Fear gets to the best of us, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success or even fear of fear. All of us have experienced fear at some point in our lives and it can be a real stumbling block that holds us back from being truly successful.
Fear can’t hold you back forever, if you don’t let it.
There are several ways to overcome fear, here are my top 9:
1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION
Ask yourself what is really going on, identify the fact and separate them from the stories you made in your head. Facts are neutral and are not good or bad. It's the stories that we make in our heads that trigger our emotions.
2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
Figure out what it is in a situation that triggers you. Learning to identify it will help you learn to combat it. More often than not, we have pre-built triggers. You might be fearing the current situation because of past events that may or may not apply right now.
3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
A lot of times, fear takes over physically. It affects different people in different ways. Identify if/how it affects your physical body and do the work to take care of your body. Ex: if you hold stress in your back, you can do stretches, foam rolling, etc. to reduce the pain.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Everyday, list out 3 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, gratitude helps shift the mind into a positive light, which overtime, overcomes fear and avoid it all together.
5. NOTICE YOUR INNER VOICE
Notice your inner conversations. Our primal brain tends to think negatively in order to protect us. We all have ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). By noticing them we can shift to more positive thoughts. Mental fitness practice reduces the time we spend in negative thoughts that affect our judgment and decision-making process. Speak positively to yourself and remind yourself of your strengths.
6. CREATE A NEW ASSOCIATION
Remind yourself that the feeling and the moment will pass. Focus on the positive outcome of the situation, rather than the scary. Any circumstance can be turned into a gift and opportunity. Sometimes it is hard to see the gift in a "bad" situation. The more you practice mental fitness, the faster you will find gifts and opportunities in tough situations.
7. LOOK AT THE GLASS HALF FULL
Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. So think positively and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight; practice with just one thought. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Work on reversing this one thought. Overtime, this will become a habit.
8. PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES
Breathing helps center your body; when you stop breathing, your heart stops beating. You can do a grounding exercise, or even just take 5 deep, long breaths at any point to calm and center yourself. It is best to start your day with this, and feel free to practice all day long.
9. CREATE A SAFE SPACE
When you feel safe and secure, there is no room for fear. Find somewhere safe you can retreat to when negative emotions begin to rise. Whether this is a real place such as your bedroom, or a place in your mind such as the beach. This sense of comfort will soothe you and allow you to face your fear. You may want to have a mental retreat space ready in case you are not in your physical safe space.
Please keep in mind, these are just 9 strategies, not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques into your life and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and your highest potential this year!