Fear is a tough topic. I created this podcast episode a couple weeks ago and postponed it for a while, because it felt so personal. I almost decided to delete it, but here it is: When we are courageous with our lives, we will face fear. Here is a way how to move through it.
Do you love rollercoasters? I used to be horrified by them. This summer I spent a day confronting this fear. In other words, I had the opportunity of going through fear for a whole day. It was a pretty intense experience. Here is the simple three-step process that helped me move through it:
The process I used to move through fear:
Step 1: Acknowledge that fear is a natural part of the growth process.
Whenever we are brave and courageous in our life, fear will show up. Whenever we really move out of our comfort zone, we will feel afraid. It helps to know that this feeling is expected. It helps to have clearly in mind why you want to do this thing that you are afraid of. When I was standing in line for the rollercoasters I reminded myself that it is normal for me to experience fear, that this just means that I am doing something that is out of my comfort zone. And I knew that I wanted to go through this experience of fear to see if I can go out with confidence. I wanted to see if it really works that way.
Step 2: Choose now as the moment to face your fears. 3-2-1-GO
Confidence is the outcome of going through your fear. It is not what you begin with. Sometimes we think: “Yes, I want to do that, but I don’t feel confident enough to do it.” What we really need to do is to start now. I created a funny little song to remind myself of it. It is very tempting to wait until we feel better, more relaxed, etc. The excuses machine in our head turns on really quickly. And the only way to deal with it is to go into action. Count down from 3 and go. All sorts of excuses and reasoning came up for me. I am glad I did not give in to them.
Step 3: Try box breathing to handle the physiological aspect of fear
Specialists who deal with extreme situations do it, but it is really helpful for everyday fears also. It helps you to get your brain back online when you are in fight-flight-freeze mode.
Bonus: Don’t go it alone.
If you can, go through the experience with another person who has walked the way before you and is comfortable with you being afraid.