Everyone deals with “it”. “It” is what we feel when we consider moving into a new city, starting out on a brand new job, delivering a speech before a large audience and, possibly, turning off the lights before tumbling into bed. “It” is no other but F-E-A-R aka False Evidence Appearing Real.
Research shows that about 60% of the occurrences we fear actually never get to happen. Nonetheless, we all face fear-evoking events (and will continue to face them actually) especially as we journey through life, striving to accomplish our goals and fulfill our life purpose. In the light of that, it is only appropriate that work be done to manage and overcome the fears lest they defeat us and keep us from maximizing our full potentials.
I have read couple of stories about how couple of recognized leaders vanquished their fears (check out How Warren Buffett and Joel Osteen conquered their fear public speaking for example). From their stories, I have come up with 3 steps which were common denominators among the actions they took to break free from the prison of fear. Here they are:
1. Identify and admit the fear: In the words of Rodan of Alexandria, “Only a brave person is willing to honestly admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers”. What exactly is that fear that paralyzes you and keeps you from feeling fulfilled in your vocation or avocation? It could be fear of public speaking, failure, or rejection, and so forth. Identifying and admitting the fear is, I believe, a positive first leap toward handling it; as they say – “a problem identified is half solved”.
2. Confront the fear: This has proved to be the only sure way to overcome fear as running away from it won’t help at all. Sadly, most times running away is the default reactions since the effort required to face the fear calls for huge display of courage. Cus D’ Amato once remarked, ”The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it into fire” – you can do the same if you dare to confront that fear. For example, if it is public speaking that paralyzes you, consider enrolling into a public speaking class or taking on opportunities to speak before a small group (big things almost always start small). The only way to overcome the fear, whatever it is, is to go head-to-head with it until you paralyze it.
3. Feed your faith but starve your fear: Faith and fear work in direct opposite to each other, and the one you feed the most is the one that dominates your life. A well-known brave fellow was once asked to share the secret of his fearlessness. In answering the question, he began by admitting that he did have fears (which I guess was a shocker to the secret seeker), and gave an analogy using two dogs namely – Fear and Faith. According to him, the dog that is fed the most gets stronger and bigger while the poorly fed dog gets weaker and skinnier. (Intriguing eh?) The plan then is to overfeed doggy Faith and starve doggy Fear so that by the end of the day, we’ll have Faith look like a terrorizing German shepherd and Fear look like a chihuahua.
Some proven ways to feed your faith include practicing positive affirmations (by repeating words like “I can do this!” when the fear strinkes), creative visualization (in your mind, see yourself triumphing over the fear), and listening to motivational media.
You can’t keep those fears from visiting you, but you can choose not to let them to boss over your life.
1. What fear(s) do you want to conquer?
2. What steps can you begin taking to conquer the fear(s) (the steps will be daring but assuring)
3. Resolve to feed your faith and starve your fear by applying the creative visualization and positive affirmation techniques.
To your victory over your fears!
What are some other ways to conquer fear? I’ll like to hear from you.