best Seven Steps To Freedom
Cold calls. Marketing materials. Writing a business plan. These are a few items that may be part of your
new life as an entrepreneur, and they may be among the things that make you quake with fear. You are not alone. If you are going for a new job,
or lifestyle, chances are fear is a steady companion. That’s a good thing – fear indicates that you are trying something new and important to you.
Fear will be part of the journey. It’s how you manage it that determines your success, and how much you enjoy the ride. How do you get a grip on fear so you can make progress?
A wise teacher taught me that we do not get rid of fear before we do something, but that we go into the situation with the fear.
I had confessed to her that I wanted to act, to be on-stage, but that I was afraid. She said “Take the fear with you.” The next thing I knew, I had auditioned for a play and landed the lead.
I had never felt such happiness, and fear, which went with me to every rehearsal and performance. I survived, and learned in the process that I was capable of enormous strides when I did not let fear stop me from trying.
Remembering this has helped me innumerable times. It is something I point out to my clients again and again. Try these seven steps to manage your fears:
1) Acknowledge that you are afraid. Most of us are, even if we do not admit it. The challenge of juicy living is to acknowledge the fear and keep going anyway.
2) Identify the fear(s). Get clear about what it is that really sends you into hiding. Keep digging until you recognize the foundation fear.
3) Recall a time when you had fear and went forward anyway. What worked for you to move despite the fear?
4) Choose meaningful action. Fear loathes a moving target. Keep taking baby steps toward your goals.
5) Get support. Who do you have in your life that can help you recognize your strengths and move beyond your weaknesses? Support is key to success. Be willing to ask for help.
6) Know that you are not your fears or limiting beliefs about yourself. Remind yourself that fear is a state of mind, not your identity.
7) Have fun with it. Even the most serious of endeavors is helped by lightheartedness.
What fears are running your life? What would you be doing if fear were not in charge? Brainstorm a list of five things you would do if you were able to manage your fear.
Every day I find myself in situations where I recognize that I have a fear. I know that I thrive on challenge, and that fear is naturally a part of this process.
When I use one or more of these steps, I am able to move forward. The relief and reward after I have done something that is scary far outweighs the fear.
This is true for my clients as well. Overcoming the fears is the part of the journey that defines our character. So don’t avoid your fear – approach it head on!
Overcome the Number One Fear
“Don’t worry about what others think of you… They don’t! They’re too busy worrying about what you think of them.” Rich DeVos
Fear of Failure Itself
It took me a long time to realize that the majority of fear is based on the possibilty of failure. The problem was never the fear itself, but what the fear made me feel. Imagined feelings that compounded the more I dwelled on them.
If you have ever pondered for long on something you fear you know the effect it can have. It doesn’t take long for the irrational feeling of dread to take control. The more time spent dwelling on the negative, the further in despair you become.
How bad can it really be? What would happen if you spent as much time thinking positively about the obstacle. What if what made you fearful was really an opportunity to prove how powerful you are. Your fear is personal growth waiting to happen, you just need an attitude adjustment.
With the proper thinking, fear is only a challenge. In fact it can lead you to personal development that leads to a greater happiness and well being.
Keys to Conquering Fear
• Do not avoid your fear– Take small incremental steps to overcome it
• Every time you have to face fear put it in a positive light. How will facing this fear make you a stronger person
• Think of rational positive thinking strategies instead of negative programming
• Constantly look for ways to improve yourself
• Cultivate an attitude of achievement in everything you do
• Continue to move toward your goals at all times
Don’t resist your fear, instead relax with the motivation that you can overcome. When you come to this realization it will be a great day. Not only will you have overcome an unfounded feeling, but you will have accomplished another success.
To Fear or Not to Fear
Fear and Halloween are probably going to be forever intertwined. After all, a holiday that celebrates “the ghastlier aspects of death and beyond” has to conjure up images of fear in some minds.
However, fear and anxiety associated with the holiday aside, observing people’s behavior around Halloween can often show an interesting dichotomy to how people handle fear.
The same concept also applies whenever most people are presented with an option to voluntarily view something they know is designed to scare them, such as a horror movie.
Proper observation can often make it apparent that far is not quite as simple to understand as most folks would like to assume.
Fear is a negative emotional response. This has been what each and every one of us has been told since we were children.
Recognizing fear and anxiety as negative factors is also deeply ingrained into the basic human psyche, with people instinctively associated fear with a variety of undesirable personality traits.
The avoidance of fear, or at least controlling one’s self to the point that one’s fear and anxiety is not readily apparent to casual observers, can sometimes have side effects when a person’s mental health is considered.
This is particularly true if the unwillingness to show fear has become a fear in and of itself, which is both psychologically dangerous and rather ironic.
However, that does not seem to coincide very well with how much people want to be scared. While it is unlikely that a random person off the street is going to readily admit to the inclination, most psychologists believe that people want to be frightened.
Ghost stories around the campfire, horror movies that have ample amounts of tension and anxiety, and roller coasters with obscenely risky loops are all taken as factors.
Each of the above can be used to scare people and, according to some mental health experts, it is the fact that things like the above scare us that cause us to frequent them so much.
However, it isn’t so much the fear itself that the brain and the body draws pleasure from, but the hormonal reaction to that fear.
Most psychologists and doctors believe that the body and mind comes to enjoy the sensations brought about by the various chemicals the body produces when it is in an excited state.
The most commonly known of these substances would be adrenaline, but there are other hormones and biochemicals that come into play.
The easiest way to get the body to increase the flow of these substances is to feel fear, which would explain why people are sometimes to eager to put themselves in situations where they can be scared.
The adrenaline “rush” caused by fear and taking risks can also account for people’s enjoyment of extreme sports, even if they are not the sole factor.
The fact that things like horror movies and roller coasters are, to an extent, controlled environments also makes it easier for people to go into them.
The sense of control over the situation that induces the fear is often enough to keep the survival instinct from overriding the desire to be scared.
What is Fear?
What is fear? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Humans have a way of being very different from each other in this area.
You may be terrified to try something new while your spouse gets very excited over the possibilities and the unknown.
You may be fearful when it comes to speaking in public while other people thrive on the attention and that fact that they have the ability to captivate an audience in the process.
Some people are afraid of things such as the dark, clowns, or mice. Others are afraid of concepts such as death and the fear that they will end up alone.
Regardless of what causes the fear it will evoke a response that is very powerful. It can be very emotional as well for someone. It can be even harder when your parents or your family don’t understand your fear.
I have known children to get into trouble for telling their parents about their fears. They were dismissed and basically told to get over it.
Fear isn’t something a person can just get over though. It can have a very deep seeded connection with who they are and control many aspects of their life.
Those that don’t understand the fear of those around them may not have the patience to accept it or to try to encourage them to move forward.
A fear a person has can be very short term or very long lasting. For example a young girl with braces may have the fear of smiling. After a while though she moves past this.
Other types of fear though such as dying may consume a person and they aren’t able to shake the concept. Counseling may be necessary in order to help the person identify that source of the fear.
It takes a great deal of courage though to really find out the core of a fear. Sometimes it is something easily resolved and other times it isn’t.
Yet if the fear is consuming you then you need to do something about it. Life is too short for a person to walk around being afraid all of the time. Fear can sometimes give us the motivation though that we need to take some type of positive action.
Stop Fear Now
I’m convinced that fear is one of the worst things in life. Think about all of the negative ways that fear affects your life.
Think about all of the decisions you make or do not make because of fear in your life. Or think about the risks that you do not take or the relationships you do not pursue because of fear.
You would do well to take a good look at the fears in your life and to attempt to tackle them head first until they are no longer fears.
In my own life, identifying specific fears was the first step for me to getting over my fears. I took a few hours and made a very long list of the things I was afraid of.
I included the biggest fears I had all the way down to the smallest, most insignificant fears I had. I would encourage you to take time to do the same thing.
It may seem like a strange task, but just think about the freedom you can live in if you learn to overcome your fears.
I was amazed as I wrote at how many things were holding me in fear and affecting my life. One of the fears that was affecting my life the most was my fear of flying on an airplane.
I knew that I was afraid to fly and I knew many other people that had a fear of flying as well, but I had never calculated the cost of that fear in my life.
Only as I sat down and got honest with myself did I realize that my fear of flying had hindered me from traveling many times.
I had missed out on a class reunion, a trip to Europe with my son, and a whole host of other opportunities simply because of my fear.
The process of recognizing my fears became frustrating and maddening to me as I added up all the ways that fear had stolen life and opportunities away from me.
Can you think of ways that fear has hindered or kept you from living well? If so, you need to make a serious effort to stop those fears that are affecting you.
If your list of fears contains any that are easy to overcome I suggest that you start today to do what it takes to overcome those fears.
Perhaps you are afraid of spending too much time alone. While this is a normal fear that many people deal with, it can steal away the comfort and relaxation that time alone can often give you.
I’d suggest training yourself to be alone for small amounts of time until you can easily handle a few hours or even a day without the company of others.
Try reading a book, working on your garden or doing another activity you enjoy. What freedom you will have if you can learn to be alone.
My advice to you is simple: stop fear now. Do whatever you can to stop letting fear rule your life. You will be much happier and much more free the less fear controls you.
Phobia: The Fear Within
A phobia is a clinical term that is used to describe an irrational and persistent fear of certain objects, situations, activities, or persons.
These fears are beyond one’s control and may interfere with one’s daily activities. Phobias belong to a large group of mental problems known as anxiety disorders, other conditions included in this group are obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder.
There are many forms of phobias, and they can be a fear of something specific such as flying or social fears that may cause certain individuals to feel anxious in social situations.
Other examples of this disorder may involve fear of small animals, closed spaces, and snakes. It usually begins at home and persists into adulthood. Some of these conditions if not treated may hamper a person’s development.
Health researchers believe that common forms of phobias may include the following:
Arachnophobia—the fear of spiders.
Ophidiophobia—the fear of snakes
Acrophobia—the fear of heights
Agoraphobia—the fear if circumstances in which escape is difficult. It may include crowded areas or open spaces.
Cynophobia—the fear of dogs
Astraphobia—the fear of thunder and lightning
Trypanophobia—the fear of injections
Social phobias—the fear of social situations
Pteromerhanophobia—the fear of flying
Mysophobia—the fear of germs or dirt
The causes of phobias are not yet determined by health experts, but research suggests that the occurrence of this condition can be a complex interaction of the genes and the environment.
Some suggest that it is caused by an early traumatic event like a bite of a dog, being trapped in a closed space, or being humiliated in public.
Hypersensitive individuals may respond differently to stress because of unique chemical reaction in the brain. These people may also be sensitive to caffeine because this substance triggers certain brain chemical responses.
Symptoms of phobias may include the following:
Fear of specific objects, situations, or activities.
Often feel stressed or have a panic attack when near the object, activity, or situation.
Avoidance of the object, situation, or activity is often done.
Fear and stress often hinders normal activities like studying or working.
Treatment for phobias may differ from one person to another. In fact, this condition is considered as one of the most treatable mental health problems.
Most treated patients may continue to live normal lives. Individuals who have a certain phobia that is easy to avoid and does not hamper their daily activities may not require professional help.
However when this condition interferes with a person’s activities or daily routine, health specialists would normally encourage the phobic person to undergo a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Antidepressants may also reduce fear and panic and are proven to be effective in many cases. Anti-anxiety drugs may also help but patients may develop dependence on these medications.
A supportive relationship with a health professional, family members, and friends is essential in treating phobias.
In many types of phobias, some symptoms might be relieved by taking a healthy diet and including physical activities in one’s lifestyle.
Eliminating caffeine, cutting down on alcohol, having regular exercise, and reducing stress are essential in relieving symptoms of certain phobias.