I am by no means what you would call an Adrenaline Junky … but on my birthday this year I went skydiving and yesterday I bungy jumped off Bloukrans Bridge (yes, the pic is of me) – by now you may be questioning my sanity or the validity of my first statement. The truth is that I have a tremendous fear of heights but based on the evidence, I am even more afraid of the debilitating experience of fear itself.
There is absolutely nothing more liberating than to face a fear head-on and say, ‘Stand back skinny, I’ve got this!’.
Now these activities may not be your cup of tea and I am by no means saying it’s time for you to ‘man up and take a 216m leap’ but I am saying, fear is a cruel prisoner and with 2018 around the corner it may be time to make a prison break and take a leap in faith. It could be faith in your ability to survive and even thrive on your own if you walk away from that destructive relationship, or start that small business you have been dreaming of, or even start studying towards that degree even though you are 2 years from retirement.
Of course I have ample examples of precious time I have wasted imprisoned by fear and, even worse, the accompanying self-loathing should’ves, would’ves, could’ves, that are packaged neatly with those fears. Sadly, in my case, the self-imposed strongest fear was often, ‘You may fail Bianca, so why try?’. This paired with a natural knack for the dramatic and the uncanny ability to develop several elaborate scenarios on the consequences of failure, worked better than any titanium shackles to keep me in my fearful place. But my ‘No Regrets Policy’ accompanied by my ‘Eyes Forward’ procedure will not allow me to recount those examples right now so you will just have to trust me on this.
What I will share though is 3 tips that I use when faced with the unknown or I feel fear creeping in:
- Use your fear as a planning tool by playing the What If? Game
For example, before I left the comfort of earning a salary and started my company, I played this game and this is what it looked like:
- What if you don’t at least make your salary? Then I will have to look at increasing my offerings.
- What if you don’t have enough to offer? Then I will have to increase my skill set.
- What if you can’t find customers? Then I will have to find out what the market actually wants.
- What if …
The point is you must respond to the What Ifs? with logical actionable responses and where necessary put them into practice to alleviate each fear. My What If? game took 7 A1 pages but the result is that Raising the Standards has been around for the past 4 years and the What If Game allowed me to work on possible challenges beforehand.
2. Use the Law of Reversibility
If you feel a certain way, you will act in a manner consistent with that feeling. But if you act differently, even if you don’t feel it, the Law of Reversibility will create the feeling that is consistent with your actions. You will develop the courage you require by encouraging yourself repeatedly to do the thing you fear until that fear eventually disappears—and it will. Your job then, is to assume and sustain the exact feeling associated with overcoming your fear, until such time that you have actually done this.
3. Visualize the best case scenario
I once read that “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” Instead of focusing on what’s the worst that could happen, it’s much more productive to look at your fear and ask yourself this, “What would it be like if everything works out perfectly?”
I really hope these tips will help you enter a fearless 2018 filled with exciting new horizons, tremendous leaps of faith, and unlimited personal growth!
I would love to hear about your brave fearless plans for 2018 and what leaps you will be taking so feel free to leave a comment or in-message me. Remember, if it is in writing you will commit to it!