How to turn fear into confidence?
If you feel that fear has taken the upper hand in your life, it’s time for you to discover how to move through fear and take back your power.
Persistent fear can negatively affect your quality of life. Unchecked fear can prevent you from fully engaging socially. It can disrupt you from reaching your potential at work, and it can prevent you from participating in leisure activities.
Fear is a sensation caused by the belief that you are about to encounter something that might hurt you or inflict pain on you. Most fears stem from the unknown, meaning we imagine the degree to which we will feel pain or be in danger.
Fear is deceptive. Those who eventually experience the thing they long feared almost always report that it wasn’t as scary as they imagined. It reduces their future fear responses until they reach a point where it is no longer a problem for them.
The fear response stems from our human physiology. It’s a vital element of the survival instinct which helped evade predators to become the modern humans we are today. Unfortunately, this instinct can run into overdrive. Because fear is part of what makes us humans, there is no need to classify fear as being a good or bad emotion. It is just something we all have to learn to move through at various stages of our life.
Fear mainly stems from our imagination kicking into overdrive on the unknown. The best approach to move through fear and take back your power is actually accepting the feeling of fear. Resistance makes fear persist, which is why moving through fear is the best way to take back your power.
Three strategies to help you take back your power
1. When faced with the feeling of fear, you should first focus your energy on what you want to get out of the situation. When we are faced with fear, we often focus on the fear itself.
This is an unhelpful strategy because it only serves to supply our fear with more energy. With our focus shifted onto what we want, we allow what we want to grow and expand, diminishing our fear in the process. If you are able to do this on a regular basis, your fear will no longer be a part of your reality.
2. Identify the bodily sensation of fear so you can efficiently allow fear to leave your body. The most important thing to know is that these feelings are just sensations that you have the power to release from your body.
Fear normally manifests as sweaty palms, an elevated heart rate, an upset stomach, the desire to flee, a dry mouth, dizziness or feeling faint, or the sense that time has slowed down. Fear is personal, so you need to know your exact fear response.
When you know how fear feels for you, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact moment when you can start to acknowledge the fear. Then you can breathe through it calmly, and give it permission to leave your current experience.
3. Take concrete action to work towards your desired result. Fear has a way of preventing us from taking positive action because we are stuck in a pattern of imagining only negative outcomes.
When we stay strongly aligned with the positive outcome we desire, we stay mentally engaged. That, in turn, reduces the likelihood of thoughts compounding fear into a bigger obstacle. If you feel somewhat blocked by the possibility of a negative outcome, try focusing on a positive outcome and exclude the negative outcome from your reality.
Are you ready to move through fear and take back power in your own life?
Two common fears are the fear of inadequacy and fear of change. If you’re suffering from these fears, how can you apply the strategies we’ve discussed to move through fear and take back your power?
The fear of inadequacy – It scares people because they exclusively focus on and therefore magnify a potentially negative outcome: lack. Reframe this fear by focusing on the skills, attributes, and experiences you possess – such as being a good listener, being a supportive partner, or being a great cook.
The best way to move through the fear of inadequacy is to focus on getting opportunities to do what you do best. Everyone is lacking in something, but if you focus on what you do have, with a mind to improve the things you aren’t adept at yet, you can at least start to feel positive about yourself. You’ll be less likely to fear lacking an attribute you feel you should have.
The fear of change – Change is an often-feared, yet necessary part of life, which doesn’t need to stress you out. Like the fear of inadequacy, people mostly focus on a single negative outcome: uncertainty. The best way to reframe the experience of change into a positive outcome is by going through your history of ‘life changes.’ Note down the surprising way those events positively influenced your life.
Let’s say, you got laid off in the past and you’re worried that this might occur again. Sure, you had a difficult time, but perhaps you had time to sleep late; and time to think about what you wanted in life. Perhaps you didn’t actually love your former job anyway? When you are faced with change, think of ways that this could be a positive. Focus on those so your fear will reduce. Change is a certainty. Rather than living at fear’s mercy, it is best to employ a strategy that gives you control of how you approach fear.
While these strategies will help you work through your fears, they are not designed to make you fearless. The key is action, you will need to act to overcome fear. Fear is valuable because it serves as a moment of pause for you to check within and determine your next course of action. When you implement the strategies we’ve discussed, you too can respond to fear in a way that improves your overall quality of life because you’ll move through fear.