Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fear, dealing with fear, crushing fear!

I love this topic. We all have felt it. Not knowing how to deal with fear and anxiety can really mess with your head. I’ve also been there: life feels dark and depressing, it feels like you’ve obtained a handicap, you start to question if things ever improve. We’ll… I’m here to tell you that they do improve…a lot. If you're struggling with anxiety, you should check out these anxiety symptoms to see if you have it.

Fear of heights, fear of darkness, fear of spiders - these are easier and I’m not going to get into this. I’m going to talk more about pressure and social fear. For example you are afraid you’ll let people down or you’re terrified of public speaking. It might even be something minor like talking to a girl at school/bar or making cold calls at the office.

So why do we feel fear? And why some people are more afraid of certain events than others? It really comes down to thought-patterns and beliefs. We might create fear because of past embarrassment. Sometimes when we have a small fear of some event and we put it off, it might also grow the fear of that event. It can just be something new and you are afraid to fail at it. It’s not in the DNA or lack of talent. The truth is that we can all handle each situation as the most confident man in the world.

I listened to this interview with Dave Chappelle who is a stand-up comedian. He talked about his early years and how he dealt with fear of public speaking. He didn’t have a big problem starting off but one time he got boo’d off the stage. When family and friends asked him how he was feeling, he told them that he was relieved. Why was he relieved? Because it was the worst possible outcome of public speaking and he had experienced it. “It wasn’t so bad”, he said. He wasn’t afraid of it anymore.

Most people are so busy “looking cool” that they never want to fail. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. Failing at something is good when you learn from it! Go out there and do the thing you’re most afraid of – if you fail, f*ck it, try again. If you accept the possibility of failure you most likely wont even fail. Noone can laugh at you for trying your best every time – if they do, then you know they wont get far because they feel the same way about themselves. If you apply this to your life, you will not be scared of fear again.

When you fail at something and let people down – don’t feel guilty. Empathy is good, guilt is not! And NEVER let anyone push guilt on yourself. If it happened, it happened, accept it. Feeling bad is not productive, it’s a lose-lose situation. Learn from it and move on.

Excuses create more fear! “I can’t right now, I’ll wait for..”, “I need to prepare a little longer” – sounds familiar? We’ve all heard that voice in our heads. There is no better time than NOW. Whenever you feel that inner monologue, repeat this out loud: “I am a person of action and I will act NOW”. When you say it, you can’t think anything else at the same time and you start to feel the enough power inside to take a chance.

You cannot lose fear completely. But you can make it irrelevant. Soon fear will not be something that holds you back. It’s just something that takes a little more effort. The paradox here is that when you start thinking like this you will actually start feeling less fear. When you manage to step on this road, you will feel the most liberating feeling you’ve ever felt.

For some people it’s a huge step – you have to look at life from a totally different perspective. It is however worth it! Think about it for some time and when it’s time to act, forget the thinking, just act. Otherwise you will just rationalize yourself out of it. That's why a lot of people who over-analyze things, experience much more fear.

Nike had it right: "just do it!"

Next topics: Relationships, judging, Time-management

Thank you! Since English is not my first language, tell me whenever I have made spelling mistakes or typos.

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