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Everyone has experienced fear in their lives at some point.

The intensity of the emotion, the feelings of fear, can range from mild anxiety to absolutely paralysing pain!

When it comes to business, fear can stifle progress and prevent us from reaching our objectives.

We've all avoided doing something we didn't want to. We all make up reasons for not doing something, don't we? Fear can be so powerful that it stops you in your tracks, causing procrastination, wasting time, and becoming the ultimate excuse. Inaction breeds more doubt and fear, and the vicious circle begins... Let us put an end to that.

You have control over your own thoughts

I'll say it again: fear can get in the way of progress, but only if we let it. Although you cannot control everything, you can control what you THINK.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right” Henry Ford

Deny your thoughts and you are unlikely to achieve the desired result; confront your fears and you will find a way. Where there is a will, there is a way, as the old adage goes. Denial or excuses may provide a temporary reprieve from the fear, but who are you kidding? Focusing on the issue at hand objectively is critical.

False Expectations Appearing Real

If left to their own ways, our imaginations have a tendency of running amok and conjuring up all kinds of feelings associated with prior experiences, oftentimes not in a coherent or logical manner. Our logical minds frequently struggle to keep up as these emotions come and go so swiftly! Although the sentiments are real, the underlying concepts on which they are based are frequently our imaginations rather than reality. We are designed this way for speed, efficiency, and survival, so of course our imagination feels very real. Our minds react more quickly to situations by analysing patterns and making snap decisions than by carefully and logically going through all the information.

When we see a threat, our autopilot brain says flight or fight, rather than objectively evaluating all of the options and deciding on the best course of action!

10 Tips to help overcome/manage fear:

We are all human, and we cannot eliminate fear, but we can manage it, so we are in control of it rather than it controlling us.

1. To begin, recognise the unhealthy thoughts that are causing you to be afraid. Secondly, make some space and take a break (the breath moment) to go over your thoughts. Then, decide what is worth listening to and what you can let go of by examining the evidence (see point 2) first.

2. Examine the FACTS using an objective and balanced approach. Examine the evidence and ask yourself if this is true. Where is the proof? Alternatively, provide your own alternative evidence based on prior positive experience. Writing things down to get them out of your head can be useful in this situation.

3. Change the phrase 'what if' to 'what then'. Two simple words can have a big impact. When it comes to fear, asking "What if?" frequently generates a list of negative things that could go wrong and, if not objectively evaluated, can simply compound your fear. Instead, ask 'What then?', which forces the brain to consider positive solutions, responses, and workarounds.

4. Don't be so hard on yourself - If you are your own harshest critic, you may need to learn the phrase "so what?".

5. Share - 'A problem shared is a problem halved,' as the saying goes, and I don't think it needs any further explanation. It is worth noting that if your fear becomes more extreme/debilitating, objectively reviewing facts can be extremely difficult on your own. This is when talking to someone else comes in handy because they can help you see things more clearly (they are not experiencing your emotions). Sometimes a coach is needed, but a partner, colleague, or anyone you trust can assist. Don't suffer in silence.

6. There is no such thing as 'failure,' only leaning. A perfectionist, for example, may avoid pursuing an opportunity if he or she is unsure that he or she will excel at it... whether learning a new skill, pursuing a large client, or striking up a conversation with a stranger. Perfectionists miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow from their mistakes. I prefer the term "continuous improvement" - with this in mind, begin with the realistic expectation that mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, and the more we do, the more we will learn.

7. Take a risk - People frequently talk themselves out of doing what they want because they are unsure of the outcome. We are born with this ability - remember when you first learned to walk?

8. If you're worried about how an important decision you need to make will turn out, don't only concentrate on the results of the decision; also consider the steps you may take to guarantee the result you want. If everything goes according to plan, for instance, we will succeed. So, you might say that in order to assure success, we need to make sure we have the appropriate strategy in place and do everything we can to make sure everything goes according to plan. In a detached way, you may also consider the worst-case scenario and consider further steps you could take to prevent it.

9. Prepare for the possibility that your "fear" is real. If this is the case, get to work right now on a contingency since, if you already know it's true, it might very likely materialise until you take action. The bad results of doing nothing or changing how you do things are what you dread in this situation. It's possible that you're trying to disregard the situation's reality while being in denial. Your only true option in this situation is to assume ownership, responsibility, and action.

10. Only what you can control is under your power. – Focus on your abilities rather than your limitations.

Fear is normal, so instead of ignoring it, use it as motivation to change and take constructive action.

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