Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fear Factor - part 2

To quickly refresh, I had been writing about how we let our fears stop us from living our lives. The gist of it was "to live in fear is essentially not to live."

Step One was to ask yourself what you were really afraid of.

Step Two: Put it in Perspective
"What would happen if your fear came true? . . Ask, What's the worst possible outcome? Could it be reversed? Would you lose income? Would your family survive? Would it cause you or someone else bodily harm? Could you ask for help? Would it be possible to repair or control the damage? What can you do today to protect yourself?"

I know in my own life most of my fears are rather silly in the large scheme of things. I also spend a lot of time fearing things that are purely hypothetical and to be frank, rather morbid. For example, what would I do if my husband and son died suddenly. While I feel it is good to be prepared and to accept that bad things do happen, the reality is, this sort of fear can be crippling. Living in fear of what may come doesn't help us to live in the reality of today. Anyway, when you stop and put things in perspective it can really help tame your fears.

Step Three: Do What's in Your Power to Do
". . .we can't control the future or other people's behavior. But by focusing on what we can control--our own actions--we can help dispel our fear."

Think for a minute how much time and energy is wasted on worrying about what others will say or do. We have no power over that. Ever. We can control how we react to the things others do. We can control what we think and feel, but we cannot control others. I, for one, want to stop wasting my life worrying about others and to live my own life.

Step Four: Know When to Ask For Help
"Most fears cannot be conquered alone. "

This is one of the hardest ones for me. Asking for help is not something I do well. I don't accept help well either. But I do believe that most fears can be conquered with a companion, a support group, or just someone to listen and offer advice. Besides, chances are there are others who share your fears and would love to take the plunge with you.

Step Five: Practice Your ABCs: Action + Believe + Courage
"The fearless among us overcome doubts by practicing what I call their ABCs: A stands for purposeful action, or just taking the plunge and doing what you've been afraid to do. You can always rehearse first. . . B is for having belief in your own abilities. Fear loses its power when confronted with a positive mind-set. Use positivity to act 'as if' everything is all right, and soon it will be. C stands for the courage that comes from remembering that if you've succeeded before, you can do so again. And chances are, you have succeeded before.

I love B. I think that having belief and confidence in yourself is vital to so many things. I also feel like that is one of the main things I have been striving for with this blog. People who conduct themselves with confidence (not cockiness) are able to be successful and do things that some of us fail at. Just how to gain this confidence is something I'm working on. But I think what this article says is spot on: just act "as if" and then it will happen.

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