We all want to wake up daily feeling fearless, achieving great levels of success. You want to look fear in the eye and make it cower from the strength and power you exude but you know you are so far from that reality. In your reality, fear has you up against the ropes beating you down, it visits you at night, and every time you think you have a great idea or you’re about to do something new. When are you going to decide that fear must lose? You have a business to start, a promotion you want, a presentation to do or a difficult conversation that you need to initiate. It’s time to address fear head on.
Take a militant approach. Fear is not going to go away if you halfheartedly address it or only address it when you feel overwhelmed. You have to beat fear with precision and consistency. Soldiers are always training to stay sharp, and you must be vigilant and keep training yourself, especially when you feel unstoppable.
Practice deep breathing. Fear is a feeling that can actually manifest itself through physical symptoms; people can sweat, become incoherent, hyperventilate or simply shut down. Calm yourself before that happens with deep breathing exercises. Make it a part of your daily routine to center your mind and control your thoughts.
Shift your focus, take daily action. Don’t give your brain time to be idle. Shift your focus to helping someone else or immerse yourself into a project that requires your full attention. Build a list of action steps you can take to move out of your fear. Every time you feel the fear creeping in, take bigger action and do it quickly. Keep taking action.
Reprogram your mind. Use vision boards, motivational quotes, programs or music to feed your mind. You are reprogramming your brain to believe you truly can achieve anything. Develop a system where you do this daily regardless of how busy or tired you feel. It has to be systematic and automatic.
Get an accountability buddy. Find a supportive friend who you can call to talk through your feelings and put things in perspective. Just saying things out loud can give you the strength you need to move forward and realize that those fears truly are Fear Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear is an expert at wearing you down. As you get older, you have built up a history of times when you have feared, failed and were frustrated. If you don’t look at those experiences as learning opportunities that made you better, you are making fear’s job easier. A simple reminder of your failures will have you retreating. Past failures were simply lessons getting you closer to your goal. Thank fear for the lessons. Your past is gone and the future is before you, so write a new chapter and choose your ending.
Karen Hinds is a leadership and diversity and inclusion expert. She used her experience in building talent pipelines for financial services companies to launch her company over 20 years ago. Workplace Success Group is a strategic, talent development firm that works with organizations to cultivate and retain their next generation of leaders.