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5 Easy Steps To Conquer Your Fears

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5 Easy Steps To Conquer Your Fears

When I started my business a few years back, I had no idea how much fear would come up for me. I was amazed at how crippling the grip of fear was and how helpless I felt. I knew that I needed to quickly learn some tools and techniques to help me breakthrough my fears and keep moving forward, otherwise I could kiss my dream goodbye.

I learnt these two important principles

  • I learnt that fear will always be there when we put ourselves out of our comfort zone and that isn’t bad. Fear is actually essential, it is our survival signal and what has kept us alive all these years.
  • I also learnt that having a goal to be fearless is not realistic; instead, you need to look it straight in the eye and tell it to get out of your way, because it will always come up at different parts of your life, but it mustn’t stop you.

Fear can keep you from following your dreams, it can keep you from living the life you want and doing the things you desire, but it doesn’t need to be this way. One of the biggest mistakes you might be making, is taking fear at face value.

You see, fear can be real or imagined, and your body cannot differentiate between the two, so it will do whatever it can to keep you away from this ‘imagined’ fear, no matter what the cost might be. Imagined fear has nothing to do with reality, it is related to your beliefs and your individual perspective of the world.

I do a few things when I feel my worst enemy approaching, you know what I mean; that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, accelerated heart beat and discouraging voice in your head.

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Here is what works for me…

1. Rational or Irrational?

Ask yourself what part of this fear is rational and what part is irrational. If your fear is rational, what can you do to reduce your fear?

If your fear is irrational, you might need to take on another perspective of the situation that will support you better.
For example: A fear of public speaking

Rational: I will forget my words, the equipment won’t work, etc
Steps to move forward: Practice your speech 10 times over so you don’t forget it. Arrive at the venue earlier to test everything and ensure it works. Have a plan B, if for some reason you can’t use the equipment, etc

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Irrational: Everyone will laugh and people will point fingers
Steps to move forward: People are not that cruel, well hopefully you are not talking in front of an uneducated crowd like that. It is normal to have a fear of being ridiculed, but don’t focus on this. Learn ways to become more confident and deal with any limiting beliefs you might have.

2. The Worst and Best

Most of the time we don’t even consider what is the worst that can actually happen. We assume the worst is something inconceivable because we are only paying attention to our feelings. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen, and keep on asking, “And then? And then?” When we actually look at the worst that can happen, we realize that it isn’t so bad at all.

Then focus on what is the best that can happen if you do this, get crystal clear on the benefits of how this will improve your life. When you have clarity on the worst and the best, you will start to feel more motivated to keep pushing forward, because the best is almost always a million times better than the worst.

3. Challenge your thoughts

Most of the time you probably accept the thoughts that bombard your mind everyday as the truth, and worse, you act on them. Your thoughts come from your beliefs and your beliefs about the world were formed from your family, friends, and other influences in life. You have developed beliefs that support you and you have developed beliefs that don’t support you as well. If you don’t challenge your thoughts and instead accept them as the truth, you are setting your self up for self sabotage.

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Ask yourself; is this a fact or a belief? If it is a belief, challenge it if it isn’t supporting you.

4. Using images

This is a really powerful tool that is completely underutilized. Your mind actually responds much better to images and you might not be tapping into this. When you have no idea how something will work out or play out, you can imagine all kinds of scenarios, unfortunately mostly negative ones.

Find a quiet place and try doing this for 5 minutes. In your mind’s eye, imagine the outcome that you would love, see it in bright colors, hear the words you want to hear, feel what you want to feel.

If you can make this picture alive and see the outcome you really want, your mind will start to calm down immediately. Try it!

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5. Talk about it

Lastly, talk about it! We all share similar fears and there is a wealth of advice out there to help you move forward. Don’t suffer alone. When you talk about your fears, you release the negative built up energy and so you will automatically feel better.

Don’t give into something that you really can control, you have more strength inside you then you know. It is better to face your fears now and enjoy the reward than to give up on your dreams and face that later.

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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