How do I manage or fight my fear is a natural question to ask so you don’t need to be ashamed that you are reading this article.
Fear is an interesting emotion. It is one of those imagined emotions actually because fear almost always ends up being irrational. That is to say, fear almost always ends up being something imagined in our minds and hence fighting or managing fear is an easy task.
We face all kinds of fear in life – fear of failure at work, in relationships, in public. The list is endless. Before we proceed on how to manage and fight fear let us understand that fear was given to us so that we can survive from the elements that made up rest of the World. Just that in recent past, being thinking animals we have created our own fears, and stopped enjoying life. For example, my daughter runs away from a dog because of fear and hence isn’t bitten by the it.
Fear as an emotion was given to all living beings to ensure they stayed safe. Since human beings can think, we have started making irrational response to challenges we face. In humans alone, fear constricts our brain from thinking straight, confuses us and fear also makes us negative individuals.
As individuals and as groups of people we panic when in fear. In non-threatening scenarios when in fear our first reaction is to make sure our egos aren’t hurt and our image isn’t tarnished – like a bunch of losing footballers, who start playing aggressively to save face.
Fear also cripples our enjoyment of life because fear starts controlling us, not allowing us to reach our full potential in life. For example, fear of flying can result in you not attending meetings outside your city, or fear of public speaking will never allow you to present that perfect pitch to your board members and gain that promotion you so badly want.
If you know how to manage and fight this fear, sky becomes the limit for you.
Here are a few tips and tricks to fight fear. Even if you aren’t able to fight your fear, these tips will help you keep the fear inside of you and yet manage to live your life around it. So here is how to fight and manage fear:
Take your mind off fear
It is impossible to handle fear if you can’t take your mind off fear. When you are thinking of your fear, your hands are sweaty and you have your hair standing on your neck, your mind is all confused and doesn’t know how to react to the emotion called fear. So take some time off to strategize and think how you will fight it. Calm down, and relax. Distract yourself from fear and get into a better emotion – happiness perhaps. How does one get away from fear? If you love reading books, pick one up. If you love coffee, just sit on the porch with a coffee and a cookie. Whatever works for you – but get out of the emotion called fear so you can strategize on how you can fight it.
What's the worst this fear can do to you?
Now that your mind is clear and you are off that emotion called fear, imagine the worst. Let us say your current fear was a public speaking you had to do in a week’s time….imagine what is the worst that can happen. You may forget your speech? The audience may sleep off? The audience may jeer you? Think of your fear and all that can go wrong. Now try to answer this question: “Will you be alive the day after your public speaking?”
If your answer to the above question is “Yes” then your fear is something that can be fought or managed. If you are going to be alive, the only other thing you should be worried about is a panic attack, which you need to learn to manage. There is enough information on the web to help you overcome panic attacks…lets focus on fear for this article.
Face your fear and get used to it
If you keep on avoiding your fears, you will find fear growing all around you. Face your fears, and get used to them little by little. For example, if public speaking is your fear…it makes great sense to join a public speaking club so that you get exposed to your fear on a weekly basis. If you get exposed to your fear that often, you will soon stop fearing it. If your fear is heights, start with small heights and get used to manage your fear. If your fear is speaking to girls, start with speaking to women colleagues, then move on to total strangers.
Don’t fear lack of perfection
Many of our fears are because we think we aren’t perfect. For example, even if I am a moderate public speaker because I don’t think I am perfect I will fear going out on the stage. This fear of not being perfect affects all situations so understanding that you can’t be perfect every time is a huge step forward in your fight against fear. Learn to live with 80% perfection and half of your fears will vanish. Remember life is already messy and there is no need to make it messier by introducing fear into it.
Talk about your fears to people you trust
Talk about your fears with your friends. In our experience friends and relatives are very useful in overcoming fear because most of the time they are with us when we are shivering in our pants. Sharing fears takes away the scariness of it. If you don’t have friends or relatives to share your fear with you can always call a local helpline which I am sure is available in your city.
Note: Never ever resort to alcohol or drugs to get over fear. Fear gets aggravated in such situations.
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