There is an emotion in people’s life which is logical or irrational, imaginary or real and powerful in every way and is called fear. You hear that little voice inside your head that keeps annoying you in stressful situations or due to lack of self-esteem. The overwhelming feeling of not being good enough when you step out of the comfort zone can make you exhausted.
What do you do with that? Are you leaving it in an old dusty corner trying to forget about it? Are you facing it with honesty? Are you getting angrier? I consider myself brave enough to treat fear as my very best ally. I do that by recognizing the problem that causes the anxiety in the first place.
I remember once walking down the street on my way home when a painted wall got my attention. It had three colors: yellow, red and black. Over this strange combination of colors, it was written in white cursive handwriting the following words: fear is a prison. I remember the impact that those words had on me. I understood how quickly you can get trapped and how easy it is to narrow your vision about your life. You will see below some tips to control your mind and discover a different outlook on how to deal with it.
1. Establish which goals are a priority
Whenever you feel affected by the weight of your dreams that seem impossible, you have to make an introspection and understand what is the real cost if you choose not to act against your fear. Picture this: You are standing on your chair with a fireplace by your side and an album full of pictures in your hand. While you are turning the pages, you see the years that had passed by with every decision that you made except the one that you let it go out of fear. Do you have any regrets? Do you wish you had more time to reflect?
2. Face your excuses and delays
Excuses and delays appear when you are trying to get out of your comfort zone. Something happens inside your brain that creates some imaginary things that did not even happen yet. Often, the fear of the unknown makes you question everything and see things in a negative way. You build a high wall and you hide behind it thinking that you do not have enough time, or you do not have enough money, or even that you are not good enough. This can be comforting for a while. But you will be running in circles. You will end up where you started. So, if you train your mind by recognizing those excuses, you will not be caught in this never-ending cycle.
3. Embrace a positive outlook
Most of the people give room to fear to take over because they think that they are unable to accomplish a certain goal. In order to succeed, you have you to leave some space for options and always look ahead for a solution. You must be flexible and realize that for every problem there is a solution. Nothing in life is only black and white. You have to train your mind to see the nuances.
4. Pain is the most useful teacher in your life
Can you imagine a world where everything is crystal clear? Me neither. The truth is that the most important lessons you learn are through pain. Because pain teaches you what you really need in life. All the failures, rejections and disappointments help you build your experience. You learn to adapt. You have the choice. You are in control because you have already been there and you learned how to fight it. So, use everything you learn to discover yourself and your constant search for what you really need in life.
5. Accept the failures
Nobody tells you how many times they reached the ground until they stand up. And the truth is that it will happen a lot more than you expected. You have to understand that all of this is part of your process. Transforming it is not as easy as it sounds. Behind every failure, there is a powerful knowledge that will get you closer to the person you want to be. Always have a strategy in mind so you can use it as an advantage.
There is a Japanese quote that I absolutely love: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Japanese people are known for their resilience and for them, giving up is not an option.
6. Shift your focus to the positive outcome
Fears can action under three circumstances: past, present, and future. The ones that have the most impact in our lives are for the present and future. We have the fear of never happening in the present and the fear of what could happen in the future. Since this emotion comes negatively when you are expecting something to come of it, try to look at things differently. Think about what you want to get out of it, instead of what you are trying to stop from happening.
7. Try to act in the present
If you want to avoid unnecessary fears about what can happen in the future, you have to start living now. Each step you take while being aware of the changes in your future can help you understand that there is no point in creating scenarios that can affect our mood for short-term and our goals for the long term. If you have this structure in mind that you can grow step by step, you will have less time to worry about an unpredictable future.
The idea is that fear and dream come together because both are part of the process called imagination. So, fear is as real as a dream can be. The question is: what do you choose to believe in? There is a fine line between reality and fantasy, but the fact is that your thoughts shape your perspective. You will always have to fight for a better job, a better life; why not fight for a better mindset? You are not your enemy. Even your fears have a role to play because, without them, we would have brain damage. Do not live in a cage made by you. Live your life!