These are two of my sayings about fear. Try them on for size. See if they fit.
“Let go of apprehension and have confidence.
All you need to do is take the first step and everything will fall into place.”
“Some of us are more afraid of success than of failure. Believe it or not, it’s right up there with fear of public speaking. “
My mind was directed to facing your fears today when speaking to a friend. And I remembered this article that I had published in a magazine a couple of years ago. It was accompanied by a picture of an ogre and for some of us, our fears are like ogres.
Fear is an acronym for – False Evidence Appearing Real – and this can be applied to all our fears. We all have them – so what is it you’re afraid of? Is it:
- Fear of public speaking – identified as the no. 1 fear for most people
- Making decisions
- Changing jobs – or any change
- Growing older
- Being alone
- Losing a loved one
- Making a commitment.
I think I was one of those more afraid of success than of failure. I was always going to write articles or even a book when the time was right, or when the ideas were properly organized in my mind and in my many notebooks. When I had time. When I had a real space in which to write, and on and on. Well, one day I said,”Enough! I can’t wait for everything to be right before I begin so, as the ad says, just do it.”
Here are some steps to help you face and overcome your fears:
- Write down your fears – when you see them on paper they lose some of their power.
- Decide which two of these fears you most want to conquer. Remember it’s too easy to overwhelm yourself with change. Take on a small number and when you have conquered those, take on some more. Remember to reward yourself when you have conquered a fear.
- Change your self-talk – don’t reinforce the fact that you fear flying, dying, or whatever it is. Listen to what you say to yourself and also listen to what comes out of your mouth.
- You attract to you that which you think about most so when you begin to think about your fear, change the thought to an affirmation – I enjoy flying or I love to write. If decision-making is your fear, tell yourself, “I can’t lose whatever decision I make”.Affirmations may sometimes sound like you are being fraudulent (oh, who do you think you’re kidding?) but, over time, the little voice in the back of your head will be quiet.
- Turn up to the page to write your article; talk about dying with your close friends and relatives; volunteer at a hospice near you; make that decision – you can always change it; join Toastmasters or another club; spend time with older people and see how much they are enjoying this time in their life.
- Above all, act as if it is so. This is not the same as fake it till you make it. People will soon see through that.
If you feel brave enough look for situations where you can face your fear.
- Volunteer to introduce the guest speaker or give the thank you at the next club meeting.
- Put aside some time to be on your own. Here you can clearly determine what you enjoy on your own – is it reading, walking swimming?
- Get involved in a club where you can meet new people.
- Start looking for a change of job – attend interviews and be prepared.
- Join a club so you don’t always have to be alone. There will be at least one in your neighbourhood that attracts you.
- If commitment is your fear, then commit to somebody for a short time, say for one week. Then extend that commitment to two, three and more weeks. If it works out great, if not you can try it with another person.
Take back your power. With positive thinking and affirmations, we know we can change anything and any situation. My favourite mantra is ‘If you can conceive it and believe it, you will achieve it.’
Remember too, that nothing happens without action and, in this instance, it has to be action on your part. Take things slowly, take your time and enjoy the process if you can. You’ll never know if you are a success or a failure until you try. Facing and overcoming your fears, although scary, can be very liberating. Try it.
And of course, I have already posted a blog on this subject earlier. In that, I gave other meanings for the acronym FEAR. My favourite is Face Everything and Rejoice.
“I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness. Other things being equal, I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side.”
Katharine Butler Hathaway 1890-1942, American author.