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3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear

3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear

Why do you get scared? Why are you afraid to pursue goals, dreams, ambitions, or personal challenges?

Fear can get in the way of some pretty remarkable achievements. It can keep you from getting married because you’re afraid of commitment, it can keep you from starting your own business because you’re afraid you won’t be able to support yourself or your family. Fear can even keep you from losing weight – what if the effort you put into it doesn’t produce the results you expect?

Fear can keep you from knocking off things on your Limitless list and living a life full of amazing experiences.

Why are you scared?

It’s important to recognize fear for what it really is. It’s simply the association of an event with a negative outcome. So for example if you have always thought about bungee jumping but have yet to do it, it is most likely due to the fixation on some sort of negative expectation of the event. Maybe possibly getting hurt for example.

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If you have always wanted to start your own business you may be overly focused on not being able to make enough money to support yourself, or the hard work that it actually takes.

The same can be true if you have been struggling with your health and wellness. Often the fear of getting started, the hard work it takes, or the fear of not being able to keep the weight off can get in the way.

Turning your back on fear

Trying to avoid fear or to convince yourself to have “no fear” is a mistake. Fear is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will always be there. But don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Quickly recognize it, exchange pleasantries, and move on.

Plan: Here is a quote I try to live by “Counting on luck is counting on random chance; your odds are better when you plan and work.”

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How fantastic is that? The best plan of attack when dealing with fear is to plan for it. What is the next big challenge you’ve been thinking about undertaking? Ask yourself why you are afraid and plan for it. When I left my job a few months ago to pursue coaching full-time my personal finances were a big concern.

Instead of concentrating on how much money you need to earn look instead at where you can cut what you’re currently spending.

  • Any memberships you don’t use?
  • Cut cable?
  • Sell some old stuff?
  • Get rid of the car?
  • Lower your insurance premiums?
  • Buying coffee everyday? Busted :)
  • Buy generic products instead of name brands
  • Brown bag a healthy lunch as opposed to going out all the time

Maybe your big challenge has nothing to do with money as a root fear. Start thinking about what is causing that fear in you. Address it and plan for it. Need some help figuring out a plan? Post in comments in I’ll help you out.

Focus on the positive outcomes: I touched on it earlier but it is important to repeat it. The negative expectations associated with any event are the heart of what keeps you from accomplishing that which you want most. Although it’s important to recognize those possible negative outcomes so that you can plan, once that step has been taken, it’s important to place your focus on the possible positive outcomes that you want to experience.

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By concentrating on the good, you are much more likely to stay encouraged and motivated. A great way you can stay focused on the positive is to keep track. Keep an achievement journal each month. If weight loss is your goal, track your progress each week my taking body measurements, hopping on the scale, or getting a body fat test done.

Another great way to focus on the positive is to keep track of your behaviors. Are you acting in a manner that is getting you closer to your goals? Buying healthy groceries and avoiding the junk? Prepping healthy meals the night before so they are ready to roll the next day? Waking up a bit earlier to get in a 30-minute run?

Results are not always measurable right away but the behaviors that lead to those results are.

Review the log at the end of the month and see how you did? Where did you struggle and what might you be able to do this upcoming month to improve upon those things?

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Practice, Practice, Practice: Most of us are not naturally remarkable at things right away. If you are one of those people… I hate you. Learning new skills takes practice. Like shooting a basketball, playing the guitar, or weight training – They are each difficult in their own way and it takes time to learn how to do them properly.

So practice being courageous by taking on smaller fears. Make a list of all the things that scare the heebie-jeebies out of you. Review the list and pick the one of them that freaks you out the least. Now go for it! Build upon that success and take on something that scares you a little bit more.

What you’re doing here is training your courage muscle. Just like weight training to build lean muscle or going on a run to prepare for a marathon, you’re training yourself to get stronger. How neat is that?

Now act

We’re all scared of something. Some of those fears are big, some are small, and some may even seem silly. Regardless they are real and probably not going anywhere anytime soon. So ask, what is something you can do right now that will get you one step closer to tackling your fear?

Take that step. Time is ticking…

Featured photo credit:  Mysterious woman pulls the blinds apart via Shutterstock

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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