We live in a beautiful country, but it is also a turbulent one. It’s not surprising that many South Africans struggle with fear, or fears, on a daily basis. Fears can be crippling, and sometimes irrational, but can one learn to control them?
Godfrey Madanhire, a professional motivational speaker, shares five ways you can deal with your fears.
Define exactly what you are afraid of
Fear comes in many guises, so defining exactly what yours is, is an important first step. Specifics are important; you need to have a clear understanding of your fear if you are to conquer it. Once you’ve defined the specific reason you are scared or anxious, you can then start to address the issue directly.
Control your self-talk
When confronted with an issue that could leave you hurt, emotionally or physically, we tend to build up the situation in our heads. Before letting it get out of control, take a deep breath and take charge of the conversation in your head. Try to see the positive in your circumstances. If you’re about to take a daunting test, rather than thinking you’re going to fail, change your perspective to knowing you’re going to pass.
Use your imagination
Imagine the frightening situation in your head, and picture the worst case scenario having a positive outcome. If you’re frightened of the ocean, picture yourself in the middle of it and see yourself swimming to shore. It is helpful to create these fictitious circumstances and imagine yourself handling them easily. This exercise will help build a resistance to your fear and hopefully overcome it.
Confront it head on
If you can plan to be exposed to your fear, you should. Make sure you are prepared and have developed coping mechanisms before engaging with it, and do it gradually. If you are scared of heights, start with something manageable and work towards going up Table Mountain in the cable car or riding on a ferries wheel.
After confronting and conquering your fear, you should reward yourself. An example of this could simply be a bubble bath, or your favourite meal out. Receiving positive reinforcement for overcoming your fear will help you build resilience.