How to Handle Fear Without Getting Rid of It

UPDATE: Between reading, audio books, youtube videos, and team calls, I get in a lot of personal development. Because of this, I get a bit confused sometimes on where I learned the theme. I’ll start keeping better track in order to give credit where credit is due. 

As it turns out, this analogy was used in “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

….I have yet to read the book (but it’s on my list!) I’m guessing I heard the concept on a team call, hosted by Ali Goodman. She’s always giving me gems on our team meetings. It’s also possible I heard the concept from a recent call for Courtney Rioux’s #MyBigYear2016 program. 

….can’t you tell I’m surrounded by awesome people? 

While I’m grateful to have these BRILLIANT words posted here for all to read, the credit goes to these folks for this one. Read on! 

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I always needed a ride somewhere growing up: School, rehearsals, summer theatre workshops, band practice, you name it. I needed to be there. (I was very important as a child).

Of course, you can’t just assume Mom and Dad can take you everywhere. They have lives too. Luckily for them, there’s this fantastic thing called carpooling. Here’s the thing about carpooling as a child: You don’t have a say in who rides with you. This can be unpleasant if you’re riding with someone you don’t want to ride with.

Buckle up, friends. We’re about to get in a car with someone rather unpleasant:

…Fear.

Even when we want it to leave the car, it doesn’t leave when we ask politely. Understand that when this happens, we don’t have to panic. In fact, we can drive ahead with fear sitting there in the car. Here’s how:

1) Accept that fear is allowed to ride with us.

Fear is going to show up at some very inconvenient times. If you’re an actor, you might get scared before a big audition. If you’re in sales, you might get scared before calling up a prospect. If you’re a single guy living by yourself, you might get scared every time you pass by a cute girl in your building…

Regardless of the situation, fear often comes up when we don’t want it to. I recommend accepting that it’s along for the ride. Often when we don’t acknowledge our negative emotions, we’re not accepting that there’s a problem. If we’re not accepting reality, how can we fix it?

2) Don’t feed fear with time.

Do you have something on your to-do list that makes you really uncomfortable? Get it done and get it done now. The more time we give it, the stronger fear gets. It leads to a lack of confidence. While sometimes we need a little prep time, don’t mistake that with procrastinating. The sooner you can cross this off your list, the better.

3) Fight fear with confidence.

Fear might be allowed for the ride. But it sure as hell doesn’t get to drive. Fear sits in the back. The best way to move forward, despite the fear, is having confidence.

Once you start getting results on your road to your goals, you’re going to notice the fear less and less. Auditions are less scary when you start booking more projects. Sales are less scary when you start gaining more clients. And that girl in your apartment? Okay she’s still intimidating…but she’s less intimidating if you know her name and know she likes puppies. (That’s just a guess.)

The more confident we get, the less we listen to fear. Without results, you might have to fake it a bit in the beginning. Take this time to feed off of encouragement from those close to you. Even if it’s in an area unrelated to your goals. Use whatever you can to fuel your confidence until you start seeing results.

So understand these points as you go about your own road to your scary (but awesome) goals: Fear is allowed for the ride. Fear is not allowed to drive. It feeds off of time – so don’t give it any. Get the uncomfortable things done early in the day. Then do what you can to gain confidence.

Also, there’s a fourth option that involves no fear: You can avoid the scary road altogether and not get in the car at all.

…..but that would lead to living a crazy, awesome, and happier life now, would it?

Go get ‘em, friends.

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