by Thomas Hadley
When you really think about it, “fear” isn’t something you ever want to overcome. Fear is a great ally of ours. If we didn’t have fear, there would be nothing to stop us from jumping off of a 10 story building. It is fear that prevents us from making a foolish error in such a case. It is fear that keeps us from doing something illegal even when we are very upset and not thinking rationally. Of course if you are success minded, you do not live your life “trying not to get into trouble,” but when we are under great stress, we do things that are irrational. So a fear of consequences of foolish action is a safeguard for us.
What we do want to eradicate is being afraid when we should not be. We shouldn’t be afraid to make that phone call to help a loved one that will very likely result in conflict. We shouldn’t be afraid to say “No” when asked to join in on a project when we know it is not the best use of our time. We shouldn’t be afraid to step out and make changes in our lives that are for the best because we are afraid of what our friends and family may think. However, all of these can be a challenge. The question is, “How do we overcome fear in these situations?”
Here are 5 tips:
- Pause and take a few deep breaths. Irrational fear results from faulty perceptions. Changing our breathing pattern changes our heart rhythms. It has been proven that our heart rhythm pattern changes our thought pathways, which gives us more accurate perceptions.
- Write down the belief you have that is causing the fear. If you need to give a presentation in front of 500 people and you believe that you will fail, fear is sure to overtake you. It should. Becoming aware of the belief you hold may be enough for you to overcome that fear.
- Talk to a friend. Sometimes we simply need a sounding board to hear ourselves. As we talk, we may realize that the fear is totally irrational.
- Be proactive. If you are afraid you’re not going to be able to get that work project done on time, create a list of actions you could take to resolve the issue. Maybe your boss will give you more time to complete the project. Maybe you could enlist the help of others. When we have a plan, the fear levels drop.
- Smell the roses. A lot of our irrational fears are based on things we project may happen in our future. If we stop and look around and let ourselves be grateful in the moment, our perspective changes. Going to a park, the beach, spending time with our loved ones and engaging all five senses, taking it all in, we have a renewed sense of perspective that diffuses our fears.
If you take these five tips, I think you will have many great victories in overcoming your irrational fears that will allow you the clarity of mind to be effective in whatever you do.
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Thomas Hadley is a peak performance consultant for executives, business owners and investors. He enjoys writing, teaching and presenting on increasing creative output, energy management and overcoming limiting beliefs in performance. He founded Higher Level Training Corp. in 2006 and resides in Irvine, CA with his wife and two children.
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