I get asked a lot of questions about how to overcome fear and anxiety.
A lot of it is about how moments of fear stop people from getting what they want.
Because a lot of people have decided that they want something and then when they get put in the situation to take it they freeze up and can't take the next step.
They get paralyzed and then give up or quit.
They then walk away and tell themselves some story about how they are not the “type of person” to do that thing that they were supposed to do.
So they decide to just avoid the thing that they wanted by telling themselves a lie.
“Only people with years of experience can do that.”
“Only people who are good-looking can do that.”
“Only people with a lot of confidence can do that.”
“Only people with a natural skill set in that area can do that.”
“I dont know how those people do it.”
Whatever the excuse is it lets them off the hook.
They can make up some story to tell themselves and others as to why they did not achieve what they really wanted.
But let me tell you something about highly successful people:
All of them at one point felt extreme fear in whatever they were doing.
They just learned how to recognize it, manage it and overcome it.
They learned how to consistently control their fear and therefore making it less than a factor in their life.
And guess what?
Whatever risky thing you think of doing is something you want to do because a part of you enjoy the risk.
A part of you enjoys the excitement of the fear response.
And the reality is that this is the reason we as humans do a lot of the things we do: Skydiving, Bungy jumping, rock climbing, etc.
We do them to confront, overcome and enjoy what lies on the other side of fear.
Can you imagine a world with no fear, no excitement, and no risk of death?
Can you imagine how boring that would be?
Now I'm not saying be reckless and do stupid things.
What I am saying risk is not bad if you do it in a controlled and well-managed way.
But let's get back to overcoming fear and anxiety in a practical way.
Stress management is something a lot of people struggle with.
They have a goal then they start thinking about it consistently and they get overwhelmed by it.
So there are many potential everyday situations that fear comes up and stops you from getting what you want.
-Approaching women and starting a conversation
-Getting into a fight(self-defense)
-Making a sales call
-Asking for something you want
-Confronting someone(maybe a bully)
-Jumping out of an airplane
-Going on a trip.
Now, these situations will be a fearful situation for some and not for others.
People are different and fear different things so there are many different fears that I can't possibly mention here.
But you get the point: fear situation, how do we do to handle it?
Let's Look At The 3 Phases Of Managing Fear:
(1) You Have Done The Preparation.
Whatever field your fear situation is one thing has to be made clear about fear and that is it is deeply connected with self-confidence.
In other words, what are your competency levels in a specific area?
Have you practiced and prepared for whatever you have done?
One example could be jumping out of an airplane:
Have you done all the safety briefings, have you done all the ground preparation work like going into a wind tunnel first?
Or let's look at dating as an example: Have you worked on your mindset?
Have you worked on improving your fitness and health?
Have you worked on all the important areas of life to build your value?
Have you worked on your communication skills by starting conversations with co-workers and friends?
So the bottom line is this: You need to do some preparation for whatever it is you want to accomplish.
(2)Recognise The Fear Response.
Now let's go to the point right before you are going to take action.
This might start a few days, hours, or just a few minutes before you do what you do depending on experience or confidence levels.
For example, if you are an experienced skydiver you will not start thinking about it until the day you go jumping.
If you are an inexperienced jumper you might start thinking about your first jump a week before doing it and start feeling either excited or scared.
You might feel both.
Again another example could be dating.
If you are someone that has talked to many women in different situations then you will hardly feel any excitement or fear until you walk over to a woman and even then just feel it for a few seconds.
But if you are someone who hasn't done it or hasn't done it for a while then you might start thinking about it hours before you go out for the evening.
So the reality whether it's skydiving, dating, public speaking etc is this:
Whatever your experience level or confidence level you will feel a second of fear or hours of fear knowing what's coming depending on what you are going to do.
And this will be different for every person depending on all the variables I mentioned.
And this brings me to the bottom line about recognizing the fear response:
You need to recognize the fear response.
For me, the feeling of fear is always the same.
Whether it's before fighting someone, jumping off a cliff into the ocean, or doing public speaking.
I always feel a warm feeling in my stomach.
This is energy that's circulating in my body.
And the moment before I have to take action this energy starts making itself known.
It basically says: “Hey!, Nervous energy is here, and it's about to spread to all parts of your body. If you dont control it it's going to paralyze you.”
In other words, it's going to stop you from reaching your objective if you don't manage it. So what do we do at this moment?
(3)Manage The Fear.
The first thing you do is this:
-Control Your Breathing
When you start breathing shallow and less frequently you will make your heartbeat even faster.
So control your breathing.
This will help you stay calm.
-Visualize Grabbing The Energy.
When you feel that nervous energy come up that might be in one spot or it might already be all over your body, imagine grabbing all that nervous energy in your mind.
Visualize taking that energy and putting it into a box in your stomach and closing it.
Yes, you will still feel it, but it's in a box now.
The reality is you can't get totally rid of it, but you can control it, using your breath and mind.
This might sound like a silly way to control fear, but visualization works.
– Step Into The Moment.
Ok, you recognized fear and you've put it in the box.
Now one thing remains.
You must step into fear.
There will be a moment where you must take a breath and step into the moment with courage.
You just tell yourself:”F*ck it, let's go!”
And then you will be in the moment, your heart will be pumping faster from adrenaline and you being in the moment.
And then you realize this is what it feels like to really be alive.
There is no more dynamic moment than stepping into that fear moment.
That is truly being alive.
When you go into the moment that you feared and overcome it.
That is how you build confidence by consistely stepping into what you fear.
Now like I mentioned before you can't remove fear totally from the human experience.
You can just get good at dealing and managing fear.
Now you have the tools to start working on overcoming and stepping into fear.
Don't let fear hold you back from everything you ever wanted.
It's time to start doing your preparation, recognizing fear, and then stepping into it.
Until next time.