FEAR. We all experience it one way or another. We fear getting old, fat, paying taxes, judgement from others, etc... We live each day holding on to the fear and it weakens us. It breaks us down until we yell at our spouse or kids, kick the dog, or drink too much booze or eat too much chocolate. We find a way to cope and it usually isn't helping the situation.
I have found, after years of dealing with fear that you can deal with it the numerous wrong ways or the ONE right way.
The wrong ways for me personally are becoming anxious, angry, and eventually sick. I tell myself that I'm dealing with it when I'm really avoiding it. Avoidance is the more comfortable alternative in the short run, but more painful down the line.
The right way, in my experience, is face your fear and deal with it immediately. I've created a little acronym to deal with fear and it helps me remember what to do.
F.E.A.R. (Face Everything Attack Relentlessly) OR (Face it, Explore it, Accept it, Respond)
The only way to make the fear go away is to face it and deal with it with extreme prejudice. You need to look at your fear as something to be dealt with before it gets worse. Fear usually starts out like a baby cub. It's small and manageable so we tell ourselves it's not that bad and let it roam around while we go about our day. The problem is that every day it gets a little bit bigger and one day you have a real bear on your hands!
Consider that most of your fears are also worse to deal with in your mind than in reality. It's because of all the negative associations we make with the object of our fear. We attach other situations or problems to the object we fear and make it worse than it has to be. We grow the bear faster in our minds than than it would grow in reality.
The take away message I want you to have is this... When faced with your next fear deal with it in these 3 steps:
1) Isolate it and don't make it worse by attaching other associations
2) Deal with it immediately and relentlessly until it is completely gone
3) Know that you have done your best and learn from the experience
You will walk away a more knowledgeable, brave, and happy individual with another tool in your bag to deal with even bigger potential problems (fears) in the future with confidence.
-Coach David Wayne