Make fear your friend: While engaging in our daily neighborhood walk, Melissa and I have been taking note of the “new batch” of burrowing owls that have just been born. It’s really special observing these tiny and comical “potatoes with wings.”
The hatchlings enjoy getting some air outside the entrance of their nests until humans walk past. They instantly duck and run for cover back underground. It’s entertaining to watch. The young birds are awash with fear.
As not too much time passes, these little characters become braver and begin facing their fear. They stand their ground as humans draw near, standing tall (in their world) and begin to casually observe us giants. Some will look back at their parents with a look that says: “who the heck are these people?”
Their courage finally enables them to spread their wings and take flight. It certainly beats hiding underground.
What makes me afraid? My wife. She can be very quiet and mild mannered until I finally get under her skin. One time, she let out a yell that rivaled the Yeti mating season and threw a shoe. Yes, I’m afraid of my wife.
But moving right along, I’m afraid of public speaking and anything involving the mastery of extroversion. I become terrified and usually hide in a corner to observe the gifted ones. People deal with fear, stress, and anxiety in different ways. Some people like to be challenged and feed off of it, working well under pressure. Others, such as myself, want to curl up in the fetal position.
What’s your fear?
Whatever it is, fear is normal. It’s how our body warns us of dangerous and not so dangerous situations and to be vigilant. Yet, sometimes, our fears can become so great that they hold us back from reaching our full potential. We can become so filled with dread and uncertainty that we soon become constantly stressed and anxious over the smallest things. One’s world can become smaller if they choose to give in to fear.
On the flip side, fear, in its positive form, can actually inspire innovative ideas and motivate us to reach new heights. Today, I am here to help you make fear your friend.
Follow the six tips below, and you’ll know how to turn what was once your foe into an ally.
1. Identify the Source
This shouldn’t be too difficult. You probably have a list of things that terrify you. In order to make fear your friend, you must come to terms with it. Say out loud that the fear exits and you are ready to overcome it. Being aware of the root cause will be difficult in the beginning, but it’ll make you stronger. You’ll break free from the grasp of fear.
2. Externalize It
Once you’ve identified your fear, embrace it and externalize it by writing it down in a journal or diary. This gets it out of your head and helps you visualize your adversary. You will feel better getting it off your chest and sharing it with the world. You’ll also be surprised to know just how many people are just as afraid as you are.
3. Think Rationally
Fear makes us panic, and panic results in poor decision-making. In fact, studies have shown that when we panic, our prefrontal cortex shuts down. This is the region of our brain responsible for rational thinking. Learning how to think rationally despite our worries is of the utmost importance. Envision a “Stop” sign and breathe.
4. Don’t Give It Too Much Time
One of the worst things you can do is give yourself too much time to think about things. The anticipatory anxiety can do a number on you. Remember, your mind tends to blow things out of proportion. Anxiety is a master of distortion. Commit to facing your fear and do so sooner rather than later.
5. Find Support
No one ever failed by having a strong support system. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to push the envelope a bit. These are the people who don’t mind you venting about your fears and anxieties. Reaching out for support is nothing to be ashamed of. If necessary, seek a professional counselor. They can teach you ways to empower yourself by developing good coping skills which will boost your self-esteem and overall well-being. Just knowing you have a support system can lower stress, anxiety, and depression.
6. Envision Success with Hypnosis
What does your life look like once you face your fears? How does this make you feel? What are your newest accomplishments? Think about how your life will be limitless in terms of experiencing new things and attaining new heights.
Equally important, consider how your success will affect others. How will their lives improve? Perhaps you will inspire them to face their own fears. You never know who may be looking up to you!
I hope you have found these tips to make fear your friend helpful. Feel free to add any ideas you may have to this list and share it with others who are struggling. Help others feed off of your success! ~Ted