Most of the time, when faced with a challenging, fear-inducing, new or unexpected situation, our focus shifts to one thing: “Get me outta here!” Unfortunately, turning tale and running, the way our horse friends would do, is not always a great solution.
If you leave each time something uncomfortable comes up for you, you miss out on huge growth opportunities. My mother used to call this the “growing edge” and it’s of vital importance. Here are some tips to help you deal with fear:
- Take a deep breath. Seriously. Taking slow deep breaths projects to your brain that everything is okay and you are much more likely to be able to think clearly and act appropriately, even in the scariest situations.
- Visualize what you want, not what you don’t want. What you focus your attention on will be what you experience, so choose wisely.
- Do it anyway. Most of the things we’re afraid of are not life-threatening, so just taking action – even if it’s not perfect – is the best remedy we have for fear. Almost always, we discover that what we were so afraid of isn’t such a big deal, after all. And, you might even find that you discover a new passion!
- Don’t assume that you’re afraid. Sometimes, we feel uncomfortable and assume we’re feeling fear. Our attention on that fear then convinces our brain that we are justified in that emotion. Choose a different feeling… if you identify your emotion as anticipation, eagerness or excitement, rather than fear, you are on your way to a whole bunch of awesome experiences!
And now it’s time for me to take my own advice. I am holding my first workshop, called Creating Mindsetopia, in downtown Asheville this evening. I’ve used the tips above throughout the days leading up to this event so that I am able to feel calm, energized and excited about tonight. I know they can work for you, too!
What tools do you use to deal with fear?