We all feel fear and uncertainty; whether we are muscular giants or petite women, fear is an indispensable part of our lives. In some people, fear has a motivating effect, the fear of loss or failure spurs them on and makes them achieve everything that would normally be impossible. However, studies show that for the vast majority of people, fear makes it difficult for them to function normally and develop their lives. Let’s think for ourselves how many times in our life we have missed opportunities because we are paralyzed by fear. How many negative situations do we have in our thoughts when we mention them we feel chills down our spines. It cannot be denied that fear is a big problem in personal development and often leads to many unpleasant consequences. That is why in this article we have included some tips and ways in which each of us can control our fears. We invite you to read.
1. Find the source of your fear
Every fear has a source from which it originates. Some of these fears we receive as an inheritance, so to speak, because they are transmitted culturally. Fear of poisonous and dangerous animals, fear of high places, and the dark. All of them are deeply rooted in us and we often involuntarily feel fear in this type of situation. The second type of fear that we encounter are learned fears, that is, the fear of things that have happened to us in the past and that were not very pleasant for us. If we once performed in public and our speech became the object of ridicule by our audience, it will be difficult to convince us to try again. This is a much more difficult fear to combat than cultural fear. To these two groups, we can add the fear of the unknown. It is a unique type of fear since its origin is the uncertainty of doing activities that we have never tried. Despite the fact that, after all, we are aware that few things succeed the first time, our internal perfectionism makes us fear failure when we carry out activities related to unknown subjects. However, it is worth realizing that each of these fears exists only in our heads, in most cases all those black scenarios that we imagine have no reason to exist in reality, and if we only think carefully about what it is really the reason for our fear, it may turn out that we have nothing to fear at all. We are aware that few things are successful the first time, our internal perfectionism makes us fear failure when we carry out activities related to unknown topics.
2. Master your breathing
Breathing is one of the basic activities of our body. In the vast majority of cases, we breathe smoothly without having to think about it. However, in certain situations, such as increased physical activity or stress, we find that our breathing is often altered. In stressful situations, this causes a spiral of fear and can even lead to a panic attack, which is difficult to control. Therefore, if we want to effectively control our fear, we must focus on our breathing first and foremost. Let’s calm our breathing. Let’s try to make the inhalation and exhalation last long enough. Let’s try doing the relaxation exercises that are used during meditation. Let’s start to breathe in through the nose, while we let it out through the mouth. Let’s start counting each breath, starting with the first and ending with the tenth, and then let’s repeat the count until our disordered thoughts completely calm down. Let’s just focus on counting. This will help divert our attention from the source of our anxiety and allow us to control our fear.
3. Change your environment
The environment in which we find ourselves has a great impact on our state of consciousness. If we are in a place where we feel safe and have kind and caring people around us, it will be much easier to control our inner demons in such a place than in a situation where we are in a dark alley surrounded by people who look like thugs. If the place we are in causes us stress, it is worth considering whether we really need to be in that place. Whether it is our job or our school, nothing prevents us from changing jobs or schools. We must remember that if we spend a large part of our lives in one place, it must be a place where we feel safe. We should apply a similar principle to the people we surround ourselves with. If we feel fear associated with another person, it is a good idea to cut off that toxic relationship. Let’s remember that we only have one life, and consider whether we want to spend the time entrusted to us cultivating fear of people who don’t deserve to be in our lives. None of us really know how much time we have left in this world, so it pays off if we always try to live life to the fullest.
4. Imagine the worst possible scenario
Let’s take a moment to think about the worst that could happen. If there is something we fear, what is the worst that could really happen? Take public speaking as an example, which we have already mentioned in this article. If we go on stage and start talking to the people gathered there, we may not be able to form any meaningful sentences. We will be paralyzed by fear and our speech will be a total failure. Our colleagues and the public will begin to accuse us of lack of professionalism, and we ourselves will become the object of ridicule and defiance. Our speech will become the embarrassment of the year and no one will want to invite us to their event again. This kind of situation seems incredibly dark, but do you think this kind of scenario is really real? We have just listed what can definitely be considered the worst possible scenario. However, reading, you already realize that this type of situation does not really exist. However, let’s assume for a moment that this worst-case scenario actually came true for us. Is your life really going to end? The answer is obvious. None of that will happen. We can always change jobs, it may turn out that we are simply not cut out for this type of activity. We will learn our weak points and also our strong points. People’s criticism will pass quickly because they will find another target for their jokes. Remember that people are selfish, they pay much more attention to themselves than to others. The same happens in our case. The truth is that no one is going to pay enough attention to us to be particularly concerned with the shortcomings of our presentation. Even if we fail at something, people will quickly forget about it, and even if someone reminds us, it has no effect on our life. The thing about worst-case scenarios is that they never come true and even if they do, their consequences are by no means as dire as we initially thought. So if the worst-case scenario doesn’t scare us anymore, how can we be afraid of something so much easier? In this way, we will discover that we have mastered our fear. It has no effect on our life.
5. Don’t look for perfection
Many people avoid taking any action for fear of failure. However, it should be remembered that failure is the basis of our development and learning. Edison had to make about ten thousand tries before he managed to create a working light bulb. If he had given up after the first failed attempt, we might still be sitting by candlelight. If you are a person who seeks perfection at all times, it is worth working on this part of our nature. Of course, being a perfectionist has its advantages, thanks to having this trait we carry out our tasks with much more care than the rest, which directly translates into the quality of our work. However, it also prevents us from taking on new challenges and, so to speak, we stand still instead of exploring new horizons in the field of our interests. Let’s remember that Rome was not built in an instant. Learning new skills takes time and is fraught with great effort. It is not worth worrying about something that is unavoidable. If we know that we can make mistakes, we will not hold back when it comes to acting. All we have to do is calculate the risks and take a logical approach to the tasks at hand.
6. Use the small-steps method
Fighting our fears takes time and commitment. In most cases, it is not possible to get rid of our fears in an instant. Throwing ourselves into the void can only aggravate our negative state and make our attempts much more difficult. Therefore, we must use the method of small steps. If there is something that scares us, let’s look for an easier alternative. For example, if in martial arts training, we start to learn how to flip safely, learn how to throw others to the ground, it is clear that we will not immediately fly all over the mat. We’ll start with the basics. We will start learning cartwheels from a low position when our head is directly on the mat. This way we will not have the pressure of heights and we will not be afraid of falling. Then, as we get used to cartwheels, we will be able to practice more and more difficult exercises. Beginning by cartwheeling from the knee and ending by standing up and cartwheeling over obstacles. Of course, this type of principle can be applied to any type of activity. If you’re squeamish when it comes to speaking, performing in front of a crowded national stadium will be beyond your abilities, but you shouldn’t have any problem speaking among family or a group of friends. Over time, we will gain the confidence to take on bigger and bigger challenges, and that is how we can finally completely overcome our fear.
7. Use the carrot and stick method
Another good way to overcome your weaknesses is to use the carrot and stick technique. In short, it is a system of rewards and punishments. If we manage to complete a task despite our fear, we must reward ourselves in some way. It can be, of course, buying ourselves a new thing, but nothing prevents us from considering a small excursion to nature or visiting some new place as a reward. It is important that we really treat a given activity as a reward and at the same time not constitute our everyday life, because in this case, it will be quite difficult to motivate ourselves to action. On the other hand, in addition to the carrot, we also need something similar to a stick. We need a system of punishments in case we do not fulfill some task. Here it is also important that we see the chosen activity as a punishment. What we need here is some consistency in our actions and a pure judgment of the current situation. If we feel that we have really screwed up and that it is only our fault, then let us accept the self-imposed punishment. Let’s remember that if we consciously follow this guideline, over time we will develop the habit of chasing rewards and avoiding punishment, which will definitely help us in stressful situations and allow us to manage our fear.
8. Seek help
Proper treatment and medication will help us in our unfortunate state of consciousness and prevent unfortunate developments. We should not be afraid to visit specialist doctors. Let’s remember that their job is to help us with our problems. If we feel we need help, but our condition is not directly related to the state of our health, it would be a good idea to ask for help on the helpline. The employees and volunteers on duty at these locations are trained to help people with problems. Often a simple conversation with another person allows us to control our fears and heal our anxieties.
In conclusion, fear is not unusual. Each of us feels some fears and anxieties. However, it is important that they do not guide our behavior in ways that interfere with our development. It is worth realizing where the origin of our problems is and how it really affects our lives. If we take a logical approach to our problems, we can realize that most of the dark scenarios that form in our heads have no right to exist in reality. With persistent work and commitment, we will surely be able to control our fear. However, all this requires a bit of patience and time. We trust that by reading this article you will be able to overcome your fear. Good luck.