How to beat fear? The best way of conquering fear is to face it.
This sounds straight in the face, and very airy, but truly, it is the simplest and most effective way of overcoming fears I have come across.
Afraid of making presentations? Make as many presentations as you can. Afraid of talking to girls? Talk to as many as you can. Afraid of asking a stranger for help? Do it as many times as possible!
Yet, though saying – face it – in reply to the question- 'how to overcome fear?‘ seems correct and perfect, it is very difficult to implement it in practical reality. If you are afraid of speaking in public, it is not easy to summon up the courage to go and participate in events which make you speak to people again and again. So how do you go about dealing with fear?
One thing that I found very, very helpful in facing my own fears was committing to face any one of my fears every day.
This is how it works.
Every day before you sleep, list out one thing you fear doing on a piece of paper or in a word document. Face it the next day. When you sleep the next day, tick the fear you wrote yesterday. And write another.
That’s it. :) It sounds simple, it sounds foolish, it sounds too spooky, but if you cut the crap and just do it you can face any fear on earth – fear of embarrassment, fear of making mistakes, fear of crowds or fear of everything.
Yes, what if you are afraid the next day despite listing your fear? Suppose I am afraid of talking to girls, and I write down before I sleep – ask a girl out on a date. And the next day I shudder and shake and just give up and come back home feeling worse than ever. Then what do I do? How to beat fear then and ask a girl out?
The answer is – cut the fear into small parts which are easier to face.
For example – you might be afraid of asking a girl out on a date. Your fear for tomorrow then could be smiling at any girl passing by. That’s not too difficult is it? You do that and you tick your fear before you sleep. For the next day, you write: make conversation with a girl. And then despite your fear telling you not to, despite that feeling of extreme discomfort, you go and make conversation with a girl when the opportunity arises. Before sleeping, you tick again. Then you write – tell a beautiful looking girl that she’s beautiful. And you do it and tick yourself to glory the next night. This goes on!
So if you can’t face a big fear, break it into parts and face small ones. BUT one a day. Atleast one fear a day.
Not at all. What is necessary is that you do one thing that you are very afraid of, that stops you and crushes you and binds you –at least once a day.
If you are traveling by train and very much want to tell the person sitting next to you that he’s wearing a nice shirt – but are afraid of saying so, well make that your one fear of the day and do it! If you want to talk to that girl sitting near you at the restaurant but your tongue is in your mouth, well let this be your one fear of the day – go talk to her despite the shivering and shaking!
Instead of ticking in your notebook before you sleep, you can give yourself 10 points for facing your fear. Yeah, this sounds crazy but I did it and I realized that it encouraged me to face more than one fear a day because the more fears I faced, the more points I got!
Let us say you are afraid of public speaking. There’s a debating competition going and you are in the audience. They have a break between speeches and in this break – the anchor is inviting any member of the audience on stage to go and speak extempore on a ridiculous topic. You know this could be a stellar chance for you to overcome your fear of facing an audience. It isn’t anything serious anyway. Will you do it? You remember last night’s fear facing thingy . 10 points if I get up and run to the stage- you, say to yourself. 20 points. 30 points. 100 points! You summon up the courage and gung ho you are on the stage!
So this points thingy can also help you face tough – BIG BIG fears!
Whatever works for you. The point is, you’ve simply got to face a fear a day. There’s no option.
If you really faced the smallest of small fears everyday, imagine how fearless you’d be in an year! Let us say you are afraid of talking to strangers. If you start with smiling at a stranger or just saying hi, and go on facing just one small fear a day, you could end up becoming a relationship guru in an year.:P Or if you are very afraid of crowds, and start by addressing a group of two people the first day, you could have the time of your life surrounded by a million people by the end of next year – facing one tiny little fear a day.
Come on, we’ve had too much of talking about how to beat fear now. Tell me what you’re afraid of. Let’s just break it into small parts. What fear will you face today?
Life without fear is a celebration. A dance. A song. An effortless cruise.
Being ripped apart can be fun when you know there is something in you that can never be ripped apart. :)
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