Self Love, Happiness, Awareness

Fear

9 Ways to Combat Fear

Combating Fear-The Love Godddis

I remember when I was in the military completing this ridiculous exercise that involved me climbing to the top of this massive structure and then climbing back down. The exercise was stupid for several reasons. The first was that the structure was three stories in the air. The second reason was that the “structure” itself was actually a really big ladder. And the third reason was that the rungs of this “ladder” progressively increased in distance from one rung to the next the higher you climbed. Did I mention this was a stupid exercise? I feel myself going off track as I reminisce.

Anywho, we were told to climb this structure and then safely make our way back to the ground. I still don’t understand why I would leave the ground, ascend in the air, and then hope I make it back down without falling. But, I did it. I begin to climb this big wooden ladder into the air. I was making my way up at a fairly decent pace. And then, it happened.

I looked down.

Combating Fear- The Love Godddis
Combating Fear- The Love Godddis

I can’t tell you why I looked down. I can’t tell you why I didn’t just keep climbing and complete the silly exercise and get it over with. I can tell you that the blood-curling fear that went through me while I was hanging in mid-air off this splintery giant ladder was enough to make me completely freeze. That was it. That was going to the be way I die. Did I mention to you that it was freezing cold because my young and dumb ass thought it would be a “great” idea to leave for training in the winter? I told you I was from the South right? Meaning, we don’t really have “real” winters? Yep, I was super dumb at 17.

Back to the story: There I am, hanging on for dear life, freezing, hands numb, eyes closed, not breathing, and head making up all kinds of non-sensical situations that could possibly happen. When I tell you a girl was S-C-A-R-E-D, BELIEVE ME. I was so scared, I talked myself out of anything logical because that is what fear does.

Fear gets to the best of us, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, or even fear of fear. All of us have experienced fear at some point in our lives and it can be a real stumbling block that holds us back from being truly successful. You see, what I learned in that stupid play-soldier exercise was that when you face your fears head-on, most of the time the thing you feared is scarier in your head than it is in real life.

Over the years I’ve learned what to do when fear shows up in my life and threatens to play freeze tag with me. I want to share those techniques with you here.

Fear can’t hold you back forever if you don’t let it. There are several ways to overcome fear, here are my top 9:

1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION

Ask yourself what is really going on, locate the facts and place them over your feelings.

2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER

Figure out what it is in a situation that triggers you. Learning to identify it will help you learn to combat it.

3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY

A lot of times, fear takes over physically. It affects different people in different ways. Identify if/how it affects your physical body and do the work to take care of your body. Ex: if you hold stress in your back, you can learn stretches, foam rolling, etc. to avoid the pain.

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Every day, list out 1-3 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, gratitude helps shift the mind into a positive light, which over time, overcomes fear.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE

Monitor your inner conversations. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. Speak positively to yourself and remind yourself of your strengths.

6. CREATE A NEW ASSOCIATION

Remind yourself that the feeling and the moment will pass. Focus on the positive outcome of the situation, rather than the scary in-between.

7. LOOK AT THE GLASS HALF FULL

Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. So think positively and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight; practice with just one thought. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Work on reversing this one thought. Over time, this will become a habit.

8. PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES

Breathing helps center your body; when you stop breathing, your heart stops beating. You can do a grounding exercise, or even just take 5 deep, long breaths at any point to calm and center yourself. It is best to start your day with this, but feel free to practice all day long.

9. CREATE A SAFE SPACE

When you feel safe and secure, there is no room for fear. Find somewhere safe you can retreat to when ill feelings begin- whether this is a real place such as your bedroom, or a place in your mind such as the beach. This sense of comfort will soothe you and allow you to face your fear.

Please keep in mind, these are just 9 strategies, not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques into your life and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and your highest potential this year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *