6 Tips to Overcoming Fear
All behaviour is belief-driven, and behind many of the actions that we take and decisions we make is a fear-driven belief. Whether it is procrastination, avoidance, self-sabotage, or anger, they all, to a certain degree, have their roots in what I call the ‘Fear Factor.’ Most observable behaviours will often have an undercurrent of needs, emotions, and fears which drive them. So here are six tips that you can use to help you overcome fear:
1) TIME OUT: When your mind becomes flooded with intruding thoughts, it becomes impossible to think clearly, so it is essential first to take a moment to calm down physically. Often when we experience fear, our bodies kick into overdrive due to the adrenaline release. Finding ways to distract yourself from the worry or anxiety for 10-15 minutes can help create some clarity for steps forward.
2) DEEP BREATHING: Sometimes, the feeling of fear or panic can be overwhelming. It can be challenging to take time out or find ways to try and distract yourself in those times. In moments like this, you can place the palm of your hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. By doing this, you start to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is also known as the 'rest and digest.' This helps calm the body and helps the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.
3) EXPLORE THE EVIDENCE: The average individual experience between 60-70 thousand thoughts daily. One of the biggest mistakes people make is believing they are 100% true when they aren't. This is why it is crucial to challenge fearful thoughts. With whatever you are afraid of, please take a moment to explore its validity. Are they evidence-based? Where is the science behind this, or often has this occurred in the past? Quite often, you will find that it turns out to be False Evidence Appearing Real!!!
4) CONQUER YOUR FEARS: At some point, we all have to challenge fears bluff and show it enough is ENOUGH! It is essential to know that avoiding our fears only makes them scarier and become even harder to overcome. Whatever your fear is, if you choose to face it head-on, it will start to fade as you realise the task or objective wasn't as scary as you imagined it to be. Even if the result wasn't as great as you hoped, it's best to keep moving forward and trying again as this builds your muscles of courage and resilience.
5) VISUALISATION: Visualisation is a beautiful thing. It gives you power, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a situation that usually causes fear. Say, for example, public speaking. Now, imagine yourself handling the case peacefully and calmly. You don't get tongue-tied, forget words or speak fast to get it over and done with. Instead, you are confident, calm, and charismatic. You imagine yourself inspiring the crowd, grabbing their attention, and getting a standing ovation. The peace you experienced in your visualised scenario can help you get through the actual event more peaceably.
6) PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: Mindfulness is a passive thinking activity that allows you to become more aware of your fear. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps you to disconnect. It enables you to focus on being aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness during some of your less severe times of fear and anxiety is vital so you can do it in those times when it counts. When you recognise your fear symptoms arising, sit down and explore what is happening to you, like making a mental journal entry. Observe the signs as they arise, but don't do anything about it. This raises your self-awareness, and it stops you from reacting out of fear.
So, there you have it. Six practical steps that you can take to overcome your fear. Try them out to see which ones work more for you. Remember that it takes time to develop new skills and practice make progress! Finally, always have this in mind whenever you have your next face to face encounter with fear - Your most considerable fear carries your most significant growth.
For more information on this topic, check out my video below on Overcoming Fear!