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Fear, how to overcome it.

Let’s start with the good news. Fear can be overcome. 

The bad news is that unfortunately fear will never go away, because it is linked to the survival instinct. It is a reaction of the nervous system to uncertainty. Without fear we will not survive for long, so it is necessary. And also to grow, to improve unfortunately we have to face our fears daily. 

Let’s start to stop expecting not to be afraid.

This is the reality. 

Before public speaking  before travelling, before doing anything that brings us closer to our purpose there is fear. 

Understanding fear: fear related to survival and irrational fear

Let’s start recognizing the two types of fear:

  1. Fear related to survival instinct
  2. Irrational fear

Fear related to survival instinct looks like this: You are in a dark alley. An armed person comes along. He points a gun at you. What do you do? Do you say? No, I’m not afraid. Do you stay? No. Good. Run away! It comes a truck at full speed as you are crossing the street. What do you say? I’m not afraid. I stay. No, you move out of the way. 

When our survival is at risk, the fear is the one that saves our life.

The irrational fear looks like that:  I have to say something and I’m afraid that everybody will hate me. I have to say something to a person and I think this person will get angry and so I don’t say it. I have to have a job interview and I get nervous for a week beforehand. I’m afraid of losing my partner. 

This fear is not related to survival, but it exists only in your brain. 

Remember that the brain always wants to defend us.  Poor thing … It does it for our good. However, if we don’t give the brain directions, it does what it wants. 

Manage your fears

First step:

Start to distinguish between survival-related fear and irrational fear because the brain alone cannot distinguish them. 

Imagine: you have to break a relationship with somebody. The time has come to open your business. Whatever it is, you need to consider the difference between necessary fear and irrational fear. 

Second step:

Make a list of all the fears that are plaguing you at this time. As many fears as you like. I’m afraid of spiders. I’m afraid to post the video on YouTube. I’m afraid.my partner wil leave me.

Third step:

Are they survival fears or irrational fears? Note down. If you are afraid of not paying the rent, I would say this is necessary because you have to pay the rent. But instead of tormenting yourself with fear, make a concrete plan to decrease the risks. 

Acting on your fears

If these are necessary fears, make a concrete plan of action to decrease the risks or to solve the problem if possible, instead of panicking and tossing for days, weeks, months, which is totally useless.

If these are irrational fears: do the thing that scares you right away. If you are afraid to post the video on YouTube because nobody watches it (my case) whatever… nobody watches it, nobody dies. If you are afraid to speak in public because you think you will make a fool of yourself, do it. If you make a fool of myself, nothing happens. 

Think about the satisfaction you will get. Every time you do something you are afraid of, you are improving and growing. 

Start of course from the smallest things. Don’t start with the very big things. Taking the step to defeat fear is a muscle that we have to train. If you go to the gym, don’t set out on the first day to lift a hundred kilos. Start with five kilos, ten kilos, and then slowly move forward. 

Start with the smaller things, make a plan of action and then slowly go to the bigger things.  

Fear – Exercise

  1. Make a list of all the fears that are holding you back. 
  2. Are they necessary fears or are they irrational fears? 
  3. Now that you know this what is your next step? 
  4. Imagine taking the step in your brain. You start doing all these exercises only in your brain. Imagine that you are taking the step, imagine how taking this step will move you forward in your life and create positive ripple effects.
  5. Act!

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This is the link to the video (Italian with English subtitles)

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