I am sitting here wondering how to start this off. I have been afraid & scared for the past 30 years of my life. This fear has transcended into my daily life, where there would be multiple incidents of my shutting down and running away.
One notable time was, when I was sitting in an exam and I became so fearful that I wrote down my name and froze. It’s like a diving board situation, where you get to the edge and you can’t jump in. What is holding us back?
The perpetual feeling of being haunted by the fearful demons in your mind. I had a reading earlier this year and was told that the greatest thing which has held me back for so many years was my fear of moving forward. The only people who are holding us back are ourselves not anyone else.
Let’s just say, I am not exactly the biggest fan of job interviews, or working out in the gym amongst hundreds of other sweaty people. The job interview scenario would absolutely terrify me and send shivers down my spine. I recall a time, where I had a meeting with the managing director of a prestigious firm for a recruitment role and he asked why I was so nervous, as my whole body was shaking. I tried to avoid working out at the gym as much as possible, in order not to have to face up to the pretentious culture. My partner would badger me constantly about it.
I remember the conversations with my partner about not facing up to this fear.I guess what really bothered me was my inability to accept and move on.This leads me on to my next point. What did I learn about fighting this fear and how did I handle it? Take a look at some valuable life tips below:
If you have been fearful for a considerable amount of time, then the likelihood of this fear being conditioned in your mind is rather high. Starting small is a good way to start facing up to your fears. If you are afraid to meet new people, then it would be a great idea to start a new hobby to bring yourself together with new faces. I highly recommend “meetup” where you can register and join different activities depending upon your interests. In my case, I have been afraid of making sales calls and finally I started making those calls and the more calls I made, the easier it got. The one thing you need to avoid is going backwards. Always go forward. Fear is created by our inability to move forward with our lives.
Looking failure in the eye
When you stop yourself from achieving then automatically you are faced with failure. it’s like playing a game of tennis where you are not producing the shots, you are capable of. Yes, this can be demoralising, but it does not have to continue. You are solely responsible for that situation, you can either make it or break it, using the power of your mind. In one of my previous jobs, I sabotaged entirely my future prospects by not believing in myself and my ability and as a result, I failed.
The best thing you can do to deal with failure is actually to fail for real. You will start to learn more about yourself. I am still in the process of learning what it feels like to actually fail. We consider criticism as a failure, but a positive criticism it is not. I am learning how to face up to it. Recently, I had a discussion with my partner, whereas he criticised me and for the first time, I took note of his criticism and took some of it on board. This has shown that I am finally facing up to my fear of being judged and criticised.
Learning the art of making decisions
Knowing what you want out of life is key to overcoming fear. We tend to establish fear on the basis of not knowing our life purpose. I have avoided not making life decisions for many years. I found myself going here and there with career choices. Working within HR & IT and not ever feeling fulfilled. There are times where we have to jump in and not look back. Making your own decisions, diving into the deep end and learning how to stay afloat is key. Taking risks is one of the best ways to see, whether something will work out or not. I have struggled with procrastination for a long time since I did not have a direction. Procrastination is created by fear in response to not making the appropriate life decisions or hiding away from them. What has worked for me, has been writing down ideas or options which are suitable for me and hence achievable in the future. I wrote down where do I see myself in the next few years and what my strengths are. I knew for a long time that I wanted to help others and inspire them to become empowered. My university days were the turning point for me to identify my ability to assist and support people and by doing so boost their wellbeing.
Trusting yourself to eliminate fear
Taking charge of your own decisions is crucial in battling fear.
We are all faced with obstacles & challenges and overcoming them is what really counts. This applies to all aspects of our personal & professional life. One of my past working experiences didn’t work out and I became so blocked, that in the end, I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I was absolutely seized by fear and I felt totally imprisoned within my own body. I developed an acute fear of failure. After countless questionings, I realised that I had to let go of the past and embrace the future. In some of my most recent relationships, I had to hold back my emotions and mask my fears, because I was too afraid to get hurt. You don’t want to appear vulnerable and I certainly didn’t. It was my fear of being judged and scrutinised. My own insecurities made it more difficult for myself to trust my own decisions. This is something I am slowly coming to terms with and becoming more self-aware.
All of the tips mentioned above should enable you to deal better with conquering fear. Self-awareness is an important learning curve and the more you grow within yourself, the better equipped you will become, and face up more effectively to the challenges, which life is constantly throwing at us.
Shall you identify with any of the above issues, then drop me a line!
By Caroline Peart
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Image source: success.com