Every each and one of us have fears. While having that horrible feeling in your stomach and those intrusive thoughts in your head isn’t pleasant, the real problem comes to light when we let our fears paralyze us and prevents us from enjoying life. Luckily, since most fears are learned and not innate, they can be un-learned and overcame. Here’s how to beat your fears and live life to the fullest.
Admit that you have a problem
While denial offers comfort, it will not help you beat your fears. Oftentimes, people think that if they ignore their fears, they will disappear and they won’t have to confront them. But, this will only allow your fear to grow, become a source of stress and illness.
Instead, admit that you have a problem—this is the first step towards solving it! Sometimes, just saying that you fear a certain thing will give you the strength to overcome it. When you say things out loud or write them down, you focus on them and they become less powerful. Ignoring your fears gives them the power to grow, facing them makes them shrink.
Feel the fear
Did you ever read Dune, a sci-fi masterpiece by Frank Herbert? There’s a great mantra in that book that might be your weapon against fear. It goes like this:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Be mindful and really feel your fears. Say to yourself: “This is how I feel and that’s okay. This feeling is horrible, but it will pass and when it does, I will be much stronger thanks to it and despite it”.
Confront your fears
Confronting your fears is the key to happiness, success and enjoyment. The best way to face your fears is head-on and immediately. Don’t allow your fears to make you sad, nervous and unhappy a second more!
When you confront them, you can quickly put them behind you and continue with your life. As you go towards your fear, it will become smaller and your confidence bigger. Soon, you’ll see that your fear is so meaningless that it has no control over you.
Find a good support system
Have you ever managed to do something risky just because your friends egged you on? Peer pressure is not inherently a bad thing—it all depends on the situation. Sometimes, you just need to have the right people around you who will offer support and encouragement. For instance, if you’re scared of driving, you might want to find a good driving instructor to push you forward in all the right ways. If you contact companies like EzLicence for driving lessons with professionals, you can even choose to learn in your own car which can reduce your fear, make you more comfortable and allow you to gain valuable driving experience. As you learn with a good instructor and in a pleasant environment, you’ll forget all about your fear.
If you’re supposed to have a presentation, you might be scared of stuttering and messing up. But, start thinking about your fear as something long-term. While this outlook won’t solve your problem, it might put it into perspective. For instance, how will that failed presentation affect your work? Would anything really change? Oftentimes you see that nothing long-term really changes even if your worst nightmares come true.
Use humor to deflate the situation
Humor is not always a healthy coping mechanism, but if you use it right, it can help with many fears. See if you can find the most ridiculous thing that can happen if you hold that scary speech or if you touch that gross bug. Will you be arrested for making the worst speech ever? Or will your bug bite turn you into a weird X-man? Laugher is oftentimes the best medicine!
Visualize yourself as a hero
Think about the situation that brings you fear and visualize yourself being a hero of the day! Think about how you perform with confidence and your subconscious part of the brain will adopt the images and take them as instructions.
As you feed your mind with positive mental images, you will eventually alter your thinking and perform your best.
Fake it till you make it
Imagine a person that’s completely confident and unafraid. How are they talking, walking and carrying themselves? Now do the same! If you fake confidence, it will oftentimes come naturally.
As you overcome one fear, you will quickly feel more powerful and confident than ever, ready to tackle any other fear that might blindside you. Life is much more pleasant when your day isn’t filled with dread!