Today I'm going to talk about how to overcome fearful thoughts. Even in the best of us, fear can be something that is quite debilitating.
I personally know, because I had a fear of flying early on in my life to the point where I had to take prescription medications.
I had a fear of drowning to the point where I didn't even want to get into the deep end of the pool.
I overcame that fear of flying by learning how to fly an airplane and actually doing solo flights.
I overcame that fear of drowning by forcing myself to get into the pool, to get into open water, and now have successfully completed two half Ironman races. So, I have steps that can help overcome fear and, hopefully, these steps will serve you as well.
Now, when fear is described, it's typically known as the acronym FEAR, false evidence appearing real, and that is a wonderful tool to describe the fear, but it somewhat falls short as far as giving you the tools to overcome fear itself. So I'm going to give you a new acronym that has served me very well, and, hopefully, it can so the same for you.
First, F is focus. You want to focus on the underlying reason why you decided to take the challenge, or the goal, or the outcome in the first place. A lot of the time, just the thought of approaching something can be more debilitating than the actual event itself. So you want to focus on the positive things.
Why did you choose that event, or to take on that task or challenge in the first place? If you have a why that is powerful.
Are you doing it for your family? For your friends? For your financial gain? For the community. If you have a why that is so positive, it can help you redirect that energy in a positive way, taking it away from the fear itself and then focusing on the actual angle, the outcome.
The E is envisioning. Envisioning or visualization is a very powerful tool, and with visualization, you want to see yourself actually having achieved the goal or the outcome, because your mind is going to believe as reality what you feed it.
So, if you see yourself conquering the challenge, if you see yourself achieving the goal, that is going to help create that positive mindset that is going to move you past that fear itself and focus more on the outcome, focus more on the gain that you're going to get on the back end.
The A is accepting. Now, that may seem a little strange to people, but is force accepting, or am I telling you that you need to accept the fear? Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you to do, to accept the fear. It is very rare that you can eliminate fear out of your life 100%, so by acknowledging that it's there, you're accepting it.
Now, this is not the same as admitting defeat to the fear, I'm just simply saying that you should acknowledge it, and once you acknowledge it, then we're going to do the steps to help conquer is, overcome that fear, which is the R, redirecting.
With redirection or the R, you want to take that power, that energy that fear has and redirecting it something that is more positive. For example, you can think of something as fearful, like, for me, I was fearful of swimming in the lake, and I redirected that fear of swimming into the lake into something that was humorous. I imagined myself in just a joyful situation.
So taking that tense, powerful fear energy and redirecting it to something that is positive. And when you do that, that can help ease the fear and redirect it. Remember, we're not trying to get rid of the fear itself, we're just trying to redirect its energy from the negativity of the fear to something that is more positive.
So that is my definition of fear. Focus, envision, accept and redirect. And it's going to take time. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but if you use these tools and these steps, you're going to be well on your way towards overcoming fear and becoming the master of it. Thank you, and have a wonderful and blessed day.
Until next time, face your fears head on and overcome them for a bigger and better you!
Terence Young, M.D.