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How to fight fear – 7 rules

Written By: Anna Presso on February 20, 2009 4 Comments

Nobody likes to feel fearful. Small fears or terrifying ones (like maybe death, or public speaking for so many, or that the cat will lick your sunburn), we all dislike the feeling, to say the least. So, what to do? What are the Fear combat rules?

1. Name it. You keep it secret most of the time, run from it, try to avoid it, to ignore it, or to tranquilize it. Best approach is to express it. To look it in the eyes. I suggest you write it down, simple and clear. You will notice that just by putting it into words, it loses a lot of the nightmare-like appearance. Follow your fear straight into the light.

2. Face the worst case scenario: just for a minute, ask yourself what’s the worst it can happen. What would you do to deal with it, if you would absolutely have to?

3. See it for what it is: it can be a warning or a signal you are growing. Inherited from ancient times by each and every one of us, the reptilian side of our brain triggers that well known instinct which instantly installs a state of alertness. This signal can say “danger” but it can also say “you are entering new territory”, which, meaning expansion and growth, has a fantastic positive connotation in itself.

4. Reframe it. You wrote on your paper what you fear, right? Now rephrase that as “I want to do this, but I scare myself by thinking …(negative thing that might or might not happen)”. It can put things into a new perspective.

5. Bet on the good outcome: believe in the chance of all turning out to be just fine, and try to take a few steps in that direction, prepare the way for the good one, and you’ll make the desired result the more probable one.

6. Once you are aware of the name, the true size of your fear and the chance of it never actually happening, walk through fear the way you would walk through fire: quickly!  Act.

7. Then act again. The more you do it, the less fear you’ll have. First time you speak in front of an audience, your heart is beating like crazy. Tenth time, a lot less. The hundredth time, only enough to keep you alert and excited. By then, though, you begin to hear heartbeats in the audience. 🙂

 Whenever you’ll feel fearful again, remember that as long as we are capable of growing, there will be fear involved. Understand that fear is normal, but being paralyzed by it it’s not. So knowing that fear is just one more excuse to never begin, become a professional fear surfer. Feels gooooooood!

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4 Responses to “How to fight fear – 7 rules”

  1. Nick Tumbler says on: 26 February 2009 at 1:07 am

    I was expecting this follow up to your other post on fear, but I think it sounds like taken from the book – do this, follow that, obey this rule. Strong individuals (and I don’t mean the Superman kind) seem to do it all naturally – cannot imagine Richard Branson sitting on his arse and thinking “now let’s imagine the worst outcome”. How can you make it 2nd nature, rather then following strict rules?

  2. Anna Presso says on: 10 March 2009 at 3:50 pm

    To feel that it became a 2nd nature for you, you need to be able to go from feeling the fear to starting the action right away, in spite of that feeling. That’s an ability all “strong individuals” have. All of the rules above help with achieving that kind of easiness, but no7 would help the most. Motivation also jumpstarts the process very efficiently. “I am afraid, but that’s WHY I need to do it, so here I go!” That’s what gets good ol’ Sir Branson going most of the time: his main motivation seems to be the fun he will have in the process of going the extra mile. Use whatever works for you, and keep going!

  3. bill austin says on: 11 March 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

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    Bill Austin

  4. Louis M. says on: 31 October 2009 at 12:16 am

    Possibly The best article I read on this topic. Very insightful and useful too. Thank you.
    Louis M.

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