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Taking Proactive Actions To Become Skilled At Facing Fear 

by A Hospidales
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“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”

Judy Blume

As children, we are prone to think of monsters under our beds when we think of “fears.”.

However, as adults, we have a different perspective on fears.

You can have fears in any category you can imagine.

Being afraid is part of an evolutionary survival instinct that dates back to our ancestors.

For many people, fear can be debilitating and prevent them from achieving their goals.

As varied as fears are, so are their causes.

Learning what fears mean, where they come from, and how to categorize them so we can move beyond them is part of facing fears, or getting rid of fears.

Fear can affect daily life, causing anxiety, avoidance, and even affecting productivity.

There are many things that can cause fear.

Furthermore, human beings often experience a number of worries, insecurities, and anxieties whether they are real or self-constructed.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to face your fear and conquer it once and for all!

We will provide tips and tactics that have been proven to help people overcome their fear and live a more productive life.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Common Fears:

  • Catastrophe (personal, monetary, security, etc.)
  • Failure
  • Self-doubt
  • Feelings of social anxiety
  • Performance anxiety
  • The unknown

Don’t Face Your Fears Alone

You should not be afraid of a small amount of fear.

The aim is to keep you safe from harm and assist you in making safer decisions.

However, sometimes we become afraid of something that is not dangerous. 

Take for instance, public speaking.

Many people fear public speaking, but no one has ever died from it.

It’s possible to justify a fear of flying, but that won’t help you if you dream of traveling the world but can’t handle a 1-hour flight from London to Manchester.

Your fears may be based on reality or not, but if they prevent you from living the life you want, then you need to do something about them.

Your life does depend on it, but not in the way you thought it would.

“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

Dale Carnegie

Embrace your fears

You can face your fears in many different ways.

One way to overcome one’s aversion to water, etc. is to expose oneself to it.

This is not for everyone, however.

An evaluation of the risks is the best place to start.

Uncertainty is often the source of fear.

It is natural for humans to be scared of the unknown.

Therefore, your first step should be to confront that which makes you nervous.

A look at the statistics would be a great place to begin for someone with a fear of flying.

As far as the United States is concerned, flying commercially is considerably safer than smoking.

For example, smokers face the risk of death in 1 in 600 cases versus 1 in 7 million when they fly!

That is quite an amazing statistic.

“Fear of self is the greatest of all terrors, the deepest of all dread, the commonest of all mistakes. From it grows failure. Because of it, life is a mockery. Out of it comes despair.”

David Seasbury

It is more challenging to overcome a fear of public speaking because there are no statistics on how safe it is.

You could argue there are no statistics because they are completely unnecessary!

This does not make your fear any less real, however.

Keep this in mind – just because it feels scary doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. Some things may seem risky but they aren’t.

Check your identity

As a first step, you must acknowledge that a fear is a fear.

Identify what you are experiencing.

Perhaps you need to take some time to reflect and think about it.

The moment you are able to understand and name your fears, you are on your way to change for the better. 

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”

Bill Cosby

Paralysis-Free Analysis

Many options are available to you if you’re extremely concerned or afraid about something in life.

According to a study, “Anxiety is a psychological, physiological, and behavioral state induced in animals and humans by a threat to well-being or survival, either actual or potential.” (Thierry Steimer, Ph.D., 2002) 

Think about your fear and ask yourself, “How real is it?”

When you feel fear in advance of experiencing something or attending an event, remember that you have the opportunity before the event that you are scared of to work things out in your head.

Think about whether the fear you have is reasonable or rational.

We often worry about the unknown as adults.

Even when taking a logical approach is challenging, it will serve you well when you face premeditated anxiety and fear. 

There are times when we catastrophize (assuming the worst) and overestimate the danger of a situation. 

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Action Plan

List everything you want to do.

Plan your actions.

Figure out what fears hold you back the most.

Decide which one to tackle first.

You can make a list of supportive actions or solutions you could take to reduce anxiety and make the experience more manageable.

You can even practice what you are going to do if necessary.

Consider a practice run.

Many times just planning ahead reduces anxiety and stress.

The mental rehearsal or preparation that you did in advance can be a comfort when fear rears its ugly head.

“Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”

Isa Upanishad

Making a plan and taking small steps is the key to overcoming your fears.

Don’t take too many steps at once.

However, you must keep moving forward.

Here’s an example of an action plan for overcoming the fear of public speaking.

  • Get used to speaking in front of a mirror.
  • Practice your speech by recording yourself. Play it back afterwards.
  • Get your partner to watch you practice.
  • Practise with a friend/family member and your partner.
  • Practise in front of two friends or members of your family and your partner.
  • Practise in front of three family/friends and your partner.
  • Give the talk.

“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”

Confucius

Take gradual steps toward the final step rather than rushing right into it.

You may have noticed something interesting about the steps above.

There is only one step that can be practiced alone, the other steps involve others.

Why would you want to face your fears alone?

Be The Captain Of Your Own Support Team 

Family and friends can be a great source of support.

Speaking about your fears can help you gain clarity and insight into them.

In addition, it helps you realize you are not alone in your fears. 

One option that may help you overcome your fears is to speak to a professional.

We humans are social creatures, so to overcome we need the assistance and edification of our fellow creatures.

We shouldn’t feel embarrassed if we seek the help of others.

In reality, it is a sign of strength and an understanding that sometimes you need someone to help you carry your burden, until you are strong enough to handle it on your own.

Aren’t friends and family supposed to do that?

“One of the biggest defects in life is the inability to ask for help.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Final Thoughts

You can do this.

Regardless of what you’re facing, remember that you’re not alone.

Each of us has a different type of fear.

Everyone is capable of overcoming their fears, anxiety, and doubts.

Always acknowledge your progress and celebrate small victories.

Whether your fears are real or imagined, you can conquer them.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius

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