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3 Easy Steps to Reframe Your Fear and Make It Work For You

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3 Easy Steps to Reframe Your Fear and Make It Work For You

Everybody is afraid of something. Common fears include fear of embarrassment, fear of speaking in front of a group, fear of not measuring up to the expectations of others’, and fear of change.

Fear brings about one of three results. It motivates, it provides safety, or it results in paralysis. The best way to respond to fear is to determine what exactly the fear is, how the fear is affecting you, and what you need to do in order to deal with the fear.

These 3 steps are what will give you control of your fears:

 

1. Defining your fear

Defining your fear requires more work than simply naming your fear. For example, let’s say you have a great new idea for a modification to one of your company’s products. You want to bring it up to your boss, but you know he will ask you to give a presentation.

The idea of doing that makes you break out into a cold sweat. Clearly, this means that you can define your fear as fear of speaking in public, right? Maybe not. Do you always fear speaking in front of others? Maybe you are afraid of your idea being rejected, or that it won’t work?

Your fear could be defined as fear of rejection or fear of failure. Nobody can figure this out for you, it is just something you have to determine on your own. Once you define your fear, you know what you are working with and you are ready to move on to the next step.

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford

2. Determine how your fear is affecting you

Right now, what is your fear doing for you? Is it paralyzing you? Is it keeping you safe? Is it motivating you? There is nothing wrong with fearing things that are dangerous. If a fear keeps you safe from actual danger, that is a healthy fear.

However, it is very easy to confuse fears that truly keep us safe with fears that paralyze us. Here is a trick that may help you determine if your fear is keeping you safe, or simply holding you back. If you stop doing something, based on fear of a legitimate danger, you won’t question yourself.  You won’t feel guilty.

However, if you stop doing something or refuse to do something based on fear, and then find yourself full of doubt and regret, chances are you are letting fear paralyze you, and that is unhealthy. The only thing this leaves is motivation. Is your fear motivating you to challenge yourself and improve yourself? This is a great thing.

 

3. Dealing with your fear

If a fear is leaving you stuck and hindering your success, it needs to be dealt with. This means taking control of the fear and turning it into a source of motivation rather than a roadblock. You’ve already done a lot of great work if you’ve defined your fear and determined the way your fear is impacting your life.

Now you can determine what to do with it. Ask yourself this question? Why do I need to turn this fear into something positive? Let’s go to the example of the presentation that was discussed above. Maybe your fear would be rejection and failure.

That’s fine. That is your definition. Maybe you’ve determined that the impact your fear has is unhealthy avoidance (paralysis). This is also fine. You know how your fear impacts you. Now is the time to make change.

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” – Bertrand Russell

A few extra action steps

Let’s begin with the one thing that you should not do. You should never belittle or ridicule yourself over your fears. It is unhelpful and you don’t deserve it. Here is a positive step that you can take. You can think of the negative results that you may face, and then figure out ways to turn those into positives.

Let’s say that your presentation goes badly, and the marketing department doesn’t go forward with your idea. Yes, that is a bad thing, but their rejection also means that you made it through your presentation. It is a well-known fact that presentation skills are vital to success, and you’ve just improved your presentation skills a bit. This doesn’t take away the rejection, but it does put it into perspective.

Another thing that you can do is to look externally. Who do you admire? How do other successful people deal with fear? Is there someone else who has dealt with a similar fear as yours and turned it into a point of motivation?

 

Thank you for reading my article! Now it is time to take control of your fears!
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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. lorraine

    Sep 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Great indeed, Fear does really leads to Failure,

    I will store your advises and tips to Beat Fear

  2. Dotchamou Zakari

    Aug 13, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you for this article full of wisdom. As long as we are bound by our fears we lose our freedom and our power. I want to share these quotes with readers.
    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie
    “Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.” Colin Powell

  3. Mark Reagan

    Aug 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Hey Harold,

    Great tips. I especially liked that you added the part about never belittling yourself or your fears. I think that’s so important – our emotions are very natural, and beating ourselves up over them doesn’t help. One of my favorite quotes comes from Olivia Fox Cabane: “Our emotions only ask one thing: to be felt.”

  4. Ethan Bridges

    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Loved how straightforward those three steps are. A long list may only mislead one, who may not reach the ultimate step–facing fear itself.

    In doing, we overcome fear.

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams. (more…)

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