“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
To say that fears are not real sounds silly because if you have experienced fear, you know it is real. But fear is simply a mechanism that helped our ancestors survive. Back then if you didn’t take any risks and lived a safe life, you survived. But times have changed; now the only way to get ahead in life is to take risks. If you live a fearful, “safe” life, you are not living to your full potential.
How to conquer your fears.
The steps toward conquering your fears is a lot like the steps for planning for your goals. The first step is to identify it, second write it down, and third create an action plan.
1. Identify your fear
What is it you are afraid of? If you fear asking someone out, speaking in front of people, making a phone call, or applying for that job, is it possible that the fear is not of doing the action, but of rejection, ridicule, or looking stupid? Start by stating the thing you are afraid of (for example: voicing an idea), and then really think about what it is you are actually afraid of (for example: looking stupid).
2. Write it down
Writing it down will force you to clearly state what it is you are afraid of.
3. Create an action plan
Set small goals toward facing your fear by breaking it down to the smallest steps you feel comfortable tackling. Your goals should be small enough for you to handle and accomplishing it will give you confidence. For example, if you fear talking to strangers, break it down by setting the goal of simply saying ‘Hi,’ ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Night’ to people you encounter on a daily basis. If the fear is speaking in front of people, start small by talking in front of your friends or family members.
Fear works in many different ways. Even if we know it’s not real, we still experience it. Taking these three steps to overcoming your fear will open the gates to your better future.
Rogelio H. Charles