Fear can be crippling. It has the potential to stunt growth, limit progress, and derail dreams and ambitions. It’s also real and more common than many care to admit.
Not only is it real, it looks different and shows up in our lives in different ways. For some it hides behind perfectionism, for others, it becomes more evident in their procrastination.
In some cases, fear can have physical effects; tightness in the chest, fatigue or ongoing illness. In other instances it can lead to unhealthy or destructive behaviours, like alcoholism or overworking.
Whatever your relationship with fear, or however it shows up for you, here are three helpful strategies you can use to move on from it.
The first step in addressing the impact of your fears, is to work out what you’re actually afraid of. You could simply start by asking yourself: “What am I afraid of?”.
Having identified what you’re afraid of, ask why you’re afraid of it. For example, is it a fear of not having money, or is it the fear of how others will perceive you if you’re unemployed?
Understanding what you're afraid of and why, then questioning the validity and reality of your fears, can be a powerful step in helping you to move on from them.
Your thoughts matter. More so, negative thought patterns have an unhelpful influence on your emotions, so being aware about how you react to your fears is important.
In other words, if you’re unable to control how you think, you’ll find it hard to move beyond the controlling effects of your fears and make progress in important areas of your life.
Though it takes practice, with time you can learn to recognise, understand and channel your emotions in more constructive and controlled ways. Developing an ability to regulate your emotions is key to your success.
Though you could ignore or avoid your fears, that won’t change anything. Your fears will continue to grip and limit your progress. Put simply, the most effective way to address your fears is to face them head on.
With a one small action approach, not only could you make progress in addressing the cause of your fears, but you could grow in confidence over time too.
In identifying what needs addressing, planning a simple course of action, and actually working your step-by-step plan, your fears will have less power.
Truth be told, many people fail to take steps towards their dreams because of fear. Its crippling effect can be seen in all walks of life. However, this doesn’t need to be the case for you.
By getting clear on what you’re afraid of, learning to manage your thoughts, and committing to actions that could help resolve the causes of your fears, you can place yourself firmly in the driving seat.
If you think you might benefit from working with a counsellor or coach, book a free Exploration Call with me to talk about what working together might look like.
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Photo credit: @ameymeher
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