Do you allow your fears to impose limits on you? Maybe you stay in jobs and relationships that hold you back because you think you lack options. Maybe you have dreams that go unfulfilled because you doubt your abilities and hesitate to take risks.
You can break out of your comfort zone. Follow this 3-part formula for accepting your fears and dealing with them effectively.
- Increase your awareness. To figure out what you’re really afraid of, it’s important to confront your fears. Pay attention to physical signs like your heart beating faster or your voice shaking when your boss criticizes you or you’re preparing to speak in public.
- Avoid judgements. Try to understand your fears instead of blaming yourself for having them. Speak to yourself in a gentle and reassuring way. Give yourself time to calm down.
- Think rationally. Fear can make you exaggerate the consequences in any situation. If you have trouble being objective, imagine what you would think if the same events happened to someone else.
- Choose deliberately. Remember that you’re in charge of your life even when you feel frightened. Keep your long-term interests in mind when you’re tempted to run away from circumstances that scare you.
- Breathe deeply. Use your breath to relax your body and mind. Broaden your chest with each inhalation and release tension with each exhalation.
- Remember your achievements. Visualize some past accomplishments that you’re proud of. If you can plan a wedding or buy a house, you can handle making small talk with strangers.
- Keep practicing. Anxiety grows when you live in denial. On the other hand, your fears diminish each time you face them directly. Start out walking in the shallow end of the pool if you’re afraid of water. Once you complete enough swimming lessons, you’ll be ready to dive in with no hesitation.
- Acquire skills. Genuine confidence is based on competence. Pursue the education and training you need to reach your goals. Use your leisure time to study foreign languages or master a new sport.
- Care for yourself. It’s easier to feel brave when your body and mind are strong. Cultivate healthy habits like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well.
- Seek support. Surround yourself with family, friends, and colleagues who provide encouragement and assistance. Ask for help when you need it and welcome honest feedback.
- Repeat affirmations. Affirmations are a simple tool for changing your mindset and focusing your efforts. Tell yourself that you are brave, and you refuse to let your fears rob you of success.
- Focus on gains. Motivate yourself to try new approaches by thinking about the rewards. If you’ve been procrastinating about asking your boss for a raise, imagine how the extra money would help your family. Whatever the outcome, you’ll also gain experience with advocating for yourself and negotiating.
- Practice your faith. Many believers rely on their spiritual faith when they feel threatened. Your trust in God or your own personal principles may sustain you when you’re going through a divorce or lose your job.
- Consider therapy. If you need additional help with overcoming your fears, you may want to see a counselor. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other techniques can be very effective. You may discover that your fears are connected to past events that you still need to resolve.
Fear can be your teacher and friend rather than an obstacle. Accept yourself for who you are and develop the courage and confidence to tackle challenges head on.