Do you ever find yourself having that feeling of dread and distress?
Fear is a big factor that can hold us back from having a sense of empowerment and being our best selves. Whether it’s embarking on a career that we didn’t start out in when we were younger, or introducing ourselves to someone who seems interesting or trying an activity we haven’t done before, fear is often the crux behind moving forward with what we really want.
Fear is sneaky! Just like trick or treaters on Halloween, fear can wear a mask too.
Let’s take a look below at some ways fear can mask itself:
When fear masks itself, we might complain instead of solve the problem. Or, we might let others decide our fate and make decisions for us. We might avoid new experiences. We know fear has really got a hold of us when we give up on a dream or even stop standing up for what we believe in.
We can cheat ourselves out of doing something good for us by saying, “I don’t have time” or “He’ll never let me do that”. We stay with what’s safe and comfortable; living in a steady routine that leaves us little room to step outside our comfort zone. We can cling to the fear so we don’t have to find out whether it’s real or not.
All of these tricks we do tend to create a nagging discomfort in our gut.
When we are not in line with what feels right for us discomfort shows up.
Here are 7 ways we can move through the fear.
- Pay attention.
Recognize fear and call it out. That’s the first step to moving forward. Begin by paying attention to yourself. Notice the times you might be hiding behind fear by trying to please others, trying to avoid feeling, trying to be happy when you don’t feel happy, trying to feel powerful with anger or trying to avoid situations due to shame or guilt.
Rationalize your fear. What’s the worst that could happen? Is it a rational and likely outcome? What are more likely outcomes? What if you didn’t do it? Which would be worse?
- Go small.
What’s the smallest effort you could make to overcome your fear? Do it and feel a sense of relief. Repeat. The act of doing and feeling successful makes it easier for us to do it again and continue.
- Connect with others Fear magnifies when we’re alone with our thoughts. Reach out to trusted friends and family who will encourage you. The act of expressing ourselves can calm and normalize our fears and can feel encouraging.
5. Create boundaries.
Recognize what feeds your fear and steer clear of it. Whether it’s negative people or social media – it can be toxic and linger for a lot longer in our mind than the time we actually spent with it.
- Thought holes
A loop of negative thoughts can keep us firmly rooted in our fear. It reinforces ideas like, “I can’t trust anyone” or “It will never get better”. The two words “what if…” can immobilize us and spiral to what if I fail, what if I’m not good enough?, what if they see through me?, what if I can’t keep up? As long as the focus is on “what if” in a defeating way, we’ll continue to stay stuck and avoid success. Push forward by flipping the question. What if I succeed? What will that look like? What will that feel like? These thoughts can be motivating and allow us to step beyond the fear.
Recall a time you did something despite your fear. Remember the feelings of determination, desire and pride that came from that situation. Use that sense of victory to summon up courage. Sometimes when fear has gripped me, I’ll imagine myself as a person I know who exudes the strong and positive and confident qualities I need in that moment. It’s a great way to fake our fear out.
While there is a learning curve, one of the best tips to move through fear is to practice noticing your thoughts; be mindful of what’s holding you back from what you’re wanting.
Should you continue to stay stuck, please contact me. I can help you create a customized method to recognize your fears and decrease ways fear keeps you stuck in your life to help you feel accomplished and relieved. Call now to schedule a free consultation.