Being fearless doesn’t necessarily mean jumping out of airplanes or traveling to the world’s most dangerous regions (although it certainly can if you want). For some people, cultivating a sense of fearlessness is more about gathering the courage to ask for a major promotion or to make a cross-country move for the chance at a better life.
No matter what specific end result you’re working towards, the following tips should help you to minimize fear and embrace courage in your life:
Tip #1 – Identify your fears
The first step towards becoming more fearless is to simply identify what it is you’re afraid of. If you’ve been fighting a vague sense of anxiety or unease, it’s a vital part of the fear-busting process!
However, while some fears are fairly straightforward (for example, the fear of spiders or snakes), lifestyle fears tend to be more complex. If, as an example, you’re afraid of tornadoes, be aware that it’s not just the weather phenomenon that scares you – it’s also the threat of death, devastation and loss that these types of systems can bring about.
By taking the time to really get to the root of what scares you, you’ll be able to process your fears using the following tips in order to reduce the impact they have on your life.
Tip #2 – Explore worst case and more likely scenarios
Once you know what it is you’re afraid of, take the time to map out the worst case scenarios that could result. Say you want to ask for a raise, but are afraid of being rejected. In this example, the worst case scenario would be your boss telling you to pack your bags and leave. But it’s much more likely that your request will either be approved or turned down politely.
Use these more likely scenarios to prevent your mind from running away with the absolute worst possible outcome in a given situation.
Tip #3 – Pick a relaxation technique
People deal with stress in different ways. Having a relaxation technique that suits your personality is a vital part of managing fear in your life.
For example, to help control your fears, you could try:
- Engaging in meditation
- Getting an intense workout
- Writing in a journal
- Singing along with loud music
- Attending religious services
There’s no right or wrong way to relax, so listen to your own mind when it comes to finding activities that’ll take the edge off your fear.
Tip #4 – Avoid anticipatory fear
Being scared of an event or action is one thing. But it’s also common for people to build up certain scenarios in their own minds to the point where the fear of anticipation is worse than the fear of the event itself!
Don’t do this to yourself. If you find yourself feeling fearful about a future event (or something that you aren’t sure will even happen), use the relaxation techniques described above to calm yourself down. There’s no reason to make your fear worse by psyching yourself up unnecessarily.
Tip #5 – Tell somebody your fears
Fear tends to be a very personal thing, which distorts our perspective and magnifies our fears. If, for example, you’re afraid of being rejected by a potential date, you might revisit the fear over and over again in your mind – until you’re certain that you’ll never get a date again.
It might be scary to think about telling a friend or family member about the things you fear, but often, getting this type of outsider input can help you to see your fears from a different angle. You’ll immediately feel less alone after confiding in another person, and you may find yourself coming away from the exchange with advice and recommendations from others who have dealt with the same fears.
Tip #6 – See a therapist
We all face fears and – nine times out of ten – these fears are manageable. However, in some cases, fear grows out of control, becoming something that actively prevents people from living full, engaging lives.
If you find yourself in this situation, consider seeing a therapist who specializes in fear and anxiety management. There’s nothing shameful about seeking professional help, and you might be surprised by how much of a difference this type of support can make in your life.
Tip #7 – Confront your fears head on
Finally, once you’ve worked through all of the tips listed above, there’s nothing else to do but to confront your fears head on.
On a regular basis, try to do things that scare you. Don’t be stupid or take unnecessarily dangerous risks, but do make it an effort to counteract fear with action. If you’re afraid of romantic rejection, ask the hottest person in the bar out on a date. If you’re scared about asking for a promotion at work, set a deadline for yourself and commit to talking to your boss on a particular day.
We all have fears, but there’s no reason to let them control your life. Adopt the above tips in your own life and start being more fearless today!