Let’s start with these questions: Have you been in a situation where you become so afraid of taking the next step? What about the fear of making a change?
Have you ever been afraid of something, but you later found that it wasn’t as bad as you had thought?
For example, as a young boy, I used to go to the forest with my friends to set traps. Every time we would hear some creepy noise coming through the thick bushes, fear will immediately consume us, and we would start running all over the place. At some point, we decided to stop running to see what was happening. We started seeing that the noises were mostly coming from either squirrels, or monkeys, or snakes that were passing through those leaves and bushes. We asked ourselves, “so have we been running away from monkeys and squirrels?” From that point, our fears, worries, and anxieties were at ease. Since then, the more we stopped to see what was happening or coming before running, the lesser our fears became.
Why was that? Because we started taking the time to assess the situation. We were now able to describe what was happening or coming. We were able to weigh the impact or effect, and we were able to then plan ways to deal with it or escape it.
Think about it this way: You were in the woods and you heard some creepy footsteps in a distance. You became afraid because you didn’t know what it was, and you didn’t want to look back at it. This started causing you to fear. You started making assumptions. Then you later decided to look back, and you saw that it was a big deer. What happened? You took away the power that fear was trying to have over you at that moment. Because you were now able to clearly define the situation, you were able to know how to handle it. This is where the phrase. “Face your fears” comes in.
Years along the line, I came across an activity called “Fear Setting,” in the work of Tim Ferris. I later learned more about the power of this both in my life coaching sessions and in real-life experiences. I want to share with you these 3 simple but powerful steps. This is about getting the courage to face your fears so that you can overcome them.
Here are the practical steps that you can use to overcome your fears:
- Define your fear: When you can specifically define what you are afraid of, then you can overcome them or deal with them in healthy ways. Allow yourself to honestly define what you are afraid of. Shine a light on your fear. Take a closer look and identify to know what it is. Get details about what could go wrong as it relates to this fear. What could the worst-case scenarios be? If this could happen and so what? Why would that even matter? Identify both the short and long-term outcomes that could happen because of this. Keep digging until you are at the core of what you are afraid of. In the end, you will be in a better position to know how to handle it.
- Prevention: This is where you start looking at possible solutions to each of the pieces of what could go wrong. It doesn’t mean you are always going to be able to prevent every possible outcome. Realize that there are some situations that we can’t do that much about. However, there is always something or some way we can influence something. Think about ways you could reduce the chances of something going wrong. Is there any source of empowerment at all?
- Repair: This is where you can choose to come out stronger or defeated. This where you ask yourself, “Well if this worst scenario happens, what could I do to either repair the damage or to bounce back successfully?” Think about the possible ways you could get your life back on track. Solving problem in advance is a vital skill to cultivate for resilience. This is true for any effective personal leadership. It’s about anticipating problems and developing solutions before they arrive. It is also valid to understand that you can’t just handle a situation when it is not there. But this stage can help you work on some of those possible outcomes constructively in your mind. What possible solutions could help you cope with the outcomes or even thrive through them?
This activity is also applied in setting and accomplishing goals. As you are doing goal setting remember fear setting as well. Because if an underlying fear is getting in the way of accomplishing your goals, then applying this technique to overcome the fear will also help you reach your goals faster.
Overcoming your fear starts with getting a clear understanding of what it is.Nabs.
Here is a typical example you can relate to as you fill out the worksheet:
Situation: You want to start a restaurant business.
Define the fear: You are afraid that the business might fail. Dig deeper: And so, what? Why should that matter? You might not be able to pay your bills. You might not be able to afford your rent. You might not afford your child’s school.
Prevention: What possible ways to prevent these problems from happening? You could look for different ways to make money. You could apply for a scholarship for your kid. You could move in with a friend or family member to save rent. You could learn new skills and do some side hustle like becoming an Uber driver or a taxi driver. Not that you are stopping it from happening, but you are finding ways to prevent it from becoming a hard problem for you.
Repair: Then actually do some of the things you have brainstormed. If you are stressed, seek a stress management platform. Take on a temporary job. There may not be perfect answers but try the possible solutions to come out strong. You are trying something real. This eases your stress and fear. This process will also help you feel that sense of empowerment, confidence, and freedom.
So, instead of avoiding your fears, face them with confidence.
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