I’m sure you’ve heard some of these phrases related to fear: overcoming fear is crucial to your growth as human being; fear is limiting you to achieve your true potential; fear is killing your opportunities; fear is the most important barrier to your success and so on. Well, let me say you that all of them are totally true.
But, what is fear? And, above all, what’s the cause of fear? Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. So, the cause of fear is a threat. It’s a survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific thread of danger. Hence, the key to overcome your fear is to realize that it’s irrational. There’s no real threat of danger or, at least, the threat is less dangerous or serious than you thought. It’s a bug in your mind that needs to be fixed. Throughout my live I’ve learned and developed some mental techniques to eliminate or to reduce the cause of fear, that is, that irrational threat of danger. Some of these techniques can seem weird or surreal but using them I’ve got pretty good results.
You can’t let fear run your life. If you don’t know how to beat that sense of fear that causes you to freeze and to not move ahead with your goals and dreams, don’t worry, because I’m going to share with you my 5 secrets to conquer fear:
Put things into perspective
Think about your challenges and fears, or treat them, as relative because nothing is too bad or too important. Do you remember how nervous you were when you took your driving test? Or when you took your final exams in high school? Now, many years (or not so many) from then, you can see the real importance of those situations. If you fail don’t worry too much because life will always offer you a second chance and, most of the times, a third and a fourth. So focus on do your best and don’t worry too much about the consequences of your acts.
Focus on doing your best
Don’t think about the consequences of your acts, just do what you have to do, and do it as well as possible. The idea is to avoid thinking negative thoughts while doing a feared activity. The key to free your mind from those annoying thoughts is to enter into a deep level of concentration. This technique is commonly used by sport athletes, drivers, riders, soccer players, and so on. But you can use it in any situation to free yourself from all the worries and fear that threaten your success. Just as an example, you can use this technique to overcome your fear of public speaking. Try not to think about yourself and your appearance. Focus on the content and the way you deliver it. Try to express your thoughts as clear as possible. When you try your best to express clearly your message you get a deep state of concentration and you pay less attention to what others are saying or thinking about your speech. So, focus on your message and you will say goodbye to your fear of public speaking. Well, as I said, this can be applied to any fear.
Life is just a dream
In fact, life is your dream and it belongs to you. This is a powerful tip to overcome any fear you face in your life. People often overestimate the consequences of their acts. Have you ever had a lucid dream? A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that he or she is dreaming. When the dreamer is lucid, he or she can actively participate in. When you are lucid dreaming you can manipulate the experiences in the dream environment. It’s as real as life. Well, when you are experiencing a lucid dream you are totally free of fear because you know you are in a dream, you don’t worry about the consequences of your acts. Then, you treat your experience like a game or an experiment. You want to feel your experience to the fullest. What I’m telling you is to change your mind when facing challenges, treat those challenges like if you were in one of your dreams. Do your best and don’t worry about what others may think or say of you. Remember, you are in your dream/life and it belongs to you.
Think about the immensity of the universe
If you are worried to face a challenge due to your fear of failure use this method: think about the immensity of the universe, think about the planets, even beyond the Milky Way galaxy, think about these millions and trillions of stars, and above all, see how little you are in this complex and immense world. Feel the immensity of the universe and feel your insignificance in it. Why? Because feeling your insignificance in the universe you will understand the stupidity of being worried about facing challenges and its possible consequences. Yes, it may sound weird but I assure you it works. Give it a try. I usually apply this technique the night before an important exam; I look at the stars out my window trying to feel the immensity of the universe; once I’ve realized how little I’m in this magnificent universe, my problems, worries and fears get smaller and lighter.
Think about death
Death is inevitable and unpredictable. No one can escape death. “Death” and “I think, therefore I exist” are probably the biggest truths of life. You may ask yourself: “Why do I need to think about death?” Death reminds us to live our life to the fullest and with no fear to face challenges. It’s not enough to think about death in a superficial way. You have to feel it; you have to think about the void and the emptiness. But don’t misinterpret me, I don’t want to depress you with negative thoughts. Thinking about death will give you the courage to fight for what you really want. Why? Because it’s now or never; you only have the present moment, the future is uncertain. You have to be realistic about your destiny. You can die anytime and anywhere. You can die 40 years from now or you can die tonight while sleeping. People are dying every day, every minute: old people, young people, children and babies, and the majority of them deserved to live as much as you do. Hence, you have to do what you want to do right now despite what others may think; live the moment without stupid fears and don’t rely on tomorrow because it may no longer exist.
But thinking about death is much more than a simple mental technique to be proactive in life. I’m talking about facing the humanity biggest fear every single day of your life. Remember, the only way to overcome a fear is facing it with courage over and over again. Samurais knew this secret, I took it from them and now I share it with you.
Written by: David Cantone
My Twitter: @DavidCantone
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Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:
Use the comments section of this post as a forum to share your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.
- How do you deal with fear?
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