Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The big bad F word

Overcoming Fear:

We’ve all been there. Done that. Sometime or the other. Been paralyzed with fear. Felt frozen on the spot. Got into a panic, broken into a sweat. Felt anxious, petrified or even literally trembled with fear. 

Fear has victimized and continues to devour most of us across many situations of life.

Some fear heights, while others are afraid to take the next step. Some fear closed spaces others feel terrified when faced with a crowd. Some fear death and yet others fear life itself. 

In relationships, in business, at work, with friends, adapting to big changes, attempting to finish what we started or when having to start all over again…Fear of failure or fear of the unknown persists. 

Fear often attacks like a vicious thief wanting to imprison our rationale and ability to act with courage.

So what is the antidote to fear? 

Here it is. My personal tried and tested remedy. A secret passed down generations and guaranteed to work.

Face your Fears.

Okayyyy, I agree. That’s no breaking news. We all know that. 

I searched ‘how to overcome fear ‘and about 60,400,000 results came up which mostly talked of facing your fear, taking ownership, acting on it in order to overcome. Very few ‘tangibly’ addressed how to get there. 

How to actually get to a stage where you feel BRAVE enough to face your fears?

Brave! If you really think about it, we’ve all been there too. 

In school, at college, getting out of a bad relationship/marriage, facing a medical issue/disease, at childbirth, avoiding accidents, when dealing with a death of a loved one, at work, when standing up for yourself or another or even when killing a cockroach/spider; if you look back there will be at least one moment in life when you would have demonstrated bravery or felt brave. 

Voila! There’s the antidote then! 

So in order to act fearlessly if we only recognize and repeat our ‘Brave Strategy’, we can have the perfect alibi, each time we are faced with crippling fear.

How? Here’s how. Let me give you an example.

1. Ask:

Can you recall a time when you were totally brave? 

Umm… Yeah! Sky diving, I think that was a brave thing to do; friends too complimented me on how brave I was to jump off a plane.

2. Ask: 

Can you remember a specific time? 

Yes, that was May 29th 2012

3. Ask: 

As you go back to that time now, what was the very first thing that caused you to be totally brave?

Was it something you saw (or the way someone looked at you?)
Was it something you heard (or someone’s tone of voice?)
Was it the touch of someone or something?

Well, I saw a friend’s sky diving video and was inspired.

4. Ask: 

After you (saw, heard, felt) that, what was the very next thing that happened as you were totally brave?

Did you picture something in your mind?
Say something to yourself, or
Have a certain feeling or emotion?

Yes, I said to myself, “I wanna do this!”

5. And you keep repeating question 4 until you or the person you’re asking says something like, “That’s it, I just did it then!”

So in a nutshell here’s my “Brave Strategy”

Events that led to being totally brave


I saw a friends video

Seek inspiration

I said to myself, I wanna do this!

Voice desire with an empowering statement

I researched the net for risks involved, cost, best weather days, reliable people in the business, etc.

Spend time to research and/or evaluate

I zeroed in on a day, date, vendor and venue

Decide on an action plan

Asked my husband to come along for support and motivation

Rely on family/friends

Practiced with the instructor till I felt fairly confident

Practice; Practice; Practice

When I was just about to jump, I did not think of past fatalities or what will happen if I fall/fail. I just did it.

Focus and act in the moment

And there it is, my ‘Brave Strategy.’ 

Now I just use this same strategy across various circumstances. At times the situation may demand a more detailed action plan and less research and at other times the equation may change. Sometimes it may require that I innovate, for e.g. I don’t think women would get an opportunity to practice childbirth, especially with the first born. So you replace it with something that empowers you in that moment. Effortlessly visualizing it in your mind maybe or prayer perhaps?

Bottom line, you are way stronger than you think. And fate does love the fearless. So act with courage. 

Now my question to you, my dear friend is —  What is your ‘Brave Strategy’?

Therein lies the answer to your fears.

*Based on a NLP technique; Strategy Elicitation

** Thank you +Meshack Ali Radebe for inspiring me to write this post.   

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