Overcoming Fear To Reach Your Goals
Which way are you heading? In the direction of your dreams or stuck in the same rut?
Today, I'd like to address the feeling that holds many of us back at times, FEAR.
Fear is a challenging emotion. It can stop us in our tracks, and sometimes we may not know precisely what is creating that fight, flight or freeze response in our bodies.
What do you do when this happens? Do you push through the fear and do it anyway, or does it stop you cold?
Public speaking is an excellent example of a significant fear many people have, which is hard-wired into us as human beings.
We are built to belong socially and fear rejection as we wouldn't survive very long alone in the days of early man.
How do we best override that natural fear response to rejection? If we use public speaking as an example, a process I've found helpful is through preparation, exposure, moral support and getting out of my own head.
There are 4 Key Steps:
1. Know your subject matter inside and out so that you feel confident sharing topical information and stories without hesitation.
2. Practice in a supportive learning environment where you can speak to a friendly crowd like Toastmasters. This "exposure" to the situation calms your brain down and teaches it you will be OK no matter what happens.
3. Encouragement from your "warm" audience will give you that added emotional support.
4. Take the focus off yourself and think about your audience/others. When we are stuck in our own heads judging ourselves, we often forget how much value we can deliver that will help other people.
These steps took me from a place of extreme fear of public speaking to one of connection.
Am I still nervous when I step out onto a stage? Yes, of course! But...I have learned ways to get my amygdala (the reactionary part of the brain) under control with these steps so that I can move through the fear vs letting it stop me.
This process will work when facing many other fears too.
Learn and get confident about your topic/what you are doing, gain repeated exposure to the trigger, surround yourself with supportive people and get out of your own head by focusing on the people you can help!
I'd be interested to hear how you move through big things that trigger your fear response. What processes or steps have you found most beneficial?