Facing our fears

According to the experts our fears hold us back from achieving our full potential. I have no doubt they are right. The universal advice is to face our fears, accept they exist, that they won’t go away; so just deal with them.

I don’t have a problem with the advice. Its like all self help advice, it will likely work if you do the things you need to do. What about those that cannot get past their fear?

Firstly we have to make  a couple of choices. Is it a fear we must face or one we simply don’t want to face? Our stress is created by not making a choice.

If we decide our fear must be faced – then there is no alternative but to just do it. Face it and go full on. Better to face the fear than have it sneak up behind you and take you by surprise.

On the other hand, if it isn’t necessary to face your fear, then don’t. Make a decision to not bother with it and to not be bothered by it.

Not every fear need be faced. There are often alternatives. At another time, facing the fear might become necessary but for the moment, walk away and do something else.

A lot of our fear arises from our concern about being out of control. If we take this action we dont actually know what will happen. We become fearful of the unknown. The solution here is to accept you cannot control everything; however you are an intelligent person and you will always be able to work through whatever happens.

If you are a bit anal and need to be in control then perhaps you need to walk away and do something else. Persisting with an activity that generates fear will simply increase your stress and often result in negative behaviour.

Consider bringing someone else in to work with you. If you have to do something fearful and you can’t walk away, then ask yourself who else might help you. Having someone to walk alongside you can help reduce the stress. For example, if you are fearful of walking into a room full of strangers, consider asking a colleague to accompany you.

You can also change how you do things. Returning to our room full of strangers. Perhaps you could make an effort to be the first person there. By changing how we behave we may also reduce the level of fear and stress.

Those are my thoughts for the day.

Let The Journey Continue

John Coxon





About John Coxon

Principal consultant for John Coxon & Associates, a management consultancy working with boards and management teams in healthcare, aged care and not for profit organisations to develop effective strategic planning processes and social enterprise business plans
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