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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.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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