10 Ways to Face Your Fears
Fear can be a crippling emotion, and it is one of the few emotions that almost always
presents itself physically within the body. When a human gets scared, the heart starts beating faster, the stomach begins to clench or flutter, and the palms start sweating. These physical manifestations of fear reveal how powerful and detrimental this emotion truly is. While fear is often a real indicator of danger, it is just often an unfounded emotion with no logical basis. When fears are unfounded, they must be faced and overcome.
In business, fear can prevent you from accomplishing your dreams and goals. I’ve encountered many different people who have let fear stop them from taking risks, making new business contacts, pursuing a completely new business dream, and seeking fulfillment in their lives. Anne Day, the founder of Company of Women, contributed a brilliant article to The Huffington Post about the benefits of facing business fears. You, like many other entrepreneurs, may recognize the importance of facing your fears in business. How do you go about laying an unfounded fear to rest, though? I’ve created a list of ten great strategies that will help you conquer your fears and gradually eradicate them from your life.
Create a List of Your Biggest Fears
One of the first things that will help you face your fears is to create a list of all the fears that are getting in the way of the pursuit of your dreams. Often, the simple act of listing our fears shows us just how ridiculous and nonsensical these fears really are. You may have a fear of talking to new people, and this fear may prevent you from seeking new customers, clients, or investors for your business. In the moment, the fear of talking to new people seems oppressive and daunting. Written on a piece of paper, however, the fear of people sounds ludicrous. Even if your fears still seem like massive obstacles, writing them out in a list will at least give you some direction in overcoming them.
Inspire Emotional Relaxation Through Physical Relaxation
Did you know that you can trick the body into feeling a different emotion by mimicking the physical manifestations of that emotion? If you start hyperventilating, even without any anxiety in your life, the actual process of breathing rapidly will start to make you feel anxious. The reverse is also true. If you can steady your heartbeat, calm your nerves, and unclench your stomach, your feelings of fear will also start to dissipate. You can practice relaxation and meditation techniques that will help you abolish fear from your life.
Focus on Your Accomplishments
Instead of focusing on all of the missed opportunities that your fears have caused, try instead to focus on your accomplishments and achievements. This type of intentional positive thinking can help to inspire confidence and improve self-assessment. When you focus on all you have achieved, your courage will start to increase, and you’ll be better prepared to tackle something that frightens you. This process is often referred to as “psyching yourself up.”
Turn Your Imagination Off
While imagination in the business world can be great for dreaming big and discovering new ways to achieve goals, it can also be a huge issue when fear is affecting your work performance. Often, we let our imaginations run wild and start to exaggerate what may happen if we face our fears. Have you ever dreaded having an uncomfortable conversation with a friend or loved one so much that you start playing out the conversation in your head before it even happens? When you start imagining the direction of the conversation, you often conjure up a worst-case scenario that can make the task seem more frightening. Shut off your imagination, and you can cut off the life support for your fears.
Explore the Root Cause of Your Fears
It may be helpful to spend some time evaluating the root cause of your fears. If you are afraid of cold calling customers, for example, there may be an experience in your past that is causing this anxiety. When you identify the real problem, you can figure out ways to address the fear.
Laugh a Little More
There is nothing wrong with adding a little more laughter in your life. A willingness to laugh at the silly nature of your fear may make them seem far less daunting when you are facing them head on. A haunted house is far less scary in the light of day, and your fears are far less impressive when they make you laugh out loud.
Spend Some Time with a Role Model or Mentor
Surrounding yourself with mentors and role models who have successfully faced the same fears you are currently facing can offer inspiration and motivation in your own life. This type of positive behavior is a great strategy for facing your fears.
Arm Yourself with Education and Success Tools
Sometimes, education is the best weapon with which you can defend yourself against crippling fears. If you are afraid of failing in a business endeavor, for example, your fears may be caused by a lack of information, education, or preparation in the business world.
Face Your Fears by Doing
Sometimes the best way to get over a fear of heights is to strap on a parachute and jump out of the open window of a plane. The same is true for fears that affect business performance. When you continually face your fears by doing the things that scare you most, each fearful moment will become less and less frightening.
Talk to a Professional
In some situations, your fears may be too deeply rooted for you to handle by yourself. In these cases, talking to a professional about your fears may offer a valuable solution.
These 10 methods will help you face your fears once and for all and prevent them from disrupting your business efforts.
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