If you are like many people, then anxiety and fear are present in a good amount throughout your day.
These are not BIG fears like the fear of getting eaten by a lion. These are tiny fears that float around as you go about your day and that keep you from living your best life. Fears like: "What will others think of me?"
Anxiety and fear go away when you face them. (Image: Photobucket)
Look at some of these fears:
* The fear of talking to a stranger
* The fear of breaking your routine and taking a new route to work or changing the way you work completely
* The fear of sharing your deepest thoughts with your friend or partner
* The fear of not having enough money
* The fear of talking to a friend you have not talked to in 2 years
* The fear of what other people will think if you do something unconventional like take up a crazy job or start your own weird business
* The fear of asking your boss for a raise today
Why should you be afraid of all these things? The fears we have were originally meant to be an instinctive protection mechanism, but we don't need that fear everyday. It hinders us. It makes us all choose an OK life instead of an amazing life. If you are afraid of anything, how can you be happy?
Your life would be much more exciting and conscious if you were not afraid of these things. You would happily talk to strangers. You would ask your boss for a raise if you wanted to. You would take risks, and be willing to fail. All successful people or people you consider to be "great" have faced tons of such fears in their life.
If you want to move beyond mediocrity, then you need to address and face every anxiety and fear you have. It will be scary, it will feel like you're almost dying - but you will have to do it. There is no "comfortable" way to a great life.
|Scroll down to take a peek at more detailed articles about how to overcome fear.!|
The first step to take is to become aware of your fears.
You can do this by noting how often you resist anything that is different from your daily routine or anything that takes you out of your comfort zone.
As you go through your day become aware when:
1) You feel very uncomfortable in any situation. (Ask yourself - why am I feeling uncomfortable? Notice any fear underneath). Example - when you are given a completely new assignment at work, or you are somehow forced to interact with completely new people.
2) You strongly resist something. (Ask yourself - why am I resisting this so much?). Example - when you are forced to take a new route to work or when you are asked to address an audience.
3) You think: "What will everyone think of me?" (Ask yourself - what if I face this situation and let other people think badly about me?) Example - when you get an urge to volunteer for a cause or take the initiative in a group.
Spend many days, just observing your fears. Notice those feelings of discomfort and mild fear when you encounter new situations, or when you know you may fail or when you know others will think you are a fool.
Unless you notice these fears, you cannot rise above them. That is why the first step is to notice them. After all without you knowing, this anxiety and fear is running your life and making you take decisions that are not making you happy.
A good idea is to have a journal or a Word document where you can note down some of your common fears. You can write things like:
1) Today, I was afraid of what everyone would think, when I was asked to sing a song.
2) Today, I was afraid that everyone would think badly about me if I gave my opinion in the meeting.
3) Today, I was afraid that my wife would leave me if I told her what happened.
I know, all this sounds scary, but to move to a happier, really amazing life, all these things need to come to light. You cannot deny any part of you and still lead an amazing life.
After you have noticed enough fears, you can go ahead and face them!
It all starts with a simple decision: are you content with an OK life or do you want an amazing life? Do you want to be happy consistently, to choose your life consciously, and to live meaningfully? In that case, you definitely need to make that decision to face anything you are afraid of.
Now that you know what your dominant fears are, simply resolve to put in some effort everyday to face them!
Every single day, make an effort to face one tiny fear in one tiny way. Break your BIG fears into small parts and face those small parts.
1) If you are afraid of speaking boldly in a meeting, say something small that you have never said before in the next meeting.
2) If you are afraid of public speaking, somehow, come up with a situation where you can address atleast 5 people.
3) If you are afraid of talking to a stranger, simply smile at a stranger the next time you see one.
4) If you are afraid of asking your boss for a raise, ask your boss for something smaller that you are mildly afraid of asking him about.
5) If you are afraid of sharing THE big secret with your partner, share something smaller with her/him that you have never shared before.
The point is: start off. Throughout your day, when you get an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, take at least a baby step out of it. Try out what is not familiar to you, step into new situations. You don't need to become the bravest person in the world in one day. However, do things that scare you a bit and slowly make that into a habit.
As you do this, you will see new opportunities coming up. You will start feeling happier. You will suddenly start feeling like you are more in control of your life than ever before.
Here's a nice quote I love.
When you face your fear, the fear vanishes, and problems transform into opportunities. But when you run from your problems, your fear only grows. A powerful guiding principle to adopt is, “Whatever I fear, I must face." - Steve Pavlina
It's OK to be full of anxiety and fear at times. Just keep going. Keep embracing situations that make you afraid instead of running away from them. You'll find that life suddenly becomes more exciting, more interesting and definitely better than ever.
Here are some more articles about facing and overcoming fears that can help you.
Why you should make a list of your top 10 fears and face them
Why find out your fears if life is good?
A fear poem about a boy called Raghav who faced his fears
How to beat fear - some tips that worked for me
How to beat fear - some MORE tips that worked for me
All the best!