Many times throughout my life, fear has tapped me on the shoulder when I least expected—it has also punched me in the gut and brought me to my knees in a whirl of exhausting and exasperating emotion. Fear is such a heavy, complicated, and often unexpected emotion that comes in many forms, but certainly not limited to the following:
Fear of failure Fear of disappointment Fear of rejection Fear of threat/harm Fear of overall lack of control over a situation or outcome
Personally, I can tell you that at this stage in my life, I prefer to live like a warrior and kick fear to the curb! I have honestly had enough, and I hold nothing back in living, loving, learning, and propelling myself into the life that I choose and work toward living. That’s why I’m happy to share my top 5 strategies for overcoming fear and living like a warrior.
1. Alter Your Mindset
“Your Perception is Your Reality.”
The only thing that separates you from fear is your mindset. While fear is an important, natural emotion, it’s also a stifling dream-crusher that will stop you in your tracks and have you running in the opposite direction.
Your mindset determines your self-worth and confidence, your action and inaction, your next step vs. the status quo, how you approach the world, and the spectacles in which you choose to view your circumstance.
Whether you choose to see the glass as half-full or half-empty, it’s still the same glass with the same amount of water. The manner in which you choose to see it is your personal choice that is typically followed by an emotion.
Were you lucky and proud to have a half cup of water when you were thirsty? Or are you angry and disappointed that you only have a half cup and not a drop more?
If you simply refine your perception, you will then impact your personal experience. Alternately, if you prefer a different reality, then first change your perception.
How do you do this? Just be more positive in your speech, communication, and response to experiences in your daily life. Stop crumbling when things don’t work out as planned. Instead, learn to laugh, release, and rejoice in not having experienced a worse case scenario. In this sense, happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.
What do you choose?
2. Focus on Your Level of Control
Fear often stems from a lack of control. This feeling can grow and spread like a dark cloud, inward through emotion and then outward in behavior. No, we do not have control over everyone and everything, but we DO have control over ourselves and our choices to prepare, plan, and respond to any situation.
Instead of fixating on your lack of control, refocus your vision on those areas that are within your control. Learn to fully identify and manage all of the choices you can make within a scenario. Take control of your situation by owning your options. First be honest with yourself and come face-to-face with your situational anxieties, then create a mental list of your options and make a plan.
Take your abstract feelings and acknowledge them, understand where they came from, and break it down into tangible and manageable next steps—that is when fear will lose its power over you.
Can you think of a fear that continues making unwanted visits?
3. Just Say NO to “What If”
The “What If” game is a never-ending mental ping-pong of disaster. Stop doing it. The ONLY time that this game is even remotely acceptable is when you are trying to prepare for an event or occasion and are making sure that you have everything you need (i.e., packing a baby bag, planning for a meeting or presentation, or preparing for a trip). Otherwise, STOP doing it!
4. Goal Setting & Getting
When your parents and/or teacher told you that you could do/be anything you truly wanted if you work hard enough—they really weren’t kidding. You really can. The only thing between you and your dream becoming your reality are these 5 strategies, that’s it.
Stop letting time slip past you and “seize the moment!” It’s never too late, even if you start simply and keep a comfortable pace. The first step is to draw a mind map—make a circle in the middle of a paper with your true soul-itching vision, add branches from this center with greater detail about your vision for that goal, and then create simple steps for each branch. Lastly, make a comfortable and manageable to-do list for the day—and actually do it.
Most of us look up at a mountainous goal, and before we even try, fear steps in to overwhelm, worry, and laugh in our face until our dream dissolves. Instead, keep your ultimate goal in mind but keep your eyes focused only on one small step at a time for a minimal investment. Before you know it, you will be at the top. While obstacles and even avalanches may take place, it’s how you choose to navigate through each moment that will propel you.
What would you write in the center of your mind map?
5. Organization is NOT only for Type A’s
You don’t have to be a Type A personality to have solid organizational skills. All you need is true determination and passion to get you there. I personally don’t like stress, so I choose to rise above it by preparing ahead of time. Whether I’m making a to-do list to remove responsibility out of my head and onto paper, or packing snacks, change of clothes, or emergency kit for the kids to bring in the car in case of any unexpected circumstances, I’ve got it covered.
Remember to be honest with yourself about the simplest of situations or details that create stress and fear of the “what if” scenarios coming true, and be prepared. Manage each of the areas that you can control.
You are worthy. You are important. You are loved. You are capable. You are strong. Your greatest ambition is waiting for you to make it happen. You can do it!
“The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” —Alice Through The Looking Glass