A Better Understanding Of FEAR

If you were to ask someone why they haven’t reached goals they’ve set for themselves or the levels of success they thought they’d have by now, the answer you get might include some type of excuse (read: negative belief) that that person believes is true.  These negative beliefs usually manifest as a result of some underlying fear. 

A better understanding of fearThink about your life and how many times you wanted to attempt something new.  As you got closer and closer to starting your new adventure, your mind started thinking up worst-case-scenarios that ultimately stopped you before you even got started.  Some of these worst-case-scenarios include thoughts like, “What are people going to think of me, especially if I fail?” and “How am I going to find the time to add this to my already-packed schedule?”

What Is Fear?

You may have heard the acronym for F.E.A.R.  If not, it basically says F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  When you break it down, fear can be explained as letting your mind believe potential scenarios as though they are real and have already happened. 

If we choose to believe this False Evidence, it manifests in our life as reality.  To overcome this feeling of fear, we need to sometimes ask ourselves thought-provoking (and sometimes tough) questions to figure out where the fear is coming from.  Once the source is identified, you can use an easy four-step formula to overcome your fear.

Overcoming FEAR: Step 1

Step one says to clearly define and write out all of the what-if thoughts you can come up with.  The simple act of writing everything down allows you to focus on one thought at a time.  As you go through the list, you may find that a good portion of those what-ifs are not even practical.  What once seemed daunting and held a lot of credibility in your mind will suddenly seem almost insignificant, even somewhat silly, when looking at it on paper.

Overcoming FEAR: Step 2

The second step involves looking at the practical or realistic what-ifs that you have identified.  When looking at these scenarios, ask yourself, “What is the worst possible thing that could happen if this situation were to come true?”  Write these worst-case scenarios down as well. 

Understanding and overcoming fearOnce these are identified you can more easily decide if the potential reward of accomplishing your goal is worth the potential risk of each worst-case scenario.  You’ll probably realize that if you do the work necessary to master what your goal is, the potential for each of the risks you’ve identified is greatly reduced.  Between this step and step one, you might even laugh at how many of the what-ifs that once caused so much fear and anxiety don’t even have a good chance of coming true.

Overcoming FEAR: Step 3

After these lists have been completed, step three says to resolve to yourself that, no matter what happens, you will accept it.  Because most of those what-ifs won’t ever happen, and because the ones that could happen probably won’t kill you, realize that, no matter what, you’ll end up fine. 

Tell yourself that you will conquer and succeed.  Just like your brain believes the negative thoughts you allow to float around, your brain will believe self-affirming and positive thoughts.  Once you can change the dialogue from negative to positive, you’ll see your life take new directions toward reaching your goals.

Overcoming FEAR: Step 4

Finally, for step four, take the necessary actions to keep those worst-case scenarios from happening.  Make a detailed, step-by-step plan that outlines exactly what you need to do to get to where you want to be (almost like a road map to success). 

This includes writing down the realistic what-ifs and what you are going to do to overcome them if they occur (like an alternate route in case of road closures or construction).  When you focus on the desired outcome and doing the work needed to reach your desired outcome, your focus shifts to doing what needs to be done instead of the endless list of what-ifs.  You’ll also feel better and more energized because you have a plan of action.  Fear can only be overcome by taking positive action.

Transform your life and realize your potential by using this four-step formula.  You’ll be amazed at what happens when you shift your focus to positive action rather than inaction.