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Don't Let Fear Stop You

Don't Let Fear Stop You

Don't Let Fear Stop You

Fear is one of the strongest emotions. Its function is to keep you safe from harm. Fear keeps you safe by causing you to either; run away when faced with danger, or to not even go near the danger in the first place.

If you were completely fearless, you would probably die young.

So, fear is intended to serve us by keeping us away from danger.

But there is a problem with this system.

The "danger" that we are afraid of, may be either real, or imaginary. What you call "danger" may not be dangerous at all. And as a result, many people are fearful of things that have no real danger attached to them. They therefore stay away from situations that are not actually dangerous.

For example; many people are fearful of public speaking. Terrified. Many people are afraid of job interviews, or taking any kind of exam.

These things are not dangerous, but they often feel dangerous and many people act fearfully in those situations.

And none of that would matter, except that, fear inhibits performance. When you are fearful your performance suffers. Mental performance suffers, because fear inhibits rational, logical thought and memory. And physical performance suffers since fear causes you to lose skilled, coordinated action and you fumble and drop the ball or miss the penalty kick.

Fear inhibits peak performance.

Master Your Fear

You must master your fear.

If you can master your fear you will fear fewer things and in those remaining situations where fear is appropriate, then you will still be able to perform well.

How can you master your fear?

Here are some tips to mastering fear.

1. Let your logic dictate to your fear.

A fear of heights is logical. You are right to be afraid if you are looking over the edge of a high building and seeing a long drop. Step away from the edge of the building. Move away from the danger of taking a long drop. This is the proper use of fear.

But don't let fear deter you from making the public presentation of your ideas. Public speaking is not in the same class of fear as the fear of falling off a building. The fear of public speaking is a psychological fear; it is a product of your imagination and thought processes. You need to realise that the fear of public speaking is, to some degree, a mal-adaption. It is a fear that is not serving your needs. It is a fear that is preventing you from succeeding; it is a hindrance, not a help.

Make a commitment to ditch all irrational, non-helpful fears. Don't be afraid of the dark anymore. Don't be afraid of lifts anymore. Don't be afraid of public speaking anymore. Don't be afraid of the spider in the bath anymore.

Next time you see a spider in the bath, force yourself to pick it up and throw it out of the window. I guarantee that after you have thrown the fifth spider out the window, your fear of spiders will evaporate forever.

Do what you fear most, and you control the fear.

Face your irrational fears and eradicate them.

2. Preparation and practice puts fear to flight.

The more you practice and prepare your performance, the less fear you will have. Fear is often triggered by "the unknown". If you don't know what you are doing, then you will feel more fear. If you know exactly what you are doing, then fear dwindles to nervous excitement.

For example, Elvis Presley was always nervous before a performance, but he was never fearful. Nervousness can sharpen your performance. It makes you edgy and perceptive. Alert.

But fear corrodes the brain circuits and wipes the memory clean.

So practice and prepare.

3. Use your imagination to your advantage.

Many fears are a product of the imagination. We fear not what is the case, but what we imagine may be the case, or what will be the case. Courageous people use their imagination to picture how things will go well.

Make sure you are using your imagination to your own advantage; to inspire yourself rather than to rattle yourself.

Fear makes fools of us all.

Master Fear; and you master Life.

Here are four tips to mastering fear.

1. Let your logic dictate your fear.
2. Force yourself to repeatedly challenge your irrational fears. (Pick up spiders!)
3. Preparation and practice puts fear to flight.
4. Use your imagination to your advantage.

Quiz: How Positive Are You?

Try our How Positive Are You? quiz to discover whether you have a positive mental attitude or whether you are a bit too negative for your own good.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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