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Saturday, April 28, 2018

How to Overcome Your Fears

How to Overcome Your Fears using positive thinking and optimism.


I've learned in one of my psychology classes that we are born with only eight emotions and all the other emotions we learned from our surroundings. One of these innate emotions is fear. Makes sense, right? It kept humankind alive for thousands of years. It prevented us from doing anything scary as a means to protect us and it still does in certain situations. Nowadays, our fear in everyday life is based less on life and death. We don't have to worry about predators coming to eat us every corner we go.

We fear things, like, applying for that job that we want because we're scared that we're not qualified enough, falling in love because we're scared of getting hurt, or starting a business because we're scared of failure. Things that won't actually kill us but could actually, probably, enrich our lives if we took the chance to take action, which is why overcoming our fears is important. It's not as hard as you think it is. It's all a mindset change. Here's a couple of tips that will help you see things a little differently. 

1. Imagine the positive outcome.

Most people have a default setting of thinking negatively. It makes sense. You want to think of the worst case scenario to protect yourself from the disappointment. I get it. But, what if you think about what you gain from doing the action instead? Chances are that it'll motivate you more than scare you. Here's a couple of examples:

 Situation
 Negative
 Positive
Going up to the person that you like and telling them how you feel.
They'll reject me.
They'll have mutual feelings for me and we'll end up dating. We'll be in a happy, healthy relationship.
Starting a business.
The business will fail and I'll lose all the money that I invested in it.
It does work out. People like my product/service. My business will be successful. I'll be proud of what I've built. I'll have the lifestyle that I want.
 Career change.
I have to start over and I'll fail at my new job.
I'll be happy at my job. I'll be successful at it. I'll be in the industry that I want.

2. There's a lesson in everything.

Most of us are afraid of failure, but I don't think people remember that with every "failure", there's a lesson. I read in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki that you learn more from your mistakes and failures than if you were to do everything right. And it's true. You're more inclined to remember the things that you did wrong than the things that you did right. Plus, if you go in thinking that your mistakes and failures are just lessons, it'll relieve some pressure.

To show you how you can incorporate a lesson in your negative thinking, I'll use the same table as above, but I'll change the negative to exemplify how you can change that negative thinking.

 Situation
 Negative
 Positive
Going up to the person that you like and telling them how you feel.
They'll reject me, but now I know that they're not the person for me.
They'll have mutual feelings for me and we'll end up dating. We'll be in a happy, healthy relationship. 
Starting a business.
The business will fail and I'll lose all the money that I invested in it. But I know where I made my mistake and can rebuild my business and not make the same mistake.
It does work out  People like my product/service. My business will be successful. I'll be proud of what I've built. I'll have the lifestyle that I want.
Career change.
I have to start over and I'll fail at my new job. But at least I can always get better and I will learn more skills and learn more about myself.
I'll be happy at my job. I'll be successful at it. I'll be in the industry that I want.

3. Think about what will happen if you don't act.

Instead of thinking of the negative outcome that will happen if you do take action, think about the negative outcome that will happen if you don't take action. Take a look at the table below to understand what I mean.The negative outcomes that you think of when you do take action are, for the most part, short-term. You will recover from that heartbreak; you will make the money that you lost in your business; you will get better at your new job. But, not taking action is more dangerous. You deal with more long-term consequences. Sure, it's easy to stay in the situation that you're currently in, but will you really know the outcome if you choose not to take action? More importantly, will you be happy with your decision to not take action?


 Situation
Negative if you don't take action
Negative if you do take action
 Positive
Going up to the person that you like and telling them how you feel.
I won't know if they like me and I'll be left wondering if there was a chance that we'll ever date.
They'll reject me, but now I know that they're not the person for me.
They'll have mutual feelings for me and we'll end up dating.We'll be in a happy, healthy relationship. 
Starting a business.
I'll be stuck in a lifestyle that I don't want and the people that can benefit from my product/services won't get that experience that I want to deliver.
The business will fail and I'll lose all the money that I invested in it. But I know where I made my mistake and can rebuild my business and not make the same mistake.
It does work out People like my product/service. My business will be successful. I'll be proud of what I've built. I'll have the lifestyle that I want.
Career change.
I'll be unhappy at my job for years until I retire.
I have to start over and I'll fail at my new job. But at least I can always get better and I will learn more skills and learn more about myself.
I'll be happy at my job. I'll be successful at it. I'll be in the industry that I want.


4. Just do it.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
-Wayne Gretzky, Professional Ice Hockey Player

Make the decision that you're going to take action even if you're scared. After all, you know what they say, "If it scares you and excites you at the same time, you should probably do it." Once you make the decision to do it, just do it and don't turn back. 

You can practice by doing something small that scares you. It can be just walking up and starting a conversation with a stranger. Once you decide to get out of your comfort zone and to stop letting your fears get in the way, you'll be unstoppable. To help you get started, I recommend this guided journal: Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You: A Journal. The journal has a year's worth of prompts and quotes to encourage you to face your fears every day. You can do it! You're strong!
How to overcome your fears with the power of positive thinking and mindset change. Motivational quote: "You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take"

How to overcome your fears with positive thinking and optimism.

What fears did you have that you overcame? Let me know in the comments below!
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