I’ve been thinking a lot about fear recently
Not the vertigo or afraid of spiders sort of fear, but the sort of fear that is inside you and stops you doing stuff.
Maybe even stuff that you would really like to do
Now it’s really difficult to know how anyone else is feeling because you only have yourself as a point of reference, but I don’t think I am out of line when I say that everybody experiences fear in some shape or form.
- Think about the actress about to go on stage
- Or the footballer waiting in the dressing room for kick-off time
- You may have a tricky meeting to run, a presentation to give or a difficult telephone call to make
Everybody experiences fear – it’s how you face the fear that counts
Indeed it is not unfair to say that the biggest difference between someone who is successful and someone who is not is the courage to take significant action over and over again
Put another way – it is fear that stops us taking action.
Think about the last time you were fearful
What did the fear stop you doing?
- Applying for that job that would (maybe in time) have been perfect for you?
- Asking that girl out you have been fawning over for weeks?
- Going to play golf with your friends because you feared you would be no good?
- Fearful of making that phone call which would help you deal with your financial issues
Think about what you could achieve if you could overcome your fears
It’s fair to say that I have been fearful much of my life and it has definitely held me back
So I sat down and thought about the steps I had taken to help me succeed.
The steps that will enable you take that significant action, repeatedly so that it just becomes a matter of routine
And then I thought that it really comes down to one thing (and with apologies to a top sports manufacturer) – “just do it”
If there is a barrier in your way or something which you must do then take a deep breath and “just do it"
Trouble is that’s not really advice that is going to be helpful to somebody who is fearful of "just doing it"
If you have an issue that’s holding you back , or something you really know you should do but aren’t doing because of “the fear” then the advice “just do it” isn’t going to work very well
So how’s about this idea
Start small. Get used to doing little things that scare you and build up to the big stuff
So commit yourself to doing one thing that scares you every single day for the next month (or longer if you prefer) and then at the end of the month commit yourself to doing one bigger thing (a “big deal thing”) that you have been fearful about
Write down your achievements
Here are examples of a few things you could do:
- Phone a friend you haven’t spoken to for ages
- Knock on the door of a neighbor (invent a pretext if you have to) and just make contact
- Make a phonecall which will help you financially
- Volunteer to do something at work out of your normal day to day role
- Sign up for a dating agency and complete the profile (singles only!)
- Have that “tricky conversation” which you’ve meant to have for ages with a colleague at work
Don’t be afraid to repeat a few things – you don’t have to do something brand new every day but you do need to commit to doing something that will move you forward
Examples of “big deal” actions you could take
- Join a golf club
- Apply for that promotion at work
- Ask somebody out
- Sort out your finances
- Make that presentation at work that you’ve been dithering over
- Think about something you really want to do and join a club or group in your local area. You may not know anybody and it may be scary at first but you’ll soon settle in
- Start training for a marathon
Imagine that you did this for a year
You’d have around 350 “small ticket” things you had achieved and 12 “big ticket items” where you have faced your fears head on … all written down so you can go back over your achievements
Here are a few other tips which should help you:
- Make the Commitment to Succeed
It’s true that most people do not really commit to succeed.
Put another way, why don’t you simply “decide to succeed”
Once you’ve truly decided to go for your dreams, there is no other option – and no room for fear or doubt – in your mind.
- Embrace risk.
By this I don’t necessarily mean doing a bunjee jump or a skydive (unless you want to of course).
The sort of risk I am talking about is a little more mundane. It is the risk of failure, or being made to look a fool.
A huge part of being successful is doing things that other people are too afraid to do.
- Plan Ahead.
Many of our stresses, challenges, and concerns are things that we actually anticipated.
Take the time to find solutions and put them into place before you need them. When you can see a challenge that is likely to come up, simply prepare for it instead of worrying about it.
- Focus on the good outcomes.
Most people look for the worst and expect it to happen. Expect the best and it’s much easier to take action.
- Learn to relax.
When you feel stress and anxiety coming on, a few slow, deep breaths can make a huge difference. To a large extent, our psychology follows our physiology; breathing is the only part of our physiology that we can really control. Use that control to your advantage.
- Fully engage in your life and get away from the news.
The news is so negative. Instead, find something interesting to do with your time. If you’re conquering less stressful things all day long, the more stressful things don’t seem so bad anymore. Take a piano lesson, go hiking, or go skydiving. It will make your life more interesting, too.
- Realize that you are enough.
Even if you have things to learn and skills that need to be honed, that doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of the task at hand. Plan to acquire the resources you need, but do everything you can with the resources you have now.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
Don’t let negative people drag you down. If you surround yourself with positive people some of it is bound to rub off on you!
In summary - the only way to truly be free is to conquer your fears.
The only way to conquer your fears is to do the things that frighten you.
Here's a video which I like which talks about fears and how to start dealing with them
Start small and build up
Prove to yourself that you can do those things successfully.
Then move onto bigger things
Follow the suggestions above and start your journey from fear to freedom today!