For you Fit Rx alumni, here is a refresher; for you newbies I hope this helps. We are all facing fear in various forms, and in case you’ve forgotten, here are some tips on how to move forward in spite of them. Let’s all agree that we have been slaves of fear far too long!
Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; it’s the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Strategies to Face and Move through Fear
- Find out what the fear behind the fear is! For example, the root of most performance fears, the fear behind the fear, is often “I’m not good enough” or “They won’t like me.” Identifying the true fear creates awareness, the first step in creating change.
- Ask “what is really true?” F.E.A.R. = “False Expectations Appearing Real.” It’s a great reminder that our minds think the threat is real. If I ask myself what is really true, then, as with public speaking, I can admit that I am good enough, know enough – maybe more than my audience. The truth is I am capable of speaking in front of anyone when I’m in my most confident state.
- Play the “what if” game. “What is the worst that could happen?” To play the game, ask yourself “What if my fear happens, then what? And what if THAT happens, then what?” By the time you follow this path a few times, the possible outcomes start to seem preposterous and the real risk is put into a new, less threatening perspective. You also start to calmly prepare for reasonable unexpected events.
(Note - be mindful that “worst case scenario” thinking usually cripples us and doesn’t benefit us. Despair expects horrible things around the corner. Hope expects good things around the corner.)
“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”
- Make sure you are spiritually and emotionally grounded. I use deep breathing, prayer, inspiring quotes, YouTube videos, movie scenes, and positive present-tense affirmations to get myself centered and calm. I return to my confident state of mind by reviewing my successes and my belief in myself no matter WHAT happens.
- Ask for help. Turn to someone you trust, with whom you feel safe, who you know cares about you and ask them to go with you, help you, hold you accountable to facing your fear. Verbalize your fear and commit to facing it. When we verbalize our fears it can help to disempower them.