Fear can be further understood as biological fear and learned fear, where the latter results in negative thoughts that are amplified in their minds. Some common fears that we have include:
Tips to Overcome Fear based on Personal Experience
Fear is not selfish, so everyone gets to have a taste of it in different ways. J How do we tackle it you may ask? In some sense, it is really a choice and a matter of perspective. We can continue to fear Fear itself, OR look at Fear in the face and thank it for giving us the opportunity to meet courage.
1. Face Fear, Embrace it
If we take flight from it, it’d only come back to haunt us later. Sometimes, fear is derived from a past experience. Face it, recognize it and accept it. Fight it with confidence. Usually, that comes with sufficient reflection (what happened, why did it happen, how can we prevent it), preparation, homework and research. Whatever that doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.
2. Oppose Fear
Resist fear and it’d flee. Don’t give fear a chance to manifest in our minds. Fear exists in our minds because we allow it to. Question its existence and move that emotion towards the sphere of logic. What is the worst thing that can happen? Find the underlying reason using the so-what strategy. If we ask ourselves so-what many times; that can help us question the basis of our fear. That will then help us address it at the root.
3. Remain undaunted in the face of fear
We can’t entirely chase the butterflies away but we can learn to manage it by keeping calm and being at peace with ourselves. Meditation and focus helps with this. Get the butterflies aligned to fly in one direction out of our stomach.
4. Get Assurance
We don’t have to face fear alone. We can always seek support from family, friends or like-minded individuals. It’s important to ensure that we cultivate the right relationships to provide us with emotional support.
Somewhere deep down in us, we have a sense of belief plus a tinge of impulse that has been masked. Try and find the inner motivation or underlying reason to push yourself through. Summon the guts to just do it!
Fear will not be defeated overnight, but no battle is won without a fight. Sometimes it boils down to endurance and who can hold it out for a longer period. So, don’t give up and just keep holding on! Practice makes perfect.
7. Have greater belief in ourselves
It is true that we like to have control and full certainty of situations. However that will not always happen. There are too many factors at play and we can only make the best out of each situation. We are usually our only obstacle and enemy and we may beat ourselves up thinking we are not able to handle it. Don’t underestimate yourself, because if not you, then who?
8. Reframe the situation, change your perspective
Our reaction, behavior and response are usually shaped by our thoughts. If we think we are afraid, that choice of words will tell our mind how to react. So think differently! Instead of focusing on all the negative things, start to look for the positives! Or, frame the negative thoughts into questions - “How might we prevent that?” Doing so will lay the foundation for a solution-driven approach. It is sometimes easier to deal with logic than with emotions.
9. Thinking of Fear as a necessary evil
Fear is not a bad thing. It can be instinctive fear that helps ensure our survival. Fear can create stress, which induces action on our part to help us through danger. It can also help us to measure the risk involved so as to make better and safer decisions.
10. What you fear: Perception or Reality
We fear because we tend to imagine all the worst-case scenarios happening - What if this happens and I can’t handle it? What if that happens and we don’t have a back-up plan? What if people laugh at me? If we allow that to manifest in our mind, fear can paralyze us and prevent us from taking the next step. Is this what you really want? Begin with the end in mind, and ask yourself what it is you truly wish to achieve. There can be plenty to fear, but don’t let that hinder your progress. Instead, ask yourself what is the likelihood of that happening, and perhaps focus on preparing yourself for such instances (risk management). If your fear does indeed materialize, just focus on finding a way around it.
11. Remember our Success
Bad news and bad events attract us. We always tend to remember every negative event in our lives. How about starting to remember our success and what it feels like? There could be that one instance when you did really well in something, which you were so fearful of. Recall what you did, how you did it and what it felt like. Capture and recreate that mental image of success. Don’t underestimate the power of visualization. That could give you strength and confidence.
12. Work on our strengths
We are not doing ourselves sufficient justice if we continue to work on our weakness instead of our strengths. Work through our strengths to overcome the shortfalls of our weakness.
13. Picture Fear as an object
Picture fear as an object. Decolorize it and imagine it shrinking. Alternatively, frame fear between your index and thumb of both hands. Then as you move it away from you, make a ‘woosh’ sound. Realise that fear was amplified in our minds by us and we can reduce it. Don’t give fear too much attention. Fear is not as big as you imagine it to be. Now, you can take control of it.
Recommended books / Reading from the session:
This is about a plastic surgeon who helped people change their mentality and adopt more positive views of themselves.
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by Shane Yan Shiyan & Shamantha Yan Shiya