Turn Fears into Fantastic
A One Minute Audio:
What (or who) are you afraid of? All of us have fears. Fear in the extreme can be paralyzing. It can cause us to limit how we interact with people and with situations. It can prevade our lives. Facing our fear is a valuable life skill.
A fear-filled moment for me was standing alone in front of the elevated judge’s bench when I felt my knees tremor under my homemade skirt. I was afraid. I felt absolutely vulnerable and had no way of knowing if the judge would support my stand or shut me down. As it turned out he was kind and supportive. Going in, however, I didn’t know that would be the case.
Our fears are often a figment of our over active imagination. Active imaginations cause us to project fearful situations and outcomes. We tend to expect the worst.
Your fears are personal to you. You may have lived with them so long that they are part of your makeup. Letting go of them may cause you to feel uneasy.
- If your fear is the fear of being alone you may be constantly surrounding yourself with people. People that you don’t even care for so that you don’t have to face your fear of being lonely.
- If your fear is fear of not being liked by others you may put on a mask and act the way you think others expect you to. Or you may become a people pleaser (see previous post).
- If you fear what will happen if you assert yourself on the job you may develop anxiety about work. You may think that you could lose your job if you speak up.
There are numerous fears unique to women that they seldom face head-on.
In The Adversity Advantage, a most powerful book by Erik Weihenmayer and Paul G. Stoltz, the idea of facing fear is a challenging advantage in life. The authors say, “Take it on!” And “Pain, fear, discomfort, and injustice are far more powerful motivators than their opposites.” Have you ever thought of your fear as an advantage? Erik Weihenmayer is totally blind and yet he has climbed all seven of the summits on earth, among other adventures that would certainly cause most of us fear.
Sometimes when I’m afraid I think of a person, some famous, others not, who have faced what I’m facing and have overcome it. I gain courage from other’s experiences.
3 Steps you can take will help diminish your fears.
- Recognize & Speak to the Fear. Call it by name. Speak to it aloud and call it what it is. For example: “You think that creating a fear of not being liked will keep me under your control. I know that it doesn’t matter if (name a person) doesn’t like me. I can accept it. My life will go on just as it has been for years. I am okay with it.”
- Test the Fear. Take a small, baby step here. Put yourself in a position where the fear might occur. Many people have a fear of public speaking, for example. Toastmasters is a perfect way to face and overcome that fear. It is friendly and their members are understanding. If you have a fear of speaking go to a Toastmasters meeting.
- Speak Positively to Yourself. So many women have voices that they play over and over in their heads. Such as, “I knew this wouldn’t work. Why did I do this?” and on and on. I know because I have a few of those gremlins too. First identify them. Then talkback. Above all else do not allow negative thoughts to rule your life.
Now-Take it On! And please do let me know how it goes. I’m rooting for you.
I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.