When you hear the word "fear" what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you have a fear of flying? Spiders (or any insects)? Maybe your fear is a result of an event in your life. Remember that first day of school...or that first day on a new job? Maybe you feared a stage in your life because of the uncertainty of the outcome. Fear is an emotion that we all can relate to. Acknowledging your fears can motivate you to make plans to overcome the emotion that can paralyze you from living a purposed filled life.
Fear is defined as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight. If you constantly focus on the fear, your body will not have an opportunity to rest. It will be in a constant state of fight or flight mode. In order for our bodies to maintain all of its systems, the hypothalamus gland in the brain works to regulate the factors so that we remain at a state of homeostasis (balance). When a fearful thought triggers the hypothalamus, it signals the autonomic nervous system, which in turn affects our heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, sweating, etc. The body is preparing to flee or fight. Short bursts of fear is detrimental because it prevents rest the body needs in order to repair itself to be ready for the next day's adventures.
If you constantly focus on the fear, your body will not have an opportunity to rest.
There are many benefits of overcoming fear. Because fear can lead to other health issues such as anxiety and panic disorder, it is best to face, head on, what scares you from living the best life possible. In the journey of conquering fear, the most important step is the first one. Once you have moved from this step, take the next first step. For instance, if you have a fear of flying, your first step is to think of a place you would like to visit. Once you have your destination in mind, your next first step is to compare flight prices and plan your budget. Your next first step may be to purchase audio books or seminars to prepare you for your first plane ride. Continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward until you reach your goal (or, in this case, your destination).
Start your journey with positive hope and good expectations. Do not get discouraged if the feeling of fear does not immediately disappear. Be determined to keep facing your fear and get excited about conquering something you never thought you would. Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. In overlooking your fears, you can move forward stronger and wiser within yourself.
Here are some suggestions from life coach Martha Beck to tame your fears.
Plan Your Progress
Once you are calm, take a deep breath and begin outlining a step-by-step plan to achieve your goal. Your fear will want to drag you into obsessing about possible problems in the future. But be here in the now: Your task at this moment isn't facing what you fear, but planning to face it. While you are planning, don't execute or fret. Just plan.
Take One Step Toward Your Goal
Break down every challenge into manageable chunks. Forget about the long term and take the step that's directly in front of you. Don't even think about the next step. You only have to take that one step.
Watch The Path, Not The Obstacles
Where our attention goes, our lives go. As you take each step, be aware of dangers, but glue your attention to the path between them.
Celebrate Each Step
You don't have to wait to reach your goal to celebrate it. Celebrate each first step in celebration of completing the last first step. Celebrating makes fascination all the more joyful and builds confidence, which is much more useful than avoiding fear.