You can never truly be fearless and you shouldn’t aspire to be. Courage is not the absence of fear. Your fear has a purpose. It warns and protects you. Without it you wouldn’t last long. But, it should never prevent you from living your life. Those we consider brave manage their fear differently. Their actions determine the degree of impact their fears have over their lives.
It takes time and patience. There’s no shortcut to bravery. You need to remind yourself that most of the things that you fear never actually happen. The steps below will help you reclaim the power that fear often steals from you.
Acknowledge Your Fear
You have to own your fears to prevent them from owning you. If you fail to acknowledge the fear and just push it beneath the surface it will just bury itself deeper. If you look closer at your fear, you will notice it’s physical manifestations. Your sweaty palms, racing heart and shallow breathing can be examined and tamed. Use focused breathing to mindfully observe the sensations and access your fear and learn from it, calmly without rejecting it or falling into the same old fearful patterns.
You fear failure and that keeps you from trying to accomplish things. Start positive conversations with yourself and identify your negative thinking. You get what you believe. There is no better cure for fear than self-confidence. You build your confidence by mastering skills and gaining experience. Knowing the facts about your real capabilities shifts your focus and makes the unknown seem more familiar.
Do the Things You Fear
Running straight towards your fear may seem like a recipe for disaster, but how can you conquer the monster if you never face him? Take small steps until you start feeling more comfortable. Just start doing the work. Focus on the task at hand only. If you accept a little discomfort at first, you will soon reap the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone.
You need to silence that little voice in your head that tells you that you’ll never succeed and that you’ll only make a fool of yourself. It is primitive and misguided, but it’s only trying to keep you safe. Give it a name to take away it’s power over you. It’s important to remember that it’s just an emotion, it’s not who you are. Next time it speaks up, acknowledge it’s concern, but let it know who is in charge of making the decisions.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. That’s how you learn and grow. You learn from your failures, but to fail you need to release control first. Let go of the outcomes. You may be convinced that you need to go one way, but life might present you with a different route. It’s more fun and could turn out more fruitful if you just go with it.
Find someone you trust to work with you for your mutual benefit. You’ll soon realize how many people feel the same way. Sharing can help you examine where your fears come from. We are social beings and we draw our strength from others. Spend time with those people that make you feel brave.
Some fears are too deep and require someone to help you unravel them. Courageous people know that when worry becomes anxiety, it’s time to seek professional help.
This post was written by Lani Gouws on behalf of The Bridge Therapy Center. If you have any questions or require more information, please contact Lani here: firstname.lastname@example.org