Fear can make you freeze; both literally and figuratively. We’ve all been there. Something just doesn’t feel right. You look around and everything looks fine, but you get a cold chill that runs up your spine and the hair on your arms stands up. Your heart starts to pound in your chest and you might even begin to sweat.
Or you’re watching a scary movie and the character on screen is walking slowly through a dark park in the middle of nowhere. The killer is sneaking up behind her and she has no idea. Everyone knows what happens next, so you start screaming at the screen, “RUN! RUN!” You feel fear, just as the screenwriter had planned.
Then there is fear that is made up in your mind. It is made up of the What Ifs and past experiences. It’s the thought you have when you are sitting in a large group and don’t dare to ask a question out loud. It’s the feeling that stops you from asking the girl out that keeps looking at you from across the room.
And even as I write this, it’s the reason that my website is not launched to the public, although I have posted multiple articles to it already.
What if….my question is stupid; what if she rejects me when I ask her out;
And what if you, my friend, don’t like my website, my message, or what I am offering you.
Fear stops us from taking action….any action. This is the exact purpose of fear when we are faced with a situation that will physically harm us.
But fear stops us from taking action when it may hurt our feelings, we could feel rejection, or challenges our self-image and self-worth.
So, how do we overcome these fears? How do we raise our hand and ask that question? How do we stop the What Ifs long enough to ask that girl out? And how do I stop the fear of perfection long enough to just launch my website?
Well, just stop striving for perfection or caring about the little things in life. So, your question is stupid to others; it’s not to you. So, she said no when you asked her out; it doesn’t change who you are. And if you don’t like my website, chances are some else will.
If only it were that easy.
These fears are developed over time as a reaction to some situation we experienced, watched some else experience, or were told this is the reaction we should have. And it will take some amount of time to unlearn these fears. Oh and did I mention that it takes about 10 times longer to unlearn something, than to originally learn it! Baby steps, my friend, baby steps.
With intentionality, you CAN unlearn your fears.
Step 1: Stop and recognize the negative talk within your own mind.
Take a minute to listen to yourself. Hear what you are saying to yourself. Is it realistic? Is it true? What basis do you have to support those thoughts? Is this from personal experience, indirect experience, or learned from previous generations.
Step 2: Turn it into positive talk or at least change it to neutral talk. Then give these new thoughts support.
If you cannot bring yourself to say, “This is not a stupid question.” Change it to, “If I have this question, chances are some else does too. I could be helping someone else, while I help myself.”
“She won’t reject me” or “She might not reject me. I’m not a bad guy. She has been looking my direction and smiling at me.”
Step 3: Physically say these new thoughts out loud.
It is amazing how hearing it, instead of just thinking it will have a completely different effect. You can actually trick your brain into believing that it is someone else delivering the message.
Step 4: Enlist the help of your support system.
Reach out to someone that you trust and IS SUPPPORTIVE! Roll play with them, ask for their feedback and then trust their opinion without question.
Step 5: Give yourself a break!
Be nice to yourself. Give yourself the same respect and support that you would give your best friend!
“My website may not be perfect, but it is okay. I am not a web designer. I am mentor and blogger passionate about personal development.”
My commitment to you and myself, is that I am going to open up my website to the public 5 days from today, whether I think it is ready or not. Be kind to me, will ya?
What are you going to do? How are you going to unlearn your fears?
And as always…
BE YOU…BE TRUE…BE AMAZING!