Did you know?
That the basic emotion of your brain is fear.
It an emotion of survival.
All animals have it.
When faced with a threat, a bird flies, a lion roars, a skunk squirts a smelly liquid.
Fight – Flight – Fright
For humans, it is either we fight or we take flight.
For example, in a workplace, there’s a rumour that the company is going to downsize. On instinct, you decide to face the threat(go tell your boss why you shouldn’t be laid off) or you decide to find an alternative job quickly.
Or you could fright- neither fight nor flee, instead, you do a mental check, complain, put on a sad face and take NO action at all.
Actually, this article was inspired by a friend. A particular day, we got talking and he told me, “do you know you would make a good public speaker? There’s something compelling about the way you speak.” All I said was a big “NO.” I have terrible stage fright so I believed it was a bad idea.
Then he told me something I won’t forget for a long time.
He said and I quote, “You need to look deep within yourself and separate yourself from your other self. Only then will your true self reveal itself.”
He who is not everyday conquering fear has not learned the secret of life – Ralph Waldo Emerson
THE WHAT, WHY AND HOW OF FEAR
WHAT IS FEAR?
Fear is not a sign of abnormality or weakness.
Being fearless doesn’t mean eliminating fear. Fear is a healthy feeling. It is the brain’s reaction when overwhelmed by an unpleasant situation.
Being fearless is basically leveraging fear. It is knowing how to manage fear so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONFRONT FEAR?
To realise your strengths and potentials, you have to face your fear. Though facing our fears is the last thing we want to do, it is something we have to if we plan to keep growing.
Confront your fear because aspirations, dreams, resolutions, great ideas, you name it, can all be destroyed due to fear.
Until you do the things you fear,then will the death of fear be certain.
We’re all in some sort of comfort zone and the thought of even leaving it is usually dreadful, but until we abandon the comfort zone, then will we have some tangible results in confronting fear.
So, why bother?
1. Because fear lowers you into mediocrity. When we were young, we had dreams of being superstars, touring the world, being a pilot, being the president of the country and so on. But, growing up, what happened to us? We lost those great dreams because we were told, “it’s not easy out there.”
2. Because fear can be confronted by anyone. I have never seen or heard of anyone who confronted fear and dint triumph over it.
3. Because your experience would inspire others. You would want that, wouldn’t you?.
AND HERE IS THE BIG QUESTION:
HOW DO I CONFRONT FEAR?
Just get out and confront it
To figure out what you are really afraid of, you need to ask yourself sincere questions to get to the root of the problem.
For example, to some like me, public speaking might just be a scary situation. Others may fear meeting new people, giving out suggestions in a group or even asking for directions.
Just like a plant, fear will never go away as long as there are favourable conditions for its growth.
Confronting fear is never easy because once the determination to step out comes, there is an inner voice that tries to convince you otherwise. The best is to ignore that voice else the fear heightens.
HELPFUL POINTS TO NOTE WHEN CONFRONTING YOUR
10. Get a mentor or life coach, preferably one who has gone through a similar experience.
9. Read a book, both motivational and inspirational books might do the trick for you and don’t forget to practise what you read.
8. Watch inspirational movies, they have a way of connecting deeply.
7. Story, yes a story. Tell yourself a story (in your thoughts). I’m afraid of public speaking so I choose to tell myself a story of how I’ll capture my audience’s attention or worse scenario, get laughed at and booed off stage. The fact is I am still alive. Life goes on. Create your own story.
6. Talk about it to someone but don’t throw a pity party for yourself.
5. Change your thinking. Do a mental check and eliminate the negatives (thoughts and beliefs). Try introducing right thoughts into your mind.
4. Write it down, if the mental check doesn’t work.
3. Speak positive words out loud to yourself as constantly as you can.
2. Show some gratitude. If you have a fear of facing the crowd like me, appreciate the audience. Speak out your mind genuinely.
1. Go out and get it done; the more you do something, the better you become at it and the more confidence you gain.
This can only happen when you get it done.
You want to feel better about yourself, go out and do it.