The most crippling emotion I have ever experienced was FEAR. And somehow, FEAR always leads to anxiety. The relationship between these two emotions remains a struggle for many, myself included. I’ll tell you a story ..
I enjoyed watching movies, pre-COVID, I would frequent the cinema- watch a movie and grab some dinner. Quick and simple! But, I’ve always avoided scary movies. Partly because it’s too dark and partly because I hate the feeling of suspenseful music and its effects on my emotions. As I watch in suspense, I become fearful, closing my eyes and screaming- “RUN or Don’t do it, girl…” LOL.
So, yes, you will never find me in a cinema watching scary movies.
See, that’s the thing, fear is an irrational emotion that takes over and encompasses your entire being. Wherever fear is present, hopelessness and anxiety also reside.
Over the years, I have worked through many of my fears. The fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of not fitting in. But, it would be a lie to say fear doesn’t affect me today. I am doing public speaking, guest commentary, and mentorship, facing my biggest fears head-on!
If you’ve read the bible, you may be familiar with 2 Tim 1:7-” God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, of love and a sound mind.” This is a favorite text of mine, passed down to me from my father. Frequently, when faced with challenging circumstances, I will recite this verse.
In addition to this verse, I have developed five steps I have used to overcome fear.
5 Steps to Overcoming Fear
- Recognize Fear- the first step is to recognize- what emotion you are experiencing. Throughout the day, we go through so many emotions; happiness, sadness, joy and fear. To overcome fear, you must first identify it as such.
- Talk about it- whenever, I feel fearful Ill phone a friend and go through my thoughts. In speaking to them I can usual reasons that it is fear that is impeding
- Confront your fear- I used to question this step- Why would I want to do something I am fearful of, but it does work. Confronting your fear, in small portions eventual leads to overcoming those fear
- Realize you are not perfect- It is okay to make mistakes and to fall short of the “standard”.
- Applaud yourself when you accomplish something that makes me fearful
Now, I know these five steps require time and constant work, but like I always say “we are all a work in progress.”
Try it out and let me know how it goes.