|We all feel fearful from time to time, and fear is a normal and natural emotion to handle. At times it’s beneficial, but sometimes we experience irrational fear. This means that we are consciously aware that the situation we are facing does not necessarily justify the emotional response we are experiencing. While the process of how we perceive a threat can be complex, there are only two natural causes for experiencing irrational fear. The first is that we had a prior negative experience or that we are continuously exposed to possible threats that may gnaw away at our natural resilient, and resourceful state.
If we think about the fear of public speaking and what a great fear that is for many people. Some people even suggest that ordinary people tend to fear public speaking even more than death. I have often found with people that I work with that the fear of public speaking stems from a series of reading aloud experiences in early schooling year. Often this experience would be in a classroom where many of the audience members (the other classmates) are already experiencing some level of anxiety. As they await their turn to read aloud in front of the class, be evaluated by the teacher, and risk public humiliation while performing a task (reading aloud) that they were seldom confident about.
At that moment, an association between appearing in front of a group is born unless that association is challenged or broken. After that, a person is likely to continue to associate a fear response with public speaking. So we can see that in this case, something happened in our history. We started developing a fear response to most experiences that resemble those initial uncomfortable experiences of being evaluated in front of a group of people.
The other primary possibility is when we are placed into a state of fear by experiences in our immediate environment. I believe that this is more relevant to us today because we are continually bombarded with messages that imply some sort of threat. When we continuously hear about people dying and an invisible enemy that can appear at anytime and anywhere, that can quite quickly accumulate to a default state at a state of fear. Our emotional state tends to have a recursive effect on the kind of questions that we ask internally. Those questions of themselves tend to provoke even more fear. That sense of fear tends to generate even more questions, and this becomes a state of hyper-vigilance. Living in fear can affect our physical bodies and health, which causes us to become even less resilient to everyday challenges. If we don’t take the time to stop and practice some mental and emotional hygiene regularly the risk of continually feeling overwhelmed and fearful becomes even more significant.
Fear gets to the best of us, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success or even fear of fear. All of us have experienced fear at some point in our lives, and it can be a fundamental stumbling block that holds us back from being truly successful.
Fear can’t hold you back forever if you don’t let it. There are several ways to overcome fear; here are my top 9:
1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION
2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
5. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
6. CREATE A NEW ASSOCIATION
7. CHANGE HOW YOU LOOK AT THINGS
8. PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES
9. CREATE YOUR SAFE SPACE
Please keep in mind, these are just 9 strategies; not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. So start implementing these techniques into your life, and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and highest potential this year!