and how that would make you feel. Every morning write your desired outcome (for the day, the date, the interview, the sales pitch…) and bathe yourself in the thought that you already have that. Celebrate the moment as if you already have successfully achieved that. Then, let it go and go about your day.
Have a 4X5 card with you upon which you have written your desired outcomes (short or long term goals) and, every time you feel an stress attack, ready it and focus on having already achieved it.
10- Be grateful
Remember, your fear is only showing one thing missing out of a larger picture where you already have achieved a bunch of things. Appreciate all that you already have.
I believe the opposite of fear (or the vaccine to fear) is love. And gratitude is a component of pure liquid love. Every morning, get into the habit of writing the 10 things you are most grateful for and that will immediately shift your energy level.
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