Facing your fears can sometimes be more difficult than living with them, but doing so will really set you free.
Everyone is afraid of something, including the people who seem to have it all figured out. Oprah Winfrey once admitted to the world that her worst fear is balloons because they remind her of gunfire. If you have followed the popular series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you will know that Kim is terribly afraid of spiders. No matter what your fear may be, if you do not deal with it, it could potentially take away your life experience. Here are a few steps you can take to overcome your fear and live more freely.
Define Your Fear
This takes a lot more than just knowing what the fear is and being able to name it. It involves establishing the root cause of the fear so you can properly understand it and tackle it from the core. If, for instance, you are afraid of public speaking, the root of could be that you don’t want to be humiliated or criticised. If this is the case, then challenge yourself to think further and establish where that may come from. Maybe you were bullied in the past or were in the company of people who always put you down and are afraid that if you speak, you will be put down.
When you know the root cause of your fear, you will be able to deal with it directly. Talk to someone about it, write it down; whatever it takes to ensure your past experience does not rule your life now.
What Is Your Endgame?
The endgame refers to the goal you would want to achieve. There is something very powerful about visualisation – when you have your goals in front of you all the time, you will not forget them and you will constantly be working towards them. Therefore, if your fear is failure, envision yourself after failure – imagine that you have failed, have learnt your lesson, and now have insight and knowledge to move on or try again. When you finally succeed, you can credit that to your failure in the past.
The First Step Towards Change
This requires you to work on the core of your fear. If humiliation or criticism is the root of your fears, you could benefit from an acting class or any other activity where you have to let go and make a fool of yourself in order to do things right. An acting class will also break down your defences and make you realise that there is no single way to complete a task well. You will see this in the many ways in which different actors play out a given role. If acting isn’t your thing, you can try another form of art like painting or writing where criticism and being different help to enhance your work and not break it down.
Lastly, always remember to praise yourself for your victories; these should never go unnoticed. Even a small triumph can boost your confidence and will work as a constant reminder that the risk it takes to remain in your comfort zone can sometimes be more painful than the risk it takes to get out of it, as Alicia Keys once highlighted in her album “The Element of Freedom.”