In order to grow in life or in our work, we sometimes have to do things that scare us.
Whether it is giving a presentation, initiating a discussion with your boss or achieving a personal goal…
There will be times when going outside of our comfort zone is necessary.
You might REALLY want something, yet struggle with resistance and underlying fear around the task ahead.
Here are some ways to help yourself in moving past your fear and into action.
#1: Accept it. Know that fear will always be there. Feeling scared or experiencing resistance is a good sign, it means that you are doing something you care about. Accept it, and move forward.
#2: Change the context of the fear. I remember hearing Amy Poehler say in an interview once that the being nervous and excited is the same feeling. If that is true, it is simply the meaning that you attach to it which makes them different. When you feel afraid, see if you can change its context. Could you decide that this feeling means something else?
#3: Believe that some fear is necessary. Unless a goal is equally as exciting as it is scary, it is not important enough. Setting goals that make up happy and scared at the same time, are the ones that help us forward in life.
#4: Breathe. When we feel afraid, we tend get shallow breathing. Focus on your breathing and take deep, calm breaths while settling into the thoughts you are having around your fear.
#5: Imagine the worst case scenario. What is the worst thing that could happen? Write it down. Would you die, lose your home, be ridiculed in public? Look at this and evaluate its likelihood. Let’s say it did happen; would you survive it? How would you pick yourself up from there? Our fears can to be dramatic and unrealistic.
#6: Be grateful. Although the feeling of fear does not serve you in its present form, it had an evolutionary significance to us in the past. Feel grateful that you have built-in mechanisms designed to support you through life. Now, you can decide whether to listen to them.
#7: Create a physical trigger. Giving yourself a physical trigger can remind you to move out of your current state. I recommend using a bracelet. No one needs to know about it, but you can flick it in order to break a negative thought pattern.
#8: Focus on someone else. When we get fearful, we may become aware of ourselves. Focus your attention on someone else to get out of your feelings. How will you doing this be of benefit to someone else?
#9: Imagine the reward. How will you feel when you have accomplished your goal? Will you be proud, happy or excited? Is it worth going through this temporary uncomfortable.
#10: Become aware. Put time into figuring out what freaks you out and why. If you know your patterns and fears, they are so much easier to overcome. What are your triggers? Can you figure out why you react this way?
#11: Identify the thought behind it. There is a common causality which goes: thoughts --> feelings --> actions. Hone in on what thoughts bring about the fear.
#12: Write it down. Journalling is another beautiful way to get yourself out of your head. Just pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and write. Allow everything that comes related to your fear.
#13: Ask someone. Do you know someone in your life who has done what you are about to do? Ask them how they did it and how they felt. Learn from them.
#14: Visualize. Close your eyes and run through the scenario like you want it to happen. Imagine the scenario happening effortlessly and smoothly. This can give you a calm entry into getting started.
#15: Define your comfort zone. Visualize your comfort zone and see where this fear sits. Is it right outside of it? Could you benefit from expanding that comfort zone?
What other strategies do you use to overcome resistance or fear?