Fear is one of the few natural emotions. We are born with two fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned responses brought to the child by its environment and taught to the child by its parents. The purpose of natural fear is to build in a bit of caution. Children who are made to feel that fear is not okay, it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it; will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their fear as adults. Fear that is continually repressed becomes panic, a very unnatural emotion. Perhaps, viewing fear through this lens could explain why many of us struggle with conquering our fears. Facing your fears can be a process and overcoming these fears will happen in its own time. Fear does not have to be a part of who you are.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear as you traverse through your unique journey to overcoming fear. YOU are the constant in everything that happens or does not happen in your life. Oftentimes fear is a huge barrier in making a decision. How many times have you allowed fear to be the driver while you ride shotgun? You cannot have faith and fear, you must pick one.
If you choose faith: Check out these 8 powerful ways for getting on the other side of fear:
- Identify: Be specific in identifying your fear(s). What are you afraid of? What is wreaking havoc in your life? What pictures are you creating in your mind? Where do you feel the fear in your body? How do you react to the fear? What triggers this fear? Be an observer of what is going on within you!
- Journaling: After identifying these fears, get them down on paper. Getting these fears on paper is another strategy of getting this negative energy out. Seeing these fears on paper can help you make sense of them.
- Counseling/Coaching: Getting an objective perspective and talking through these fears with a licensed professional is another powerful way to assist you in conquering your fears. A professional can help you examine if you have a fear of success or a fear of failure. While therapy can be powerful and even life changing, make sure the therapist is a good fit for you.
- The Now: Be present in the moment. Oftentimes fear comes from past learning experiences and anticipating future failures. You have no control over the past, but you do have control over the present moment. Grounding techniques through breathing is a great way to get back to the present. Try the “4-7-8 Breathing Technique.” Place your tongue behind your teeth. Breathe in quietly for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
- Gratitude: Instead of ruminating within your fears, spend that time expressing gratitude. What are you grateful for? If you are fearful of public speaking, be grateful for the opportunity to speak in front of people. If you are fearful of taking a test, be grateful that you have the qualifications to take the test.
- Awareness: Be aware of your thoughts, daily routines and habits. What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time around? Some ways to combat your fears are to read on your specific fears, watch a motivation video and/or spend time around successful people. Any successful person has overcome some form of fear.
- Nutrition: The food you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel. All the sugars, additives and other chemicals in some foods can have an effect in creating balance in our minds and bodies. Find a balanced diet that works for you and make it a lifestyle
- Be a verb: The only way out of your fear is through it. The more time we spend ruminating within the fear, the more power we give it. When we take action, we weaken the fear. Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will! Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Whatever fears you are facing, please remember that YOU are bigger than your fears. Your WHY is bigger than your fears. Your largest fear carries your greatest growth. If you are not growing, you are dying. Do not let fear determine this fate.
“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Robin Sharma
I would love to hear from you!
What fear is keeping you stuck? What fear(s) have you overcome?
Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling. For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org