No matter what we choose to do in life, there’s a little fear that accompanies it. The most successful individuals are those that do not let their fear define them. They’re able to recognize that fear is a part of life, a sign that something bigger is coming, and as such, thrive from it.
The thing to understand about fear is that it’s not wrong or evil. It’s simply an emotion like any other emotion. And like every emotion, it can overwhelm you. If fear is like any other emotion, then it stands to reason that you can normalize it; own it.
But how do we go about that? How do we learn to harness our fear and treat it as – perhaps not a friend, but certainly not a foe either, “a frenemy.” In this post, you’ll learn just how you can make peace with fear and in doing so learn to strive towards your business and personal goals.
Breathe it in
If you find yourself suddenly hit by a wave of fear – say just before you big presentation – the key to handling it is to breathe it in and release it. As you learn to accept fear as a regular part of life, you’ll understand that all you need to do is to inhale it, keep it in for a minute, then exhale everything out. This shifts your energy from panic to peace.
By having total clarity and awareness around your fear, you can lift yourself above the fog of anxiety and fully embrace the adventure that’s calling you.
Not a Bad Thing
When fear completely overwhelms you, it may seem like the most terrible thing ever. But the truth is, the energy of fear is usually generated from something wonderful. This energy pushes you to take risks, as well as helps you expand and elevate your horizon. When you say yes in the face of fear, you get liberated and empowered to the things you’ve always wanted to do.
You are not alone
You may feel like you’re on your own in times of fear, but the fact is everyone experiences fear. Everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs to Hollywood superstars, to the most influential world leaders and even your mentors, they all have fear.
When the greatest basketball players stand at the free throw line and stare down the hoop in the last second of a championship game, they feel some fear. So yes, you’re not the only one who feels fear.
Face your fear
Like a schoolyard bully, fear can make you feel powerless and small. But unlike the bully that steals your lunch money, fear stifles your confidence, your pride, and your energy. Fear can put you in an emotional closet and have you trapped in there for years. The only way to escape that entrapment is to confront your fear. The moment you’re able to face your fear, you take back control of your life.
The ability to make peace with fear is inherent within every one of us. When you’re finally able to manage your fear, then you can be free to live your life to the fullest. Facing your fear shines a light on it, and once you see your fear in a clear light, you realize there was never anything to be afraid of.
Avoid Counter-phobic Tendencies
Some people, when they’re faced with new fears and defenses, choose to dive into these experiences head on. They believe that diving in is the way to master the situation. It can cause a reckless pushing through with a large force in trying to break open the fear and the defense. What they don’t realize is, fear also powers the need to push through by a large force.
In learning to make peace with fear, you have to be okay with not knowing as well as the uncomfortable space that arises when you first encounter a new level of fear. That means learning not to charge through this fear or aggressively breaking through the defense but trying to understand where it comes from.
When you don’t force through this defense, you’re left feeling a lot of tenderness and vulnerability and hanging out in an environment like that can be equally as challenging for a lot of people. But you’re trying to make peace with fear, not beat it down into submission (a temporary result anyway). Keeping yourself open to the more sensitive parts of you that are afraid – embracing and understanding the vulnerability – is the real act of bravery. Once you’re able to understand where those emotions are coming from, you can face them head on and achieve through peace with the fear within you.
Sure it can be even more challenge trying to come to terms with your softer emotions, but if you can pull it off, you gain two important things. First off, you build your capacity to tolerate not knowing as well as ambiguity. The second thing is you may uncover unconscious content that may be fuelling a lot of the fear you’ve been experiencing in your life.