How to deal with fear to be able to move on? 

There are many situations when we feel it: the nasty feeling of fear. Sometimes it paralyses us so much that we start procrastinating and postponing our plans over and over again. Sometimes we don’t even understand what is it exactly that we are scared of. We just are. I guess everybody heard that there are only two inherent fears: the fear of height and the fear of loud sounds, all the rest is just something we created ourselves. Nonetheless, inherent or created, we have it; and if we have it, we need to deal with it. In this article I would like to share my approach.

When I find myself in a situation when I am scared, there is a big chance I will go exactly into the “eye” of it. Just because from my experience fear frequently is a perfect indicator of the right direction which will bring me satisfaction, growth, feeling of accomplishment and a whole bunch of other perks.

For me here are two things:

first, it is important to recognise your fear, understand it, name it, embrace it, if you will. You need to get crystal clear about what is it exactly that scares you so much. Sometimes you will realise that it is all perfectly figureoutable and there is no point to worry. Sometimes this rationalisation won’t help. Then I just admit: ok, I am damn scared, I understand why, I understand that it is irrational, but I cannot do anything about it. Just live with it.

Secondly, I actually do something with it, meaning: I try to do something not so much about the fear itself, as about its outside manifestations, like trembling voice or sweaty palms. Trembling voice is fixable by deep abdominal breathing. Likewise, a good trick is to lift your head a bit, so that your eyes look a bit higher than the level of the horizon. There was some sort of psychological explanation to the last one, but I must admit I already forgot. Another good trick is to have an amulet, which you associate with your resource state.

Let me explain the latter. Try to remember a situation in your life when you felt at your ultimate best, when you felt successful, strong and courageous. Remember that feeling in as many details as possible. Try to bring that feeling into the present moment and then link it to some sort of an amulet which you can have with you and which will immediately remind you of that state when you need it. It can be something small and silly, like a toy from a Kinder surprise or a small pocket spinning top like in “Inception” (remember that movie with DiCaprio?). If you have it, every time you feel like fear is mounting up, just touch your amulet and remember the resource state. However sceptical you might be, try it! It truly works.

What also works for me is to just make the first step. I know I am scared, I know why, I accept it, but I don’t stand still, I make the very first step and then… the second one. Before I know it, I am already moving full speed, but the fear never left the “station”.

To draw the line, it is OK to be scared, even if you fear is totally irrational. Try to rationalise it, understand it, do some small tricks to deal with its manifestations, but most importantly… just make that first step. Remember, it’s only the fear of heights and the fear of strong sounds which are inherent, and even they can be dealt with.

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