"...how did you get over your fears?"
This is one question I often get, in one form or another. Whether it's the fear of starting a new relationship, the fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear of putting in effort and resources towards improving yourself...
Fear is always there.
Most people's first reaction with fear is to control it, to deny its existence outright. In this episode of the Art of Likability, we move beyond the first reaction to a more seasoned reaction with fear: working with it, instead of trying to wrestle with it.
Do We Let Fear Control Us?
I've had the fortune to meet many impactful people throughout my career, and each one of them had fear in spite of all their accomplishments.
They don't let fear control them. How exactly can fear control us?
Fear can control us when we make our fearful situation only about the negatives. All of a sudden, we feel like a fish out of water. We don't want to be there. We're out of our comfort zone with no goal in sight. That is when fear controls us.
When it controls us, it pushes us to seek some soothing activity. Binging on junk food, cigarettes, TV shows, anything that gives you that feel-good burst of dopamine to push away negative feelings.
I'm not telling you to not enjoy your life! But let's key into this chain reaction effect from fear and take action instead of getting worked up by fear!
What Do I Do to Control My Fears?
So fear is always there. While we cannot control fear easily, we can work with it and control our actions!
I've found that the quicker you stare your fear down in the face, the smaller it gets.
I've found that immediate action wins out over fear.
I recently feared that I'd lose a friend over business.
When it came time to buy a new home, I had the option to go through a friend who had offered to do business for me, or go through an insurance group that offered great incentives buying through them.
There are a lot of factors when it comes to buying a new home. I feared the thought of including my friendship into the factors, because I did not want to lose this friendship.
What did I do? Did I defer the decision, go quiet so my friend wouldn't hear from me, and "hope" that she'd simply forget? No. We need to address fear upfront.
I prefer to overcommunicate instead of undercommunicate or miscommunicate...so I dialed my friend up on the phone.
I laid everything out for her, my situation, my thoughts, and my decision to decline her business. I had feared this moment of judgment, and now I brought it right in front of me...
And she told me it was no big deal! That she understood my thought process and that more importantly, she wanted for me to get the best deal I could!
We're still great friends.
Did I Really "Control" My Fear?
...I'd say no. I don't have control over my fear. I'm sure some people can dull their sensation to fear to "control it," working at it over time, but it doesn't go away completely.
I did not "control" my fear, not upfront. But I can work with my fear and control my actions.
Please share with me a time that you felt fearful, and how you controlled it in the comment section below!
Instead of approaching fear from a position of weakness (binging on TV or food), we can approach it from a position of strength (taking action!)
Imagine being able to start and hold a conversation with anyone, and the doors that can open for you in your professional and personal life! If you'd like to approach everyday conversation with a position of strength check out: How to Start and Keep A Conversation Going with Anyone!