Growing up, I wasn’t afraid of anything.
I would do flips off of swings on the jungle gym, sing in front of large crowds without a single flinch, and bomb it down ski hills without the fear of a broken bone…
Why is it that when we are young, we play and think freely and possess such great confidence?
Where does fear of making a mistake creep in and do we get to a point of feeling frozen?
The science behind it…
I want you to picture yourself living in prehistoric times.
You are part of a dedicated tribe of hunter gatherers.
You wear animal skin as clothing and survive off the land for your food.
Your tribe lives near the southern tip of South Africa, where there live a variety of animals and the weather is beautiful.
You are 30 years old, and your role in the tribe for the past 30 years has been to pick berries.
Every day, you get up at the crack of dawn, and venture out. It’s 7am already and it’s time to go. You walk through a meadow down into a forest where you hear a bubbling brook and birds chirping. You are close to the berry bush – the same berry bush you have been gathering berries from for the last 30 years.
Something feels off….The birds stop chirping, everything falls silent.
All of a sudden, out from behind the berry bush jumps a giant saber-toothed tiger.
You scream and tremble with fear and what happens next is a blur. Next thing you know, you have sprinted back into the safety of your tribe, thankfully escaping the tiger. “Phew!” You think. That was close. You just saw your life flash before your eyes.
So, the magic question is – what happens tomorrow? Will you go back to the same berry bush you’ve been going to for 30 years?
Translate this to real life…
Unfortunately, all of us have experienced “tigers” in our life.
As we get older, we’ve encountered more and more tigers.
The unfortunate part is our mind tricks us into thinking that just because something bad happened the “last time we did that,” means that it will happen again.
In reality, that’s just not true.
I want you to remember this acronym for FEAR.
Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.
The false evidence being the tricks our brain is telling us, due to past experiences.
Only when we acknowledge this reality, can we push forward and “return to the berry bush” without fear.
Great. But how can I actually do this?
First – It starts with deciding to love the thing you are most afraid of.
For example, if you hate making phone calls, simply tell yourself “I love making phone calls.”
Changing the narrative you’re telling yourself can make a world of difference.
But that isn’t enough.
Next – You must focus on how good you’ll feel after you take the risk.
When we do something that scares us, it’s painful in the moment, but after we’ve taken the risk it releases some major endorphins.
Lastly – Ask yourself “What’s the WORST thing that could happen?” This is my favorite tip because usually when we think or talk through this concept, we begin to realize how ridiculous we are for even having the fear in the first place.
For example – if we are making a sales call, and we hate making phone calls, and we are afraid of what the person might say.
We ask ourselves “What’s the worst thing that can happen in this scenario?”
The typical answer is – They hang up on me…or they say they aren’t interested.
Could you live with that?
Continue to push forward, think about how good it’ll feel to take a risk, turn your fear into a fuel that propels you forward into doing more and being more.
Put it into action:
- What current “tiger” am I afraid of?
- What’s something you dislike doing that you’re doing that you will turn and say you love doing? I.e. “I love making phone calls”
- What’s the worst thing that could happen if the risk I take doesn’t turn out as planned?
- What are some positive power words I can use to describe myself? Put these on sticky notes in your car, bathroom, or use as passwords on your computer for various sites you need to sign into.
Feeling stuck? Like you are always living in fear? We get it. Schedule a free coaching call today to overcome your current fears: