9 ways to face your fears [actionable and powerful tips]
Fear in small doses can motivate you to find creative ways to overcome a situation, but in high doses can paralyze you.
The fear keeps you in an area of “comfortable discomfort” in which you do not grow and rather you stagnate.
The worst part is that fear can perpetuate in you a cycle of emotional pain that will also have physical consequences over time.
How can you face your fears ?
Later we will share 9 ways to face your fears, some very practical and powerful tips so you can handle your fears in an effective way.
What is fear?
Fear is that feeling of anguish that you experience before a danger, whether real or imaginary. It can also be a feeling of distrust that drives you to believe that events will occur in a way that is totally opposite to what you want.
The brain by default and as a protection generates the sensation of fear as a warning signal for you to flee, defend yourself or take the necessary actions in order to guarantee your integrity, security or tranquility.
As the definition points out, some situations that cause you to fear are not even real, they are projections produced by your mind.
What can you do then to appease that constant fear and learn to manage it effectively, so that it helps you to push yourself instead of paralyzing you? Here come the practical suggestions.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela
9 ways to face your fears
# 1 Take the weeds out of your mind daily
Just as in a garden there are wonderful flowers and plants, some weeds also grow and must be removed in time to preserve the beauty of your garden.
Your mind is full of good ideas, knowledge, key data, but also is stalked during the day pessimistic thoughts that predispose you to the worst. That can generate chemical reactions harmful to your health.
It establishes a time of «mental detox» every day. Check what are those ideas that anguish you and are hanging around your head. Write them down to have them clear and for each of them, think of an opposite scenario.
For example, when doing your review you find that you have been thinking that the project you work on is not going to like the clients when you show them. Imagine what would happen if, on the contrary, they love it and they want to execute it quickly.
In addition to moving your mind to a positive scheme, it allows you to see clearly that there are alternatives to the situation you live in and that the only possibility is not that fatal that you imagined.
# 2 Stay away or avoid the fear triggers
It is better to avoid it any activity that triggers your fears or anguish. If possible, get away from the situation and if not, have a distractor that allows you to focus on another topic.
Common scare triggers could be local news (if they are usually focused on tragic, unfortunate and unpleasant events), relatives or people who are always talking about the problems of the country, their community or their family, to name a few.
Simply if you identify that something unleashes in you the most pessimistic thoughts or the physical sensations that you associate with anguish, stress or fear, it works as a stimulus of fear in your case and you must move away.
Take the test for a week, make a mental diet; Do not listen to the news and if a person comes to make a negative comment or complain, kindly change the conversation.
Ask him what possible solutions he sees within his situation, to give a turn to the conversation, or simply tell him that you are in a mental/emotional detox and that these days you are going to avoid everything that anguishes you or generates anxiety for taking care of your health.
# 3 Focus on edifying activities
This is the opposite of the previous point. Here you seek to participate or enroll in activities that connect you with feelings of peace, satisfaction, serenity or joy.
Some can be meditation, practice breathing exercises, yoga, a certain type of reading or listen to music that produces relax.
For each person, these activities may be different. You know yourself and know what helps you feel calmer. Make a list of at least 10 activities that you feel comfortable with and that produce a relaxing effect.
Keep this list handy and when you feel that the levels of stress or anguish are rising, do some activity on the list.
# 4 Leave your comfort zone more frequently
There are people who remain in this area for a long time for fear of changes.
Your comfort zone is an area to take a break while you re-enter a new phase of growth. It is good that you take your break, but if you stop growing you get stuck and it can lead you to other painful experiences.
Consider that sooner or later, it will be another fear that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Maybe this change occurs in a forced and very uncomfortable way.
I know people who have stayed in jobs where they no longer feel good but do not quit or take action because they feel in an illusory safe area. Suddenly the company merges or a new administration arrives, restructure and begin to lay off staff.
You go through all that anguish without no sense because deep down you knew that you had to go long ago. Of course, fear and anxiety are revived.
Continuously review in what areas of your life you are growing and in which you have been stuck for a long time for fear of change.
Apply the tip #1 in this case and validate which could be the opposite scenarios.
# 5 Have a partner that you trust and encourage you
Choose a reliable person for you, to whom you can expose your fears. Someone with whom you can show your vulnerable side.
It is easier to give up if you are alone. With someone by your side surrendering becomes a less likely option.
In addition to telling this person what are those fears that prevent you from advancing or achieving what you want, set a regular (perhaps weekly) appointment to update you on how you are progressing and what you have done to overcome your fears.
The idea is that this person listens to you, gives you encouragement and helps you to see other perspectives that you don’t see (your blind spots).
# 6 Learn and gain new skills
There is a kind of fear that many of us experience and it is fear of the unknown. It is related to leaving the comfort zone because many times you do not leave because of the fear of the unknown.
You have heard the saying «old is better than new», maybe based on that kind of fear. In other words, stay better with this you already have proved (although it does not work for you anymore, you feel uncomfortable or it hurts) and do not risk testing the new you do not know and therefore you have no certainty if it will be better.
Diminish the fear of the unknown, learning, taking the time to understand and gaining skills in that field.
There are many cases in which after knowing the situation better your fear dissipates and you even think it was foolish to be so afraid.
An exercise that can help you diminish the fear of the unknown and disarm beliefs is to answer: What is the worst that can happen and how can I minimize it? It allows you to prepare for the unknown situation and that can produce more confidence.
# 7 Beat your fear one level at a time
If something scares you a lot, do not start to handle it from the highest degree of difficulty. Crumble that fear into smaller parts and try to start overcoming it from the lowest levels of difficulty.
That will help you gain confidence, competencies, skills, experience, and strength. It will prepare you for when the moment of truth arrives.
You will realize that you can advance to another level when you no longer feel fear or discomfort in what you do. There you will know that it was time to raise the dose to the challenge.
This requires that you act with courage. That means to take action in spite of fear. There is a phrase that sums it up «do it with fear, but do it». Do not let your fear paralyze you.
You can call your support partner.
# 8 Strengthen your reliability
Increase self-confidence is possible with some actions. The first and very essential is to fulfill the promises you make to yourself.
One big tip: do not commit yourself to do something that you are not willing to do in advance. If something undermines the confidence in yourself is to break those little promises that you make.
Say that you are going to get up at 5 a.m. to exercise if you are really going to do it, otherwise be honest with you and say sincerely that you will do it later.
Another way is to say affirmations (in front of the mirror they are much more effective).
There is a very simple from Louise Hay that says «I accept and approve myself as I am». In his book, You Can Heal Your Life, she recommends saying it at least 300 to 400 times a day.
Completing this takes about 15 minutes if you say it continuously. You can do it at different times during the day in a mental or spoken way.
# 9 Visualize yourself overcoming your fears
Imagine that you are facing a situation that typically causes you great fear. You visualize yourself facing it with courage, naturalness and a lot of confidence in yourself.
Capture while you do it, what your emotions are, what your posture looks like and what your mood is. Try to adopt this attitude when you live the real situation.
Repeat the visualizations every possible time until you see yourself confident.
It is ideal to perform one in which the results are contrary to those desired. The idea is that you visualize yourself looking for alternatives of how to handle it with serenity without letting yourself be carried away by fear.
In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains very well the power of visualization to face many fears that he defines as an excess of future. We project ideas of what can happen, but instead of imagining them with happy outcomes, we visualize them with problems, tragic and complicated events that generate a lot of pain and fear.
The idea at this point is to imagine scenarios in which you overcome your fears or face them with courage, although not everything results as you want.
As a final suggestion, prepare yourself to appease the ego. Your ego does not like changes or the unknown because he loses control. Surely he will find a thousand reasons to activate your fears. It is one of the factors that keep you tied to the comfort zone.
If you feel that the fear is emerging, breathe deeply several times and stretch, occupy physical space and connect with a situation in which you were successful, revive it in your mind, what sensations you had, what was your body language. Try to replicate it.
If your fears are very intense and you feel that they come out of your control, we suggest you seek professional support.
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