Fear is a natural, powerful, and primitive human emotion. It involves a universal biochemical response as well as a high individual emotional response. All of us have experienced fear at some point in our lives.
Think about it:
- Fear of applying for the job.
- Fear of asking the person out.
- Fear of showing up to the gym when you have no idea what we are doing.
- Fear of doing a competition or WOD that us “out of our league.”
Fear can get to the best of us, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success or even fear of fear. It is important that we acknowledge it and then face it because fear can be a real stumbling block that holds us back!
So what can you do? Here are 9 ideas that you can try in order to face your fear head on:
1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION
Ask yourself what is really going on, locate the facts and place and talk yourself through what you feel and reality.
2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
Figure out what it is in a situation that triggers you. Learning to identify it will help you learn to combat it.
3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
A lot of times, fear takes over physically. It affects different people different ways. Identify if/how it affects your physical body and do the work to take care of your body. Ex: if you hold stress in your back, you can learn stretches, foam rolling, etc. to avoid the pain.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Everyday, list out 1-3 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, gratitude helps shift the mind into a positive light, which overtime, overcomes fear.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
Monitor your inner conversations. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. Speak positively to yourself and remind yourself of your strengths.
6. KEEP THE END IN MIND
Remind yourself that the feeling and the moment will pass. Focus on the positive outcome of the situation, rather than the scary inbetween.
7. PRACTICE CONTROL AND POSITIVITY LIKE A SKILL
Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. So think positively and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight; practice with just one thought. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Work on reversing this one thought. Overtime, this will become a habit.
Breathing helps center your body; when you stop breathing, your heart stops beating. You can do a grounding exercise, or even just take 5 deep, long breaths at any point to calm and center yourself. It is best to start your day with this, but feel free to practice all day long.
9. SAFE SPACE
When you feel safe and secure, there is no room for fear. Find somewhere safe you can retreat to when ill feelings begin- whether this is a real place such as your bedroom, or a place in your mind such as the beach. This sense of comfort will soothe you and allow you to face your fear.
Please keep in mind, these are just 9 strategies, not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques into your life and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and your highest potential.
CHECK OUT THIS BOOK FOR MORE ON HOW TO FACE YOUR FEARS: