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7 Techniques to Turn Your Fears Into Learning Opportunities

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Experiencing fear is good. It shows that you’re human and that your natural survival instincts are working just fine. Imagine a fearless person about to swim across a river full of crocodiles and you’ll know what I mean. Perhaps more than any other emotion, fear enabled humans to remain a thriving species for hundreds of thousands of years. If not for fear, we would all have been dinner, roadkill, or worse. In short, we’d all be extinct had fear not been hardwired into our DNA.

But yielding to fear without any good reason is just being a scaredy cat. And allowing irrational fear to paralyze us into inaction easily turns us into a miserable pansy. After all, encountering a clan of ravenous hyenas is far different from meeting your hot crush who had you slinking into the nearest corner, speechless and short of breath for weeks on end. And yes, taking the first step to build a business is not as life-threatening as walking at the edge of a steep, thousand-foot cliff.       

In the digital age, nearly all fear is irrational, a construct of our wild imagination and the negative stuff we tend to focus on. You fear approaching the manager to ask for a raise. You’re afraid that following your passion will leave you without the security of a 9-to-5 job. You like to learn some techy stuff but you feel you just don’t have it in you to write computer codes. You’re aching to build your own blog but you dread the workload. In the end, a lot of us just stay put without even trying.  

Overcoming fear is both a lesson from history and a unanimous verdict of people who have learned to manage their own crippling fears. Following a traumatic watery experience, Tim Ferriss came to dread swimming so much that he never learned to swim until he was in his 30s.

Despite excelling in mixed martial arts, bouldering, wrestling, motorcycle racing, competition tango and other sports, Ferriss would have sunk like a stone had you casually pushed him into a pool. But once he questioned and conquered his fear, he learned how to swim faster than you can say dolphin! In fact, he was able to swim a one-kilometer stretch out on the open sea after just a few weeks of training.  

Here are 7 techniques you can adopt to conquer your fear:

  1. Understand the factors that trigger your fear – Is your fear reasonable or irrational? Reasonable fear is, well — reasonable. Take appropriate action if that’s the case. On the other hand, obliterate any fear that is irrational. Irrational fears are unnecessary weight dragging you down.
  2. Unless the situation is life-threatening, let the bout of fear play out – You’ll eventually realize that your emotions stressed you out more intensely than the object of your fear itself.
  3. Take control of something when fear takes hold – Without the semblance of control, fear escalates into panic. Start with your breathing. Fight the urge to hyperventilate. Consciously inhale and exhale slowly and realize that you can control aspects of yourself even amidst fear. Conquer more territory by controlling other aspects of your body.
  4. Use physiology to fight fearAdopt a confident posture and body language. Don’t slouch and look crestfallen. Physically appear in control even when you have yet to gain it.
  5. Follow up with psychology – Focus on positive thoughts. Focus on good intentions, excellent achievements, noble goals. Visualize beautiful things. Fight the evil of irrational fear with good.
  6. Speak confidently and positively – When mentally talking to yourself, elevate the conversation. Do the same when actually speaking to people.
  7. Turn fear-busting into a well-ingrained habit until it becomes instinctive – Bust fear the moment you feel it! It might take you time, but keep practicing over and over time you’ll develop a new positive habit.

It’s amazing how something so imaginary can trigger real impact in people’s lives. Irrational fear holds back millions of people from growth and achieving success. To win, face fear and use it to become a better person. As Tim Ferriss said, “fear is your friend.” And as he has done over and over, you can learn anything — from the complex nuances of a foreign language to the exquisite choreography of tango — simply by mastering your fear.

Markado Escano is one of the most highly sought-after creative directors for the top millennial influencers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. He’s the co-founder & director of EscanoBrothers.com, a boutique creative media agency specializing in the entrepreneurship and entertainment industries with work across the globe in the US, Australia, Dubai and Philippines. Work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and various other international publications impacting millions worldwide. Markado is also the Co-Host for YEL2.0, one of the top millennial podcasts with Peter Voogd, the leading authority on Gen Y leadership.

Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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Life

How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind

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When we are overwhelmed by confusion, our psyche tries to establish certainty to alleviate our discomfort. This is usually accomplished by mentally imagining and acting out a plot. Unfortunately, much of the time, we mentally visualize pessimistic (or worst-case scenario) scenarios to provide certainty. (more…)

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12 Things to Give Up if You Want to Be Productive

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It’s almost euphoric, the feeling of ticking away boxes on the to-do list, at the end of a long day. It’s like you have seized the day or something. With cell phones buzzing every minute with notifications or ringing with a large number of versatile options, it can be hard to maintain focus on your work, and be productive. Luckily with a little determination and following some tips, you can be productive, provided you either cut down on certain things or give them up altogether. (more…)

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Life

5 Tips to Stop the Snowball Effect of Negative Thinking

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Humans are full of complex emotions, but it’s what makes us us. We go through good times and tough times and still keep our heads held high. Life is all about experiencing different things and making memories. Constant change and new experiences are what keep us growing as a person. However, sometimes when we face hardship, it can be hard to move on from it. (more…)

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