How To Get Over Your Fears
One of the benefits of studying psychology and the subconscious mind is that we get to see how things like fear happen. The best part is, we've broken down fear to a point where it has no power over us and can't stop us from doing anything.
We know from experience that fear can be debilitating. For a lot of people, it's the one thing holding them back. So how do you get over it? How do you push past what scares you, to live your dreams rather than live your fears? Well, there are three main ways:
1) Avoid Hyper-Focusing
"Hyper-focusing" is a term we coined that refers to our tendency to over-focus, to make certain things appear more important and more permanent than they are. For example, you might find yourself freaking out, banging on the steering wheel, or cursing at other drivers if you're on your way to work and feel like you're going to be late. Another example most people can relate to is worrying about public speaking.
We understand both, and we've been there. But these are both examples of hyper-focusing. If you zoom out and look at the big picture, how important is it really that you get to work on time? And what's the worst that could happen if you freeze up on stage? You probably won't remember it a month from now, so don't worry about it in the present. Don't make things out to be so huge. Maybe you're afraid of making a sales call. Okay, that's understandable. But what's the worst that could happen? The person screams at you, and hangs up. BIG DEAL. The first trick to overcoming fear is to understand that what you're afraid of isn't so big in the first place.
One of the best ways to overcome fear is to ACT. Do what you're afraid of. Crazy concept, right? The reason behind most fear is the element of the unknown. Psychologically speaking, humans like to know what they're going into and what they're dealing with. So when you have no idea what the possible outcomes are, you get scared.
The quickest way to learn and become comfortable with all of the outcomes? Experience them. It's that simple. The more you do something, the more familiar it becomes. The more familiar it becomes, the fewer unknowns there are. And of course, the fewer unknowns there are, the more the fear that surrounds the things you worry about will fade away. Go do what you are afraid of. The more time you spend doing it, the easier it will become, not only because you get better at it, but also because you're eliminating the mystery.
3) Reduce The Fear
So what happens if you think you can't just get started? What happens if the fear is so great that you can't even bring yourself to do it once and reduce the mystery? We understand this as well; sometimes it's too terrifying to dive in. In this case, you want to overcome your fear by overcoming the overall importance of it.
So you've got this fear. Instead of harping on it, think about what impact it will have on your life...this is similar to #1. But now take it out even further. Even if it might have a major impact on your life, will it have a major impact on your family's life? Your friend's lives? The town you live in? The country? The world? The answer to most of these is a resounding "no," and as you answer these questions it should become clear to you that even if you totally screw something up, it won't have that big of an impact. It may affect you, but for how long? And it probably won't even affect others. Stepping back from fear and making it small is a great way to get over it.
Whatever it is that's worrying you, keeping you fearful, or holding you back, go take control of it. You can own your fears or you can let your fears own you.
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