“To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off, postpone.” – David Joseph Schwartz
We all have fears, it’s nothing unusual. Some deal with them easily, some don’t. Fear will always be there, actually it’s essential to stimulate us in all what we do. Living a fearless life is a bit unrealistic, so let’s better focus on how to accept and face the fears and then keep moving forward.
Here are six easy steps to fight your fears:
1. Accept the fear.
To work on your fear, you have to first admit you have it. Rejecting the fact that you’re afraid of something (may it be flying, loosing your job or having to publicly speak about your project) will not bring you anywhere. The fear will appear anyway, whether you like it or not.
2. Share, talk about it.
Sharing how you feel with someone will definitely help. Not only because they will support you but also because you will realize that you are not the only one to feel what you feel. Plus, talking about your fear will release the negativity that is inside your head. You will finally name it and this is the first step to acknowledge the fact that you have this particular fear.
3. Realize it may be just an illusion.
Remember how you felt after your exam / job interview / first date with your girlfriend? It wasn’t THAT bad! I bet this statement came to your mind. What I’m trying to say is that we always fear the unknown and we think something is scarier than it is in reality. Think about it next time when you’ll be afraid of doing something for the first time. And focus on past successes. If you did well on your projects in the past, why should you be worrying this time? If everyone admires you for your public speaking skills, why should you be worrying about your next speech?
4. Just do it!
This may be the most difficult step to take, although it’s the most effective one. Once you face your fear and conquer it, the satisfaction is huge and the level of your self-confidence increases in the blink of an eye. One fear at a time. You will be astonished how easily you will be taking on the challenge to face your fears in the future. The easiest way is to make the decision and keep moving forward. I remember when I was asked to join the team who was jumping with parachutes. The thought of jumping from 3000 m was exciting, however the fear of heights were very strong. I took time to think about it and then I decided to go ahead, although I was still super scared. I think I was still terrified on the helicopter but happy with my decision because I was overcoming one of my biggest fears. I don’t have to describe you my joy and happiness once I landed, do I? :)
5. Imagine the worst. And the best.
What’s the worst that could happen? Is mumbling in front of your audience the worst case scenario? Or maybe stumbling on the stage? First of all, the audience is not coming to point fingers at you but to listen to you and, believe me, they are understandable (after all, nobody would like to be in your shoes, right? ;)). Secondly, learn to laugh at yourself. Take yourself with a grain of salt, Sugar! Life’s easier when we are not perfectionists.
A good thing would be also to imagine the best that could happen. Visualizing the positive outcome and all the benefits out of the current situation might be a strong factor in fighting your specific fears.
6. Seek out mentors.
Learning is a constant and natural process. Learning how to fight your fears might be part of that process, too. Why don’t you look for some mentors who would show you best practices? In addition, they might give you an honest and objective feedback and help you become a stronger person. You can grow in this area. Moreover, becoming a “fear-fighter” might be life changing.
One last reflection from me. I’m afraid of flying. Actually scared to death. But you know what? The joy of traveling and visiting other countries is worth the risk ;)