What is fear?
Fear is defined as “the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat” (Webster, 2014). In other words, its our natural response to danger, which is when our fight or flight responses kick in. But, not all times is fear a life or death situation. Sometimes we perceive the outcomes of a situation to be negative; thus empowering fear to keep us from progressing in life. No more!
- Feel the Fear
Simply acknowledge, “I am fearful of xyz.” It may sound cliché but the first step to overcoming anything is acknowledging the ‘thing’ blocking you from reaching your destiny or being the best you, you can be. For example: “I am fearful of being unloved,” “I am fearful of what other people might think of me,” “I am fearful of failing,” “I am fearful of rejection,” etc. Don’t allow your mind to get stuck here. Fear is not fact; so continue with the remainder of the steps to remind yourself of your truth.
- List the reasons why
After acknowledging what you are fearful of, state the “why.” Don’t get stuck on this step. Simply jot down a list of all the reasons why you’re afraid. This step is very important as it prepares you for the next step.
- Get your mind right
I know you’ve heard the saying, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The messages that you send yourself play a key role in your outcome; thus, you must free your mind of the thoughts and beliefs that hold you hostage from attaining your goals and dreams. From the words of 90s girl group En Vogue, “Free your mind and the rest will follow!” A few ways to get your mind right are….
- Reframe negative thoughts
Turn negative into a positive by challenging your list of “whys”
- Be in the present – it’s a moment that will never return; thus there’s no need to focus your energy on what no longer exists (the past) and what hasn’t happened (future).
- Meditation – Is a skill that strengthens your ability to be in the here and now. Although you’re physically being still and quiet, you’re also quieting your mind from the overwhelming thoughts that produce fear/anxiety.
- Reframe negative thoughts
- Be open
After you acknowledge the fear, list the reasons why you’re fearful, and get your mind right; you’re now ready to go after what you want. In going after what you want be open to all possibilities. Yes, live in uncertainty and let go of the outcome. Believe that the best is yet to come and it’s ok if you don’t know exactly how it will come.
- Just Do It!
Nike said it best and had all of us saying it too, “Just do it!” The last step to living fearlessly is taking action. Faith trumps fear and faith without works is dead. With this said, the greatest cure for fear is doing something in alignment with what you want to achieve. No matter how small or big the task is, just do something.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain – Mark Twain