So I started off yesterday with F.E.A.R.-False Expectations Appearing Real. It's still NOT a fun four-letter word. When fear becomes crippling, it becomes a phobia. If you are debilitated by a phobia, when your fear becomes extreme to where you are unable to function, when exposed to the feared object, the fear is almost instantaneous and manifests in an extreme fashion (if feared object or situation is unavoidable), I would strongly suggest seeking professional help in dealing with your phobia. But fear is something the majority of us can work on overcoming on our own. Any of us can learn how to overcome fear. We like to "hold on" to our fears because we believe they are a part of us. Until you're ready to face your fears, you WON'T be able to overcome them. And there ain't anything wrong with that, everything happens in its own time. Don't let anybody else pressure you into overcoming your fears.
One of my biggest fears growing up was "The Headless Horseman". I was around 5 years old when I first heard about that SOB at a Halloween party. (I'd STILL like to know what possessed the guy who told the story to a bunch of little kids that it was a good thing for us to hear). Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't set the story east of town at a place called the "Old Lake"-which just happened to be a mile away from where I lived. I had nightmares for years and hated to go anywhere close to the lake. As I got older, I would venture out that way, but only when it was daylight out and was nowhere close to nighttime. I don't like heights, anymore it's because I don't trust my balance and when I look down I'm unsure of my footing. Some people hate clowns, spiders or snakes. I've seen several articles that state that the number one universal fear for a majority is fear of public speaking. I'm not fearful of it, I think a lot of it's due to being involved in theater in high school and a theater group after high school. Sure, I get nervous before speaking, but the main reason is I feel my topic is important for someone to hear and I want to make sure I get my ideas across in a simple, easy to understand way. I used to fear death, both my own and others. All of us have something or several somethings we're fearful of. F.E.A.R. False Expectations Appearing Real.
So how can we overcome our fear(s)? First you have to become AWARE of your fear. Be aware that it's causing havoc in your life. You are not your fear. You are the awareness that experiences it. Identify exactly what you're afraid of. What are you really scared of? What do you picture in your head? Understand failure. Failure is not the end of the world and when you realize this, you become free. Failure is just a stepping stone on your way to success. F.A.I.L.-First Attempt In Learning. Don't be fearful of failure, shame, or not living up to what you PERCEIVE as another's expectations of you. Name your fear. Bring it out into the open. When it's in the "light of day" you just might see it is not that big of a deal. Laugh at it! When you ignore your fear, it grows BUT when you face it, it'll shrink! Give in to peer pressure! WHAT???!!! Surround yourself with people who will PUSH you to overcome the fears holding you back from WHAT YOU WANT! Picture yourself succeeding. If you're speaking to a group, see yourself as give the best presentation in the history of what you're speaking on. How you visualize anything, whether you "see" it in a POSITIVE or negative light, IS HOW IT WILL COME TO FRUITION! How big of a deal is your fear really? The reality MIGHT be bad, but sometimes the fear ITSELF is worse than what your afraid of happeing.
Maybe this is not the best way to deal with fear after all?! How can we put these steps into action?
Until next time....