When it comes to embracing fear, one of the best techniques I use is to talk about it, all the time. I talk about a project I am going to do which may have a task in it that I could potentially be fearful of.
For many of us we spend time thinking about the specific task we are fearful of, yet, as we have discussed in some of the previous columns, focusing on the overall objective is much more positive. A way to overcome the fear of a task is to verbalize the goal of the overall objective. The task you are fearful of may only be one small component.
Let's face it, when you go skydiving, the part everyone loves to think they will hate is letting go of the aircraft. Once you have overcome that fear, most people enjoy the experience of falling towards the ground, you even find the view fascinating. But, before we practically are falling, we can spend a long time thinking about the “letting go”.
It is the same for flying. If people spend more time talking about how excited they are to be going to the Caribbean for a holiday rather than how they really don’t like flying, it can serve to put flying into perspective.
So here is what I do personally. Three years before a project starts I typically conceive of an overall plan. The objective, as always is to raise money for charity. As an example, about three years ago I started thinking about an endurance run in Africa this year.
I then start verbalizing my objective. It may be friends and family, it may be at one of my talks, but generally the more people I talk to, the more committed I am. Then I break apart the adventure into components, some of which I could be fearful of if I started thinking about them individually.
If I need to run 650 kms, then I could be fearful or I could research how to accomplish it. I talk to experts, I surround myself with good advice and I learn what it takes to get the job done.
What the process leads to for me is a mild sense of nervousness at that point, no longer fear. If someone else has done it, I can figure out how to do it - I may even learn to enjoy it.
The overall objective is to change your thinking when it comes to fear. Not to be reckless but to focus on the important issues. While certain activities may look dangerous and scary, they clearly are not dangerous. For instance, flying as a passenger in an aircraft is a lot safer than driving your car to work!
So next time you embark on a project or a change in your life that you could potentially be afraid of - start by telling everyone you know what you are going to accomplish.
Read more The Accidental Journey articles
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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- The things that trip you up! May 9
- Shout it out! May 2
- Focus on the future Apr 25
- Learning to flirt with the edge Apr 18
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