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Embracing our Fear Factor

August 17th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have been involved in the business world for over 20 years.  I have had an opportunity to make some observations about success and failure.  Every one of us is capable of both.  All of us have experienced both in some capacity.  The reason some people are more successful than others is not that they have not had as many failures as those who are less successful.  The thing that successful people have that others don’t is that they have a process they use to overcome fear.

There isn’t a piece of flesh on this planet that hasn’t felt fear.  We all know how it feels.  When we come across something that we are afraid of our heart starts to beat faster, we start to perspire, sometimes our stomachs flip over or “flutters”.  That is called our fight or flight response.  But, why do we fear?

Fear has been around since the beginning of man kind.  It was designed to keep us safe.  When we were being chased by fierce creatures, fear gave us the adrenalin in our fight or flight response to escape those creatures.  When did fear stop being our friend? 

In our modern age, we are chased less by fierce creatures, but I would say that fear has been on an increase.  We still need our fear response that keeps us safe.  But, we also have unreasonable fear that hinders our success.  I have seen brave young men and women who have fought in battles for our country come home.  When they have been confronted with a phone to make a business related call, they freeze.  How can they be so brave in one situation and so fearful in another?  What can we do to become less fearful so we can succeed?

Here are 5 tips on overcoming fear.

1.  Get in touch with what you fear.  Write it down.  Putting it on paper helps to get a handle on exactly what is causing this response.  When it is put on paper, sometimes that alone helps us realize it isn’t that big of a deal.  Writing it down helps put it in perspective.

2.  Now that you have written it down you can devise a game plan for countering it.  Start out with baby steps.  For instance, let’s say you have a fear of talking to people you don’t know.  We have been told since we were small not to talk to strangers.  When you are on your daily travels doing errands say hello to someone.  Did it kill you?  Did they strike you?  Where they unfriendly?  Did they make you feel stupid?  No, of course not.  You should be proud of yourself for taking that first step.  There is nothing more empowering than conquering a fear.  Next, take a bigger step, start a conversation with someone.  See how you can build on your successes?

3.  When you realize that you are fearful start looking at it in a different light or perspective.  For instances, let’s say you fear dogs.  You can start looking at dogs in a different perspective by watching other people interact with their dogs.  Are they frightened of their dog?  Fear gives off a vibration.  You may have been attacked by a dog in your past because you were giving off a vibration of fear.  Do you notice how a dog owner carries themselves differently then you do when they are in the presence of their pet?  

4.  Stay in the now.   Wikipedia says, “worth noting is that fear always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable.”  Notice how it says it is a future event.  Meaning that it hasn’t happened.  I have heard fear referred to as False Evidence Appearing Real.  Almost all the things we fear never happen.  The best way to combat those futuristic fears is to stay in the now.  Take your mind of your fear driven thoughts and notice what you are doing right at this moment in the now.  Unless you are being confronted by one of those pesky fierce creatures right now in this moment, you shouldn’t have any fears. 

5.  Redefine who you are.  When you talk about yourself watch for those “I am” statements that pertain to your identity and incorporate your fears.  Don’t say, “I am afraid of dogs.” or “I am afraid to make a sales call.”  “I am” statements speak directly to your subconscious.  You will become more of what your “I am” statement says you are.

Susan Jeffers who wrote the book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” says in Truth 1, “The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.”  Followed closely by Truth 2 that says, “The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”  The reason that people succeed is not that they don’t have fear.  It is that they push through it over and over and over again until they no longer fear it.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

These are just a few ways to overcome fear. Have you ever overcome a fear?  Leave me a comment letting me know how you did it.

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  1. November 23rd, 2010 at 09:29 | #1

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