As our life is constantly changing and we set new goals for ourselves, it is inevitable that these changes, willingly or unwillingly, can cause us to feel certain fears. We may want to set a new goal, dream about changes or find solutions to our problems but the feeling of fear holds us back.
'Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.' Les Brown
Contrary to common belief, fear is a positive emotion just like love, admiration, compassion, happiness, etc. The feeling of fear is caused by a real or imaginary threat and is a defensive reaction that serves to protect us from danger. However, when fear becomes extreme and unnatural, it compromises us from living our lives as we desire.
Fear is expressed in our bodies as tachycardia (rapid heart rate), sweating, quick breathing, stretched lips and the pupils of our eyes dilate. The muscles we use for natural movement become tense in preparation for the ‘fight or flee’ i.e. to escape danger. To dispose of fear in our bodies, we can engage in various physical activities like running, boxing or tennis.
In my coaching practice, some of the common fears I often hear are ‘Will I succeed? Will I maintain my success? Do I deserve to be successful? Will I be taken advantage of? Will my friends reject me? Will my family be envious of my success? Some people are afraid of success and of the changes it brings to their lives. We can overcome these fears by asking ourselves questions like ‘If I don’t try, how will I feel about myself? When I grow old, will I have any regrets? What kind of role model will I be to my children? What will be the consequences to my self-esteem? What kind of person am I developing into? Will regret be more painful than trying and failing?’
Fear is usually demonstrated when something suddenly surprises us or when we worry about the future. Our thoughts are affected by our experiences, how we view and judge life, listening and watching people around us (they are afraid so we become afraid), ignorance, big or sudden changes in our lives and of course, the condition we find ourselves in.
The biggest achievers throughout history are people who felt more fear than anybody else, but managed to deal with their fear and achieve their goals. Bravery has nothing to do with how much fear we feel but how we handle it.
Part of my work as a life coach is to identify what type of fear my clients have, uncover them and work together on solving them at the clients pace. We are all different and everyone carries different types of fear.
Here are 7 ways to overcome our fears:
1. First, of all, we need to identify what exactly we are afraid of.
We can sit quietly on our own for a few minutes and ask ourselves the question ‘What exactly am I afraid of?’ You can write the answer down on a piece of paper. Next to the question you can start writing the answers to these questions: Where did this fear come from? How long have I had it for? Is this a well-founded fear? When and how did it start to manifest in my life?
2. Change your story.
You can ask yourself ‘What is the story I am telling myself?’ For example, the famous Oprah Winfrey was constantly told the story that she will never be successful because she was a poor, black woman. She was fired from her job as a TV presenter because ‘she was not fit for television’. Oprah however, chose to change this story to she can be successful because she is a poor, black woman. As a result, she holds the title of the most influential female presenter in the world. How can you change your story?
3. Make your fear of not taking action bigger than your fear of taking action.
For example, if you work in an office but have a passion for working on cars in a workshop but are afraid to leave your job, then ask yourself the question ‘what will happen if I never realise my dream to work on cars?’ Your answer may be, ‘I will never feel fulfilled and happy in my career’. What is the price of your happiness? If you realise that your fear of losing your job is smaller than your fear of never living your passion, then that will help you overcome your fear.
4. Ask the question ‘why?’
Understanding the reasons of why you need to make this change will empower you to overcome your fear. Find a good reason why you need to deal with your fear and use this reason to keep you motivated.
5. Draw from your past similar successful experiences.
Can you remember a time when you had to deal with a similar situation? How did you cope? What skills were required that you possess? What strategy did you use? Who helped you? What did you specifically do? What motivated you to overcome your fear?
6. Find a role model.
Who do you know that has achieved what you would like to achieve? Keep yourself inspired (in spirit) by finding someone who inspires you.
7. Find a professional Life Coach
Who will offer you a safe, secure space and work with you to help you free yourself of these fears to make your dreams come true.
Believe in a power stronger than yourself and align yourself with this power. Trust in the process of life!
Why not come along to one of our FREE 2-DAY FOUNDATION IN LIFE COACHING COURSE where you can learn the valuable tools and techniques that can help break through your barriers and live your life to the fullest?
Or if you would just like to know a little more about what Life Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, please contact our Specialist Course Advisor, Jamil on 0208 996 4830 or email: Jamil@the-coaching-academy.com
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