It is often said that the most negative quality in a person is lack of courage or simply put, fear. A fearless person is one who does not find it hard to overcome barriers and is known for having a strong mind. However, this quality is not something everyone is born with. One of the causes of fear is the environment that one has grown in since childhood. The habit of over thinking also lends to the level of fearfulness in a person. However, there are several ways to overcome fear, a few of which are listed below.
The first step towards overcoming fear is to acknowledge it. Own your fear without being shameful. Identify your fear by looking for symptoms that may indicate the kind and level of fearfulness. For instance, if you have a fear of public speaking, look for signs like reluctance to attend parties or low self-confidence when speaking to a large group of people. Once you’ve pin-pointed your fear, it is much easier to figure out what you need to work on.
Identification of your fears also involves gaining an understanding of how the fear came to be. Usually, fears develop as a result of negative experiences in the past. Recognize the when, where, how and why to figure out exactly how your fear affects you and what you can do to prevent it from doing so.
Once you’ve acknowledged your fear, prepare yourself to conquer it. If you fight your fears and come out of it successfully, you’ll have developed the qualities of courageousness and confidence that you lacked before.
2. Face your fears
Possibly the only way to overcome your fears is to face them. Allow yourself to be afraid at first and take small steps to overcome it. Generate sufficient self confidence with the help of your physical, mental and spiritual powers. Do the thing you fear to do, meet the people you fear to meet and take unpopular decisions that you may fear to take just to see the outcome of taking the risk. Many times, you may be prepared to fight your fears and may not have realized it because you never took the risk. Don’t shun situations in life and face them boldly, keeping in mind that the outcome may not always be desirable. Dealing with unfavourable situations will embolden and strengthen you.
Celebrate your victories and failures. For many people, facing their fear once doesn’t totally eradicate it. So commemorate every approach you take against fear by rewarding yourself, even if the victory is a small one. If you take the effort to fight your fears but don’t manage to, celebrate with a small reward and envision yourself with a higher reward next time.
3. Fighting techniques
It’s quite easy to motivate yourself to fight your fears, but when actually faced with them, all your preparation may vanish. At times like these, simple techniques like breathing or counting will help. For instance, if you’re afraid of lizards, start off by looking at pictures or drawings of lizards. If you have to face your fear of heights, count backwards from 50 to 1 or concentrate on breathing in and out slowly. Yoga, prayer and meditation can help ease your mind and release all the negative energy built up inside you.
Follow by a step by step approach to overpower your nervousness. If you have a fear of public speaking, start by practicing in the bathroom, then move on to your room, then in front of your friends and family and then to a small group of strangers. Imagine the worst-case scenario and look at the positive learning you’ll gain from the experience.
4. Be determined
The battle to conquer fear will be long and hard, so you need to ensure that you stay determined all the way. Don’t let people demoralize you and ignore criticism. Also, don’t let failures take control of your decisions. You need to change the way you look at fear and for this, you need to take control of your thoughts.
Talking about your fears can help alleviate them. You can confide in a family member, a close friend or even a therapist about your worries. Sharing your qualms with people can not only help lighten the burden but also lead to the generation of more solutions to your problem.
5. Be prepared and positive
Creating an emergency plan will boost your confidence a little more. Knowing that you have some back-up in case of a mistake will give you a small sense of relief. Prepare key notes before you go on stage, stay close to the elevator when you’re in a tall building or hold someone’s hand if you see a spider.
Positive thinking is a tried and tested way to overcome fear and protects you from becoming a victim of imaginary consequences. Carry on with your routine activities as if nothing has changed. If you’re just about to go on stage to give a speech, do the same things you would if you were a member of the audience. Don’t trigger your brain to come up with negative thoughts by imagining the worst or worrying about the outcome.
Overcoming your fears takes time, so be patient. Even the most courageous people are afraid of something. When the level of fear is so high that it hinders your day-to-day life, it’s time to conquer it. Trust yourself enough to know that you’ll be able to do it and have faith in the effort you put into it. Simply put, if you want to live a full life, there is no alternative but to fight your fears.
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