Most of us enjoy a good fright, like when we watch a scary movie or ride a roller coaster. That kind of fear is temporary and can actually be healthy for us since it relieves tension.
However, there’s a harmful, more lasting fear we can experience, caused by so much change and uncertainty in our lives today. We fear what has happened and what could happen and what might never happen at all. Fear can cloud our judgment, keep us from moving forward, and create unnecessary stress that takes a toll on our minds and bodies.
I often remember the advice from peak performance expert Tony Robbins: “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” I find that if I shift from fear to gratitude, the fear will dissipate. Both emotions cannot exist at the same time.
Another way to fight fear is by exaggerating the situation. When I first feared speaking to audiences, I would play a little game with myself. I would imagine that my upcoming speaking engagement included me singing or playing a musical instrument — two talents I do not possess. Then, when I assured myself that I only had to speak, I was relieved and much more confident.
When I presented “CRAVE Your Goals!” to a group of job seekers, one woman shared a childhood ritual that has helped her be more positive and fearless as she looks for her next career opportunity. Each morning, her mom would ask her to write down anything that scared her about that day — like the prospect of meeting new kids at school or an upcoming test. At the end of the day, they would look at that list and her mom would ask, “So, how did that go?” Most days, she realized there was nothing to be afraid of. Writing down your fears takes away most of its power.
Finally, TV news often feeds into our fear with the way they cover acts of violence and natural disasters. Have you noticed lately how often they label a story “Breaking News” when it isn’t? It’s their job to prey on our natural instincts to protect ourselves and that keeps us captivated. Make sure you’re balancing your need to know by limiting your news intake and enjoying activities like time in nature and connecting with family and friends.
How do you fight fear?