You have been through this so far in your life by doing well or not doing well, but you’ve been here so far at this moment. And that’s what matters the most. The journey of life got you many such events where you were afraid to go ahead or where you thought to avoid it badly or where you were so excited to jump in or where you had no option but to move forward. And you know what’s common in all of that. We have to take steps to overcome fear.
When you were little, you won’t remember how did you take that first step of walking. Only your parents or caregivers know. They have the story to tell you how you started walking. In some cases, you might be able to see it if your parents have captured it in a video clip or something. However, you might not remember it yourself.
At that time you didn’t know you had that ability to pull yourself up and raise your leg and walk. But look at yourself you’re walking by yourself not only that you’re running. Maybe you had a fear of falling and getting hurt. But that didn’t stop you from achieving what you need to accomplish. Unless God had different plans for you that prevented you from walking.
Remember, the first day of the school. You were scared to leave your parents and go to an unknown place with unknown people around you. Remember the first day of college? You were so excited to explore the new world. Little nervous but still with lots of dreams and hopes to achieve something, to create your identity, to make new friends.
I still remember my first day of college. It was raining the whole day. Our seniors have planned an orientation for us. They introduced our college faculties, took us to show the college buildings and classes, made us play some games and lastly they asked us to introduce ourselves to everyone by standing on the stage. It was great! It’s one of my favorite memories that I wouldn’t forget ever.
All the first things you have experienced in life have some stories. Some you remember, some stories are being told and some stories you share with people who were with you at that time. But in all, those first steps are always essential for us. Either those first steps have made you what you are today, or they’re still going to bring you what you’re waiting for since long.
I’ve watched an award-winning movie named “The Blind Side.” It is a story of an orphan black boy who was saved by a lady and who became his foster mom in the later part. She saw that the boy had only one extra pair of t-shirt, she took him shopping. At the shop, she told him one sentence, which I loved, that “… Imagine yourself wearing it and ask Is this me?” Life’s first step is just like that. You need to ask yourself before taking it, Is this me? Do I want to do this? Self-examine yourself.
Before taking steps to overcome fear, you can also learn about the importance of overcoming fears.
1 – Listen to your fears carefully
Sometimes we avoid that voice of fear because we think it is not necessary for us to listen. But I want you to listen to it carefully. Is it telling you, you can’t? Fear will keep you from doing many things using this word “can’t”. We always think and ask ourselves the right question but end up with the wrong answer which says we can’t do this or that.
If we further ask ourselves why we can’t then the answer starts with “what if…” and that’s what is our fear. Not the “can’t” but the “what if” is our fear. I often avoided talking to people because I thought what if they don’t like me or what if they will make fun of me. And I always thought I had a fear of talking to people but in reality, I had a fear of getting judged by them.
We always misinterpret the actual fear that’s why listening to your concerns is a critical first step.
2 – Write it down on a paper
When you find out the genuine fear, try to put it the other way. Like in my case I started thinking what if people like me, what if they don’t judge me. These different thinking will give you the confidence you needed the most. Sometimes we need to encourage ourselves to achieve our targets.
Once you develop the confidence in not listening to all the “what ifs,” write the fear which came before those “what ifs.” For, eg. “I can’t talk to people.” Make that “can’t” more prominent than other words. And strike through it.
Can’t talk to people. Stick that paper to the place you see the most in a day. Like on your desk, on your mirror, on the table, etc. When you start observing it every day you will gradually begin reading it without the “can’t” part. And that sentence will motivate you to the action you should take. Talk to people. The day you read it like that you’re ready to put it in action.
3 – Decide the action to go further
You need to decide how you are going to start the action. Take it easy and go step by step. I started talking to people with a simple “Hello.” Whenever I go to the office, I smile at them and say Hello every morning. Then Hello, How are you, How’s your day, Would you like this, etc. It helped. I realized not everyone is judgmental and I can talk to them. So slowly but surely my actions gave me more positive results.
4 – Practice it every day
It is not necessary that we start getting the desired result in 1 or 2 days. Sometimes it may take a little longer than we expect. So it is needed that we practice the actions every day in different ways and definitely with a positive attitude. Practice makes the person perfect. We want to get rid of fear indeed.
5 – Consistency is the key
We shouldn’t give up if the fear is not going away. It will go away because we are working on it. When the work is in progress we can’t expect the outcome similarly when we are working on ourselves we shouldn’t expect the result overnight. Be patient. Consistency will give us the best result we need. That is overcoming the fear.
6 – Repeat the steps
Is it still bothering you? Are you still having those fears after following the above steps? No need to worry. There is always the next time. We can again start it from scratch. Try repeating the steps until the fear leaves you forever.
Fear is not the absence of courage. Fear is the absence of awareness of your abilities.
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