Overcoming Fear

23 July 2015

The biggest obstacle that stops you from doing things in life is fear. It's crippling and paralyzing. Fear can bring even the strongest person down to their very knee and brings down even the strongest of people to their knees. Sometimes, fear is irrational. Other types it may be from a bad experience you once faced. But just because something scares you does not mean it's impossible to overcome it. You are more than what you give yourself credit for. Here is a guide of how you may be able to overcome your own fear or anxious state of mind over a situation that causes you distress.

1. Figure out why you're scared
Take a moment to sit down, gather your courage and brainstorm notes on these questions. 
- What are you scared of?  
- Did this come from a previous bad experience, or just something you always remember being scared of?
- What is it about this very thing that terrifies you?
- Are you scared of the possible outcomes or the act of doing the thing that terrifies you?

Identifying your fear and it's reasons may help you understand why it exists. This will help you conquer your fear, as it is so much more easier to tackle something once you know the reasons behind your emotions. So for example if you have a fear of public speaking - one reason could be the fact that you prefer intimate conversations with people as opposed to a large group. This isn't a bad thing - it's just part of who you are, and that's completely okay. There are many people in the world who are introverts, but are actually public speakers in their professions. Your situation does not define you.

2. List your pros and cons
Think of all the good things that can happen if you take the decision to face your fear, and list them against all the negatives. Our minds have a wonderful way of making the bad seem worse than it is. By listing down  all the good and bad things, you are giving yourself the opportunity to explore the situation in logical manner - where your emotions aren't clouding your judgement. Writing this down may also help you to process your thoughts and feelings behind the fear.

3. Exposure to the fear
Once you've began to understand your fear, it's time to move on to the next step - exposure. Exposing yourself to your fears may seem like an absolutely terrifying idea. Your first instinct may be to reject, but look over those notes you've made. Remind yourself what good can come of this decision. For instance, overcoming your fear of public speaking may allow you more opportunities in your life.

So, start small and manageable. Begin to slowly exposure yourself to your fear, and reward yourself for coming so far. Take your time in this process, and work at your own pace. Slowly you'll find yourself becoming more comfortable with the situations you've faced. You'll slowly be peeling back the layers that once use to terrify you so much before.

4. Practice and give time
It takes time to over come our fears. They don't happen over night. Keep trying your best to face them, and conquer them. Keep reading your pros list, and tell yourself how overcoming these factors may help you in both short and long term goals. Over time and experience, you'll come to find that the things that once use to scare you, aren't as bad you thought they were. In fact years down the line you may even laugh at yourself thinking, what on earth was I thinking?

Any tips on conquering your fears? Share them in the comments below!

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