Let’s be 100% honest.
Fear exists and we’re going to feel it.
It can creep up on us or take us unaware. It will come from a source we’re aware of or know nothing about.
But it’s there for the long haul.
If you’ve seen people selling you the ‘get rid of your fear’ sales-pitch, they’re not being honest with you.
So what can you do? Do you just sit back and feel afraid forever?
You can absolutely be successful and happy, even if you’re afraid. But it’s going to take a little work on your part.
Unfortunately personal growth doesn’t always come easy. And managing fear can be hard. But keep reading to find easy tips that work for everyone to help keep the impact of fear to a minimum.
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What is causing your fear
We’ve spent the last few weeks looking at what fear is, what can cause it, and how it can affect your health.
It’s important that you have a good understanding of what your fear is and where it’s coming from. Being honest with yourself and about your thoughts/feelings is a crucial key to living your life well when you’re afraid.
One other thought here…
Some fears, which cross well into the territory of anxiety, need a little more attention that your everyday fears. Anxiety conditions are real and are much better managed with the help of professionals and sometimes even medicine.
If you find yourself drowning in anxiety, please seek out the help of someone who is trained to help you with overwhelming anxiety.
If you need help dealing with that anxiety that fear can bring, check out online-therapy.com for their free resources. Full disclosure, there’s also a paid version, but there is SO MUCH to offer before you ever feel the need to pay!
Living with courage despite fear
When you’re deeply afraid of something, hearing about courage may be the last little bit of advice you actually want.
It may sound condescending and trite.
But hear me out…
Courage can be built when you face an obstacle despite being afraid of it.
You give a speech in front of a group of people. Or you let your teen drive without supervision. Or you decide to stand up to someone who is constantly belittling you.
When you do it one time, you now have a mental picture of how doing that thing didn’t kill you.
When you face it again the next time, it is infinitesimally easy.
If you repeat this pattern enough, you’ve built a thick-skin, so to speak, around the fear that comes with the action.
And that thick-skin is called courage.
A courageous object lesson
Let’s look at an example.
Take Amanda and her fear of speaking in public.
(Ok… I’m Amanda. This is a story about me.)
When she first took her government job working in Elections, speaking in front of volunteers to train them or interested parties touring her office gave her a massive adrenaline spike.
She was mentally and physically exhausted every. single. time.
She got butterflies in her stomach and felt and impending sense of doom frequently.
But over the course of months and years, where she was constantly in front of groups of people for one reason or another, she became more comfortable.
The doom became a vague sense of uneasiness. The mental exhaustion was not as severe.
And one day, she realized that speaking in front of people was not going to kill her. She was going to survive.
Better than that, after a few years, she realized she had valuable information to share and almost looked forward to it. Her fear of speaking in front of people had been replaced by a sense of accomplishment and joy every time she tackled the task and did well.
And so her courage was sharpened after time to become a successful speaker and her fear was lessened.
It’s still there. The occasional butterfly attack still bubbles at the beginning of a presentation.
But the feeling of success and accomplishment far outweighs the sense of dread.
Turning fear into accomplishments
The above example is just one person. But I can confidently tell you it is completely true.
And it’s likely just as true for you.
Fear is going to try to hold you back. It’s going to tell you that you cannot possibly succeed – or even survive.
But all it takes is one time to start building courage.
And that seedling of courage starts to compound over time. After while, that fear isn’t as loud.
And after even more time you start to realize that, even though the fear is talking quietly to you in the background, you get a little thrill when you tell it that it’s not bigger than you.
So let’s slow down and take a look at what has happened (as you can see in the example of our public-speaking Amanda).
Not only did the fear become less overwhelming and all-consuming, it eventually became a source of pride and accomplishment.
So what is actually happening, is that fear has become an opportunity.
And what a revelation that is!
Just take a second to picture your most intense fear. And now picture what would happen if you moved passed it to the point where it becomes something you can feel proud of!
Or even if you don’t achieve those great odds, picture not having it stop you in your tracks every time you encounter it. That alone is worth the effort you put into building your courage!
Beating fear with mindset
I’m going to level with you…there is a lot of advice out there on how to overcome fear.
And a decent chunk of it is good advice.
No matter which method you chose, though, know that it’s going to take some brain power from you. You’re going to have to step-off that cliff the first time you do something that scares you.
If you ever plan on moving forward, you’re going to have to organize your thoughts or teach yourself a new habit or begin a process of training your brain.
So the question becomes, is it worth the effort?
And I’m willing to be that in almost all cases, the answer is YES!
If you’ve found yourself onto this or any other website talking about fear, you’ve already decided it’s important and taken the first steps.
You’ve searched out help and you’re thinking about it. Your mindset is already changing!
Take a second to congratulate yourself. Seriously…recognizing your positive thoughts and decisions is important.’
Now it’s time to take the next step.
And maybe it’s as easy as counting to three, closing your eyes, and jumping off into the unknown!
Bringing it all together
Fear is a bit of a constant friend.
But it is possible to dampen the thoughts and feelings that try to hold you back. It is just going to take a little work.
Once you decide to make a move, you can find motivation in knowing that each time you accomplish what makes you fearful, you are starting on the path to building courage.
And that courage will move you forward and maybe even turn your fear into a sense of accomplishment!
Keep your eyes peeled for the final installment of our fear series next week.
In this series, we’re delving more deeply into fear. Topics to be (or already) covered include:
Is it okay to feel afraid?
How to Identify Your Fears Honestly
Are you afraid OR anxious – and does it matter which?
What Causes the Fear Feeling?
Fear, faith, and what the bible says about them
Don’t forget, not all fear is safe and healthy. If you’re fear is driven by anxiety and you are struggling to manage it yourself, find a professional or take a look at this awesome free resource below.
If you are one of the 40% of Americans who deal with anxiety, check out this awesome resource! The confidential web portal gives you access to hours of free mental health resources AND allows you to pay for access to online therapists, which is awesome during a pandemic!
Plus, if you use this link, you get a 20% discount on your first month if you decide to sign up for a plan. For those without insurance like me, this is a great and relatively inexpensive option! And trust me when I say, even the free resources are amazing!
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