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7 Things To Remember If You Want To Get Over Fear Successfully

7 Things To Remember If You Want To Get Over Fear Successfully

Fear prevents us from pursuing that which we feel is risky, even if such pursuits are what we see as true to ourselves.  Fear paralyzes and prevents us from experiencing life at its highest level of wholeness.  It holds us back.  To properly transcend the chains of fear (which are often perpetuated by self-conscious and delusional behavior) there are some basic things we should remember.

1. Fear relies on your perspective.

Jerry Seinfeld has a joke about public speaking.  He quotes a statistic he read, which stated that the average person fears public speaking more than death.  In other words, at a funeral, they would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy.  This is a reminder of the loss of perspective fear can impose upon us.  You can only fear that of which you are convinced is a threat. Changing your mind allows for relief from fear.

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2. Meditation gives you the tools to conquer fear.

Even five or ten minutes of meditation daily can improve your response to fear.  Meditate on that which you fear. Let the reasons behind the fear be revealed and contemplated.  Dig deep without overwhelming yourself. Meditation helps us realize that fear is often not grounded in reality.  You can get over it with diligence and mindfulness.

3. Empathy destroys fear.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone you imagine to be fearless, or at least unconcerned with whatever particular fear you find is holding you back.  Try to understand their microcosm of experience, their unique individual perspective.  What is it ideologically that allows them to not fear X or Y?  What adaptations in your own thinking can you allow for that will get rid of your fear?

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4. Taking action will set you free.

The hardest part about conquering fear is the psychologically-inflicted torment we perpetuate upon ourselves every time fear prevents action.  Build yourself up enough that you allow yourself to take risks.  Confront what you fear.  It will not be easy, but fear’s worst enemy is its own reflection in a mirror.  Face fear and it will disappear.  If the emotion holds you back from doing something you truly want to do, work towards mindfully pursuing what you fear. This will help you realize it has no power over you.

5. Focus on the present.

Most of our anxieties are imposed by the haunting past or looming future.  Practice being comfortable with whatever you have to deal with in the present.  As you focus less on external circumstances and learn to simply be in the now, fears will fade away into the background.  In the present, we have very little to be afraid of.  Future expectations diminish and concerns about past actions become irrelevant.  Do what you can with what you have, right now.

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6. Write it down.

The subjectivity of thought can magnify our fears and make them seem more imposing than they really are.  Convert your fears from ideas into words; contextualize them.  Write down what it exactly it is that you are afraid of and ways you believe you can work towards eliminating your fear.  In organizing your ideas on paper, you’ll find a level of clarity unachievable exclusively in your own head.

7. You’re not alone.

We all have our fears, hopes and dreams.  We all slip up and focus more on the past and future than the present.  Find a valuable support system for overcoming your fears.  Build an exchange in which you and someone else help one another psychologically overcome that which you are afraid of.  Learn to communicate your insecurities with others and, in articulating your fears, you will be taking a step towards eliminating them.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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