How do you manage your fears in life? Are you the type of person who embraces your fears and faces them head-on? The type of person who sees fears as an opportunity to grow as a person and embraces the challenge that is in front of you?
Or are you the type of person who hesitates? The type of person who recognizes their fears, but instead of striving to overcome these fears, you instead turn right back around and decide to go down a different direction?
Whichever way you approach your fears doesn’t determine your value as a person. We all get stuck every once in a while and have to reshape our focus.
From personal experience, there are many times where I still run from my fears. It’s not that I want to, but that’s my natural instinct. That’s the habit that I have fallen into over the years.
The good news, though, is that just like all bad habits, this one too can be broken. Whether it is your fear of money, fear of success, fear of relationships, or just your fear of not being enough, just know that you are not a failure.
I am currently reading Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. She lays out seven steps to help you overcome your fears of anything, and I thought it was too good not to share. This process works. It’s helped thousands of others before, and it’s currently helping me to combat my fears as well.
Here are 7 steps to help you overcome your fears.
1. What’s the worst-worst-worst case scenario you imagine could happen if you moved ahead on your idea?
On a piece of paper or in your journal, write down what your greatest fear is and what would happen if that fear came true. Is it your fear of losing all of your money? Becoming homeless? Disappointing loved ones? Then as yourself what’s the worst possible thing that could happen if that came true.
2. Take a look at what you’ve written.
The next step is to take a look at what you’ve written and ask yourself how likely you think it is that the worst-case scenario you had drawn up in your mind will actually occur. Do you think you would go homeless if you lost your job? Do you think your family would quit talking to you if you disappointed them? On a scale of one to ten, how probable is it that the worst-case scenario comes true.
3. Now write down the exact steps you would take to recover and rebuild if the worst of the worst did in fact happen.
Next, jot down the exact steps that you would take to recover. Let’s say that the worst-case scenario did happen (even though it’s probably a far-fetched fear), how would you rebound? What would you do to get back on your feet and regain control of your life?
Perfect! Hopefully by realizing that no mistake lasts forever, it has helped to take away some of the fear that you are currently feeling.
4. Flip the script.
Now it’s time to flip the fear. Instead of asking yourself what the worst-case scenario would be, ask yourself what the best-case scenario would be? What are the benefits that you would gain by overcoming your fear? Would it lead to a pay raise? A life spent with the person you love the most? Achieving the dream that has been on your mind since you can remember? Whatever the best-case scenarios are, write them down. Not just one, but all of them.
5. Explore fear as your GPS.
Take a deep dive into your fear. What is your fear directing you towards? Is it causing you to get excited and all jittery? Or is it leaving you feeling small, stranded, and trapped? Really, write down any emotions you are feeling when you think about your fears and ask yourself what message your fears are trying to get across to you.
6. Leverage your language.
I read this point last night and immediately started laughing. When we think of the words “terrified” “nervous” or “scared,” we immediately feel small and inferior. Those words have developed a negative meaning in our brains, and every time we hear them, we think of the negatives.
One way to combat this, think of some made-up words to describe your fears. Of course you don’t want to suppress your fears and act like they don’t exist but take away the negative stigma from them by naming them something else.
In Everything Is Figureoutable, Forleo uses words like “shooshie” or “nooney.” It may sound a bit childish, but that’s the point. You are still recognizing your fears by name, but the names themselves bring a different emotion than words like “scared” “nervous” or “terrified.”
7. Think about a specific time you “failed” (or more accurately, made a faithful attempt in learning).
What are some things that you learned from your previous “failures”? Did the lessons that you learned help benefit you in any way later on in your life? What are some good lessons that came from it?
The thing is, failure doesn’t make you a failure. If you make a mistake, learn from it, better yourself based on what you learned, and continue to learn. Those who seek knowledge and the desire to learn as much as they can are the ones who are often the most successful.
When it comes to fear, always remember that you have the strength to overcome any obstacle that stands in your way. Learn to believe in yourself, learn to focus on the goals that you want to achieve, and learn to work harder today than you did yesterday so that tomorrow you can do what you couldn’t do today.
Life is one big learning lesson. If you want to grow, then you need to be willing to jump in with everything you have. Put your fears aside, take the leap, and create the life that you wish to live. Only you can do so.
Hopefully you will take this information, use it, and apply these steps to help you overcome your fears in life just as I am doing in my life as well.