If you’re not afraid, you’re not human. Everyone is afraid of something. Fears tend to evolve and change over time. A young child might be afraid of the dark. A middle-aged man is afraid of embarrassing himself during a speech. A newborn is afraid of loud noises. All other fears are learned. What have you learned to be afraid of?
Turn the tables and use fear to your advantage:
1. Determine why you’re afraid. If you’re afraid of falling off a cliff and dying, your fear might be warranted, and further evaluation is required. If it’s just your ego talking, you know that the fear isn’t in your best interest. That’s the fear that keeps you in your current situation.
2. Reframe the situation. The fact that you’re physically uncomfortable doesn’t have to control your thoughts or actions. When you’re feeling anxious, take that as a sign that something great might be getting ready to happen. Step outside your comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunity.
• Use your fear to your advantage. It’s a good thing, not something to be avoided. Embrace it.
3. Make a list of all of your fears. You’ll notice a pattern. It might be a fear of embarrassment, success, or becoming isolated. By understanding the core of your fears, you can better deal with them.
• By addressing the core issue, you may be able to eliminate many of your fears at the source.
4. Use fear to propel you forward. The most successful people have been those that faced fear successfully. Conquering one fear makes you more capable. The next fear will be even easier. Defeating a small fear makes the more significant fears more manageable. The confidence you gain can be applied to all areas of your life.
5. Use fear as an opportunity to practice relaxation techniques. You might hate dinner parties, but they’re a great chance to work on your conversational skills. When you’re feeling fear, you have the chance to practice relaxing. Focusing on breathing slowly and think positive thoughts. You might as well get something out of your suffering!
6. Recognize that fear is self-induced. It’s only your perception of the event that creates your fear. And fear is just a feeling. It may include physical symptoms, but it’s a feeling nevertheless.
• If your life isn’t in danger, your fear is just a guess. When you can realize this fact, you’ll also realize that all of your other feelings follow the same rules. If you can make yourself feel bad, you can make yourself feel good, too.
7. Use fear to enhance your discipline. Fear occurs when your brain tries to stop you from doing something. It makes you uncomfortable until you run away from the source of your fear. Use the opportunity to exercise your ability to push through the anxiety.
• Discipline is the ability to do things you don’t feel like doing. You don’t need discipline to do the things you enjoy. Does it take discipline to eat a potato chip? No. It takes discipline to stop. You need discipline to face your fears. Begin cultivating it.
8. Get the help you need. Perhaps you need help getting over deep-seated fears. There’s probably a good reason why they’re deep-seated. Use your fear as motivation to get help. You might find you need help with a few other mental health issues too. Getting help for your fear could help you move forward with a myriad of new benefits.
Fear isn’t something to be avoided. Use fear to your advantage. Fear is a wonderful opportunity to learn about yourself. Fear can also be used as chance to grow on a personal level. If you’re not afraid, you’re not living.