3 Powerful Steps to Overcome Your Fears
FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real
When I first heard the description ascribed to fear; false evidence appearing real; I thought, whoever came up with that was brilliant because it really hits the nail on the head. Fear can cause havoc in your life and stop you from becoming your most true authentic self. I'm no doctor, but I have found 3 powerful steps to help me overcome my fears. I hope they will help you too.
1. Acknowledge - The first step in overcoming your fears is to acknowledge them. The truth is everyone deals with fear to some extent. I remember when I wanted to travel on my first solo trip. I was so afraid that I almost didn't go. You must believe deeply that you are not your fears and that your fears are only as powerful as the level of power you give them. When I begin to feel fear creeping in, I stop and ask myself is this real or just my thoughts running wild and building a bunch of worse case scenarios?
2. Meditate - The second step is to take 5 minutes and practice a breathing meditation. I recommend setting a timer, using Calm or listening to a Zen station on SoundCloud or Pandora. Calming the breath and the mind brings clarity and reduces your anxiety level. It can give you the breathing space you need to identify what it is that is causing you to feel fear. Is it judgment? Is it change? Is it thinking you will be rejected? Use the five minutes to think about where the fear is originating. Five minutes might not seem like a long time, but it is enough time to calm yourself down and think more rationally and thoughtfully.
3. Practice Gratitude - The final step is to Practice Gratitude. Whenever I begin to feel fear creep in, I immediately replace the fear with the practice of gratitude. For example, during my first triathlon, the thought of swimming in open water where my feet no longer touched the bottom of the bay scared me. Fear struck me so hard I started to hyperventilate as soon as I passed the point where I no longer could feel the bottom. I immediately rolled over to my back and started to think about everything that I was grateful for, starting with the fact that I was ALIVE. It took me several minutes to get going again, but I did and finished the race. Eighteen months later, I crossed the finish line of an Ironman race. If you had asked me if I would be able to swim 2.4 miles in open water two years ago, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. Now, swimming in open water doesn't scare me like it used to. Do I still get nervous, yes, but I always start my swim with gratitude and it works to silence the fear every time.
Getting through fear is a powerful skill that anyone can learn. You don't have to be tied to living your life in fear. By practicing the 3 steps I outlined above, you too can start living more aligned with your authentic self.
Love & Light,