Fear should never be allowed to hinder one in life. In reality, fear is nothing but, “false evidence appearing real”. That means that if you dissected the fear that a person had, then you would find no reason for it. A friend of mine told me recently of how she used to be afraid of dogs, until she was the age of 33. When my friend was a child, her aunt told her of a story of being bitten by a dog when she too was a little girl. She even showed my friend her wound. My friend became so terrified of dogs from that point on. It was almost as if my friend had “inherited” this fear from her aunt. Never had my friend been bitten or had any reason to be afraid of dogs, but she carried this fear for years. She assumed she would always be that way until one day she dated a guy who owned a Rottweiler. At first she experienced those same dreaded reactions that she always would when she came into contact with a dog. However, this time she soon realized that, although the dog was huge, there was no cause for her being intimidated by him…he was just a 150 lb. puppy, who happened to be extremely loveable. From that point on, her fear of dogs vanished.
Stuck in the rut of fear
It is ridiculous to think that a person could actually be fearful based on something that happened to someone else, right? Not really. This occurs every day. Too often, people are afraid to start a business, write and publish a book, go back to school or of making an investment in their future. Not because they have tried before, but because they knew someone else who tried and failed. Or you have the other end of the spectrum where a person may actually be afraid to succeed. Either case is a tragedy in life and could result in a person being stuck in their own world.
Fear causes you to lose
No matter how you look at it, you can never win with fear. Fear can be just as devastating as a plague, if allowed to exist, and has the potential to spread to so many other areas in life. That’s why it is vital to face fear head on. In life, we should never allow fear to score more touchdowns than we do, if we expect to win. And we do. Instead, deal with your fears before they become so detrimental to progression in life.
How do we deal with fear? Although not always a simple answer, some steps include:
- Acknowledge that your are afraid
- Find your center or calm state – breathing slowly and deeply
- Determine the underlying cause of the fear
- Access whether the fear is real or perceived
- Imagine how you would react without the fear
- Make a conscious effort to overcome it by acting as if there were no fear
- Track your progress as you step out of your comfort zone
- Remember to celebrate success – no matter how small
- Should you begin to feel fear again, repeat steps above
- Seek professional help (if necessary)
Follow these steps with each fear that you may have. Make sure that you have conquered one before moving to another. Progress may not come overnight. Each person is different. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if your fear is deeply rooted and/or a result of trauma.
Know that you are predestined to win in life, not lose to fear. Refuse to give up or give in. Make the choice to tackle your fears today!
Shonda R. Murphy is a Life Coach at Divine Direction Life Coaching and a Financial Planner for Primerica, Inc. As an advocate of financial literacy, she thrives on helping individuals through life transitions as they get back on track, especially in the area of their finances.