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A 3-Step Process to Overcome Fear

A 3-Step Process to Overcome Fear

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future. ~Audrey Hepburn

Growing up, my culture made me feel that a little worrying was a good thing and that if you are never worried about things, you’re exhibiting a careless and casual attitude.

What I missed in the above theory is the word “little.” As a result, I worried a lot. Was I going to do well in my exams? Do my friends think I am cool to hang out with? Will I get my dream job? Will I be able to achieve my dream income in my business?

Those fears, needless to say, kept me from fully realizing my success in different areas of life.

In my work, I’ve found the fear of failure, fear of the unknown and the fear of not belonging as the three universal fears. I see people every day and at least one of them is stuck due to these three fears.

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If you dig deeper, you’ll realize that the fear of not being loved or the fear of not belonging is the root cause of all superficial fears. Let me explain.

The fear of the unknown is actually the fear of failure in itself. Think about it, what happens when you step into the unknown? You fear that you’ll fail.

For most people, failure is a permanent, impossible-to-turnaround phenomenon. Even a toddler knows that’s not true. Notice how they fall down and keep attempting to walk anyway? Imagine if, as a child, you considered failure permanent—you’d still be unable to walk!

And deep down, you fearing not being loved if you fail. Think about it. You’re afraid that your loved ones will abandon you, that you’ll be rejected and that people who love you will stop doing so.

No matter how much you try, fear will always be there. It is a natural part of being human. Of course, a lot of fears that things may not work out are just baseless. Yet, they can pretty much stall you.

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A Three-Step Process to Overcome Fear

This three-step process is what I learned first hand from fellow-entrepreneurs around me. Feel free to use it to beat your everyday fears and when you fear that things may not work out.

Apply the three steps to a situation in your life when you’re afraid:

Step 1. Write Your Fear Down

As simple as it sounds, writing down your worst fear in this situation will let you externalize it. A lot of times, we worry because we’re so entangled in the problem.

Have you noticed how getting an outside-perspective helps? This is why so many people go for coaching too. Getting someone else’s help allows you to see different perspectives.

By writing your fear down, you’re also fully acknowledging that it exists. This leads to awareness, which is the first step and 95 percent of your journey.

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Step 2. Ask: What’s the Worse that Could Happen?

Now that you’ve documented your fear, you realize it lies outside you, and you have a better grip on it. The next step is to get deeper. Be honest and paint the worst-case scenario. What is the absolute worst outcome that could happen from this situation?

I recall when I was about to speak in front of a audience for the first time. I was nervous and literally hoping that somehow the event would be canceled. I wrote down my fear—”I’ll stuff up”—and asked myself, “OK if I did stuff up completely, in a way I am not able to speak a word at the workshop due to nervousness, what would happen then?”

Soon, I caught how unrealistic this scenario was. Surely, I would babble, mumble, mix up examples, appear unconfident, but wouldn’t completely go quiet, right? So I changed the outcome to a more realistic: “I will appear unconfident.”

There it was. My realistic, worst-case scenario: I would fail to impress my audience by appearing not confident.

Step 3. Ask: Can I Handle It?

This is the last leg of the exercise. Once you acknowledge the worst, you ask yourself if you can handle it. Human beings are incredibly powerful at handling stuff.

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Think about all the people in this world who have handled death, bankruptcy, loss, and separation. Perhaps they never realized they could handle it until the time came. In despair, we find strength from an unknown source within. We’re wired beautifully that way.

For me, I could lose those potential clients at the workshop. So what? I could always take feedback and start over. When I looked at it squarely, it wasn’t that bad. I could handle it.

Answering the last question gave me strength to move ahead. When you get real with yourself, you’ll know that you can handle this OK and soon there will be a time when you’ll wonder what were you so afraid of. I promise.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2020

17 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do

17 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do

Life is a series of stories, and each one of us has a unique story to tell. Billions upon billions of stories and no two are exactly the same. If the story of your life has been filled with more sad moments than happy ones, it’s time to change that. And the best place to start is within your head.

You have the power to create the life you want. One crucial skill that will help you get there is learning how to become emotionally strong. The good news is emotional strength is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Once you believe you are strong emotionally, you will unconsciously act stronger than before and begin to take control over your emotional whims. – Senora Roy

In this article, you’ll learn how to be strong emotionally. Here’re 17 things emotionally strong people don’t do … so you can start creating the existence you’ve always imagined for yourself.

1. They don’t beg for attention.

Emotional strength means confidence, and confident people don’t need to constantly be the center of attention. They’re comfortable in their own skin.

2. They don’t allow others to bring them down.

Emotionally strong people ignore the haters and the naysayers. They weed these people out and surround themselves with positive people instead.

3. They don’t stop believing in themselves.

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s:

They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. – Walt Disney

Soak up these amazing words from Walt Disney. Because belief is the most essential quality of emotional strength.

4. They’re not afraid to love.

Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World. – Paulo Coelho

People who possess emotional strength have experienced heartbreak. But it doesn’t hold them back … it makes them stronger. Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you should shut love out of your life. Open up your heart and embrace vulnerability. The love you find will be worth everything you go through to get it.

5. They’re not afraid of slowing down.

Sometimes you need to take a step back and slow it down when you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Having drive is great but not at the expense of your health and well-being. Allow yourself time for reflection and relaxation.

6. They refuse to be a victim of circumstance.

Being emotionally strong means refusing to make excuses. Leave the past behind you and focus on getting a little better every day.

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7. They don’t have a problem saying no.

Saying no is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn how to do. Focus on your top priorities and say no to all the stuff that’s wasting your time.

8. They don’t back down from challenges.

Emotionally strong people see challenges as opportunities to grow and improve their life. Challenges happen for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

9. They don’t do things they don’t want to do.

If you want to keep your emotional balance and sanity intact, do what you love. Get rid of baggage and commitments that are making you miserable.

10. They don’t forget that happiness is a decision.

Emotionally strong people know that happiness is a choice. They understand the things they need to really be happy. They choose a life of simplicity, productivity, and passion.

11. They don’t waste time.

Abraham Lincoln said,

“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Emotionally strong folks don’t waste time doing mindless crap. They live mindfully in the present, enjoying every day as if it’s their last.

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12. They aren’t afraid to ask for help.

Every single one of the great minds in history, from Einstein to Edison, had help along the way. You can’t do it all alone, and it takes an emotionally strong person to swallow their pride and ask for help.

Here’s How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So.

13. They don’t hold themselves back.

Self-handicapping is a common trait among emotionally weak people. What this means is you make excuses and find ways to justify your inadequacies instead of finding ways to improve on them. If you want to change something, stop holding yourself back. Just start. Small victories lead to major changes.

14. They don’t mind working a little harder than everyone else.

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Soak in these poetic words from Longfellow. Put in the work, and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

15. They don’t overreact to things beyond their control.

Charles Swindoll said,

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

Think about how many times a day you overreact to things that really don’t matter. When you start to feel your blood boil, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is this really worth getting stressed out over?” Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll realize the answer is no.

16. They aren’t content with a mediocre life.

Emotionally strong people don’t settle for mediocrity. They strive to achieve greatness.

17. They never, ever give up.

Being emotionally strong means staring adversity in the face, learning from your mistakes, and living to fight another day. I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe:

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Featured photo credit: Conner Ching via unsplash.com

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