Over the past few weeks my business, career, and personal life have all been on the up and up. In tandem with those advances, the anxiety has been creeping up at alarming rates.
“What if something bad happens?” “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if I was wrong?”
I won’t lie. It hasn’t been easy, but I stopped and asked myself “How the heck have I been doing this?”. After careful reflection and a little research, I want to challenge you to come along with me, instead of letting fear scare you away.
Acknowledge you’re afraid and move on.
What has helped me a ton is using self-talk to acknowledge my fear while balancing it out with positivity.
It sounds something like this:
“I’m so afraid, but I’m doing great.” “I could cry right now, but I am more than my emotions and I can completely handle the situation.” “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve succeeded at new things before.”
Fear is just like any other emotion that requires you to face it, but not let it control you. By ignoring it, you give it power and can possibly silence some reasonable concerns. By succumbing to it, you give away your power and become paralyzed.
There is a happy medium and that’s feeling the fear and understanding why you feel that way, all the while choosing not to act within it.
Get an outside opinion.
Sometimes kind words from a trusted friend or colleague are just what you need to go from freaking out to slightly anxious.
Depending on the situation, I’ll go to my inner circle to see if I’m over exaggerating, which I usually am, or not.
In the face of fear, we tend to shrink our abilities and expand our obstacles.
I cannot tell you the number of times I breathed a sigh of relief from an “It’s really not that big of a deal.”
If you feel that you can’t talk to anyone, go to Youtube and type in your issue. There are a wealth of videos and articles from people who spend their time creating content to help.
You are never helpless. There is always someone, even if you don’t know them, offering an eye-opening perspective on your problem.
Talk yourself down from the cliff.
Understand what story you are telling yourself. Sometimes we talk ourselves into a hole instead of analyzing the situation from a rational point of view.
Write out a few affirmations that are the opposite of what your fear wants you to believe. If you believe you can’t, write that you can. If you believe you will fail, write that you will succeed. Write that you deserve success.
Take it a step further and say it to yourself in the mirror in the mornings. Whisper it to yourself whenever you feel the doubt creeping up. Say it until you start to believe it.
In the world of psychology, this is termed as exposure therapy. By constantly facing your fear in bite-sized pieces that induce moderate anxiety, you can train your mind and body to emotionally deregulate or calm down.
When you do that, be sure to celebrate the small victories. Large obstacles are composed of smaller obstacles, and recognizing your own accomplishments will enable you to move on to conquer the next mountain.
No matter why you’re afraid, never let that stop you. As Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”