How can fear become positive?
Fear is a subject that is coming up quite often in my coaching sessions these days so I thought I would make it the subject of the thought of the day!
How can fear become positive?
Fear is the number one reason that stops you from making any bold moves. Asking for a raise, looking for a new career opportunity, starting your own business, moving to an unknown country, or even changing anything in your everyday habits.
We fear failure, we fear losing money, our security, stepping out of a comfort zone is always fearful as you know what you have but you never know what you’ll get…
And the reason why fear stops us almost immediately in any project is because we were taught to fear fear. We were taught fear is scary and we should always run away from it. Because it’s associated to life threatening, our body and brain immediately reacts with a flee instinct.
Which is normal.
But then how can some individuals make such bold moves, change their lives, take big leaps, or even learn to love stepping out of their comfort zone? Are they fearless? Is part of their brain missing? Do they just take wild chances and hope for the better?
Usually not. It’s more likely that they learned how to face their fears and transform it into something positive.
You see, fear is a great thing, it’s a warning flag that you should always listen to. Jay Shetty in his book “How to think like a Monk” compares it to a smoke detector and I love this example, so I’ll use it today. He explains it in this way: If your smoke detector starts ringing, you will obviously wake up, grab your loved ones and valuables, and run out of the house. Logical right? What would happen if you ignored it, got up and took the batteries out and go back to bed? Well, your problems would only start magnifying that’s for sure.
This is the reason why you should never ignore your fears or worst, bury them. Your brain is sending you an important signal and it’s definitely worth listening to it.
So, what would the next step be? Most people feal the fear and therefore run away from it, back to their comfort zone to feel safe. But how do you tame it once you WANT to get out of your comfort zone? Do you ignore it? Certainly not! That would be like taking those batteries out of the smoke detector when it’s ringing! No, your solution is to face your fear!
Think about it, when you feel the fear coming in, ask yourself these honest questions:
- What do I fear the most?
- What would be the worst-case scenario?
OK great Julie, but what do I do when I have the answers? Well, you start building and finding solutions. This may completely change your initial plan but at least you know you have your plan B, C and why not D! You use your fears to make sure that all aspects of your project are covered.
Do you need more funds? How do you find them? Do you need more practice? How do you find the time? Do you need more knowledge? Where do you find it? Do you need help of experts? How can you find them?
You see, there is no such thing as ignoring your fear, if you want success in your plans for life, you should welcome it, listen to it, and thank it for sending you these important signals so you can work on intelligent plans to feal reassured and avoid racing into things unconsciously.
A question I often get is, what do I do with the fear of failing? There is no plan B to that!
Now you see, this is the number 1 reason why people usually never step out of their comfort zone. People can be so afraid of failing that it makes them lose total control over what they’re already good at.
Remember those exams and tests? You studied like a mad man, you knew everything there was to know on the subject and when you sat in front of your exam sheet, your mind went blank. You couldn’t answer any of those questions anymore and you failed. That’s because the fear of failing took over. And what’s behind is the idea of being judged by others: What will my parents say? My friends? I’ll be the laughingstock, if I had known I would have never taken this challenge.
It's sad, isn’t it? How the fear of failing can stop you from achieving those big goals you have in life… Well now, if you have that, you are doomed and should stay put, never try anything different that would make a difference in your life and never go for your dreams… WRONG!!!!!
Fear of failing brings panic and that panic is what makes you lose control. And fear of what others may say is an ego problem. And that’s sad if you think of it: As fear of what others may say prevents you from living the life you wish.
A. Understand that, while you are worried about what other people may think of you, they usually are already too busy worrying about what you might think of them 😉
B. Loosen your ego and higher your self-esteem: Is it more important that everyone loves you or that you are able to live with the fact that not everyone will?
I have never known anyone who was judged for trying when the aim was humble and trying to make a better life. When you tell your surroundings you are trying something new, that it might not work out, but you have to go for as it will make you happier and you will regret it if you don’t seize the opportunity. You will immediately identify those in your entourage that wish you well. Those who will step in to help you, encourage you, will cheer your successes and be a shoulder to cry on when the road is bumpy. And if you fail, they will be the ones to say they admire you for at least trying!
The others? I’m sorry to say but anyone who feeds on your failures are not the people you should keep in your close circle…
So, this is how you transform fear into something positive: Be intelligent, listen to it, face it, find solutions. That will be another tool for you to reach success in your challenges and projects.
I hope this episode gets you one step closer to your dream.
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Have a great day!