IF YOU WANT to face your fears and win, then take a moment to look at these seven easy steps.
The feeling of fear is natural. However, I can’t say it’s rewarding. Some people seem to operate without fear. They accomplish things most people are scared to do.
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. – Japanese Proverb
Have they cracked some evolutionary code? Are they somehow more capable than the average person?
The truth is they feel the same worries and anxieties as you and me. But they have learned how to face down their fears and accomplish their goals regardless of their inner turmoil.
Face Your Fears To Transform Your Life
Fear paralyzes you. We all have a fight-or-flight response that occurs in scary situations, whether those situations are physical, emotional or spiritual.
The fact is, it’s natural to avoid or run from things that cause us stress, but if you do this too often, in too many situations, it becomes a crippling habit that can dominate your life. However, you don’t have to give up on your dreams or live in fear.
If you learn how to face your fears head-on, the results will astonish you. How’s that possible? Keep reading for basic steps everyone can do to get over their fears and build a better life.
1. Acknowledge the Things That Scare You
Make no mistake, ignoring the things that frighten you won’t make them go away. Your fears will still be there, waiting to rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune times.
If you want to face your fears and get rid of them, you first have to admit to having them. Therefore, I suggest you make a list of the things that frighten you the most. Write them down, draw pictures, scream them to a friend—or to the wind—whatever you’re most comfortable with.
Accept that these fears are a part of you, but not all of you. You are more than your fears, and when you admit they exist, you will defeat them.
2. Identify Your Worst Possible Outcomes
Once you’ve acknowledged your fears, ask yourself what the worst possible outcome could be. If you’re afraid of public speaking, what about it frightens you the most? The chance of being humiliated? That you might mess up?
Once you discover the worst thing that could happen from your fear, brainstorm ways to keep it from happening. And don’t forget to think of ways to survive the worst-case scenario.
Take public speaking for example. If you’re most frightened of messing up in front of other people, make a list of things to say or do if that happens. Furthermore, list things to say or do that will prevent it from happening.
3. Face Your Fears By Visualizing Your Success
You know what your fears are. You’ve figured out the worst thing that can happen because of your fears. Now it’s time to visualize yourself overcoming them, surviving and thriving. Find a comfy spot that makes you feel safe. You may want a friend nearby in case you begin to feel overwhelmed.
Sit or lie down, take deep breaths and close your eyes. Now picture yourself in the scary situation. If you’re afraid of driving, for example, visualize yourself behind the wheel. In your mind, watch yourself as you drive around your neighborhood. If you’re scared of social situations, picture yourself at a party, effortlessly blending in with everyone else.
Allow yourself to see the event occurring without any problems at all. Later, after you’re a little more comfortable, try visualizing yourself conquering your worst-case scenarios.
4. Take Baby Steps So That You Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Don’t force yourself into the deep end. Wade into the shallow part of the pool first. Here’s what I mean—face your fears, but take things slowly. Break your plan into small steps that won’t overwhelm you. If spiders are your phobia, look at pictures of videos of them rather than staring at the real thing!
If public speaking is your problem, watch other people speaking before attempting to do so yourself. Whatever your fear is, find the smallest possible way to confront it, and then do so. As you become comfortable with confrontations, try taking bigger chances.
5. Create Safe Spaces To Face Your Fears On Your Terms
The process of confronting your fears can be excruciating. It might make you feel helpless or overwhelmed. To keep these feelings in check, you need safe spaces. A “safe space” need not be an actual location. Your safe space could be a person who knows how to talk you down when you feel on edge.
It could be a book or a movie that comforts you, or a song that uplifts you. Use these things when you need to regroup. However, remember that your safe spaces aren’t meant to be crutches that keep you from facing your fears.
6. Journal Your Progress To Keep On Top
As you face your fears, journaling will help you keep track of your progress. The process of overcoming your fears isn’t an easy one, and it’s not a straight line. You’ll face peaks and valleys, victories and setbacks.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings gives perspective. Even better, for some people, it reduces stress and improves health.
7. Stay Positive And Always Back Yourself, No Matter What
Positive people are better equipped to handle fear and anxiety. Even if you’re not naturally optimistic, you can train yourself to eliminate negative thoughts.
Here’s how: try meditation. With practice, it gives you greater control over your thought processes. Combine meditation with aphorisms to supercharge your progress. An aphorism is a short, positive saying meant to uplift you.
Take time throughout the day to tell yourself things like, “I’m strong,” “I’m capable,” and “I’m worthy.” The more confidence you have in yourself, the easier it will be to crush your fears.
It’s amazing what’s possible if you’re willing to examine your fears and face them head-on.
It may take a while to change your life, but be persistent. You’ll figure out how to tap into your power and combat the fears holding you back.