During this global pandemic it is completely rationale to be afraid - - to fear that a family member or friend may get the virus, or to fear that you or your colleagues may lose your jobs.
I would call these profound fears, existential fears. Then there's another kind of fear that isn’t existential. It’s not as profound as, “I might die, someone I love might die,” but it’s the kind of nagging fear that can be debilitating. It's the fear of looking stupid, of making a mistake, or of being criticized. Those aren’t existential, they’re not profound, but boy, can they get in the way.
Regardless of the type -- profound and existential, or silly but real -- fear is something we must overcome to make progress, solve problems and lead.
So how do you overcome your fear? How do you put fear in its place?
First, you need to name your fear. The simple act of saying that fear aloud allows you to wrap your arms around what is really behind it. It will kickstart the process of stripping that fear of the power it holds over you.
Then, you need to ask yourself: “What’s the worst that can happen, and what’s the best that can happen?” At worst, you don’t accomplish your goal, you look stupid or you fail. Those things are difficult to confront – and those fears are real – but, in reality, the worst that can happen is not all that bad.
At the same time, you need to get a clear picture of the best that can happen. You need to understand what you’re working toward, the purpose of overcoming your fear and doing something difficult.
Finally, once you name your fear and you understand the best and the worst that can happen from confronting it, you have to run toward it.
Yes, that sounds scary, but the more we practice that courageous act, the more we can confront our fears on a regular basis.
Running toward our fear is like running at the gym. The more we do it, the more natural it becomes. Notice I didn’t say easier. It may never become easier, but it will become more predictable and you will know what to expect.
Starting today, you can overcome and put fear in its place. Start by downloading the guide below: in short order, you'll be naming and conquering the fear that has paralyzed you too long.
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