Ok first of all let me say this. There are fears that are justified and important to keep us safe. The fear you feel standing on the edge of a tall building is a helpful and justified fear. That fear will help keep you safe from a potentially life ending accident. This is not the fear I am talking about today. The fear discussed in this post is something akin to a 3rd cousin to the fear that keeps us safe. It might bare a resemblance, but under scrutiny they are nothing alike.
The fear I’m talking about today is the fear you feel when you have to do something new and different that carries with it the chance of failure or rejection. Most of you reading this live in a ultra safe world relatively speaking. You don’t wake up every morning and have to worry about surviving until tomorrow. We live in a world that has eliminated many of the life threatening situations that many still in this world struggle with everyday. We are fortunate. However, our brains don’t always know that. The brain perceives certain things as life ending threats, that really aren’t, and produces the same chemicals and hormones in your body that someone who is really in a life threatening situation would feel. This is the fight or flight response I’m sure you’ve heard of. When your brain gets in this state, it can’t tell the difference between the possibility of someone uttering the word “no” and a lion biting your head off.
This is all well and good for the brain, but not for us. See this is the reason why so many people get all caught up and don’t accomplish their dreams and goals. They feel this chemical cocktail that the brain releases every time they have to step out of their comfort zone, and it shuts them down. They perceive a threat that isn’t really there.
You and I need to find a way to feel that surge of fight or flight hormones and step forward anyway. In case you aren’t aware, a person telling you “no”, or a plan failing, is NOT a life or death situation in 99% of the cases. It just feels like it is. Now, anyone who has tried to rationalize away fear can tell you… it doesn’t work like that. You can’t fight emotion with intellect. Two different parts of the brain. So how do we fight and overcome fear?
First, we recognize the fear. It’s there, it’s real, despite the fact that the stimulus that triggered it is not really a threat. The fear is real none the less. So recognize it. Give it it’s due. Feel the feelings. Feel that chemical cocktail rush through your body. Then take step two.
Next, do something physical. A good friend of mine gave me this tip. He has a carpet cleaning franchise