By Jennifer Garza
Fear is a good thing. It’s an ingenious survival mechanism. We are biologically wired to fear lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!) to keep us safe. The problem is, despite being removed from these primitive dangers, our wiring hasn’t changed much.
While fear shields us from real harm, it also protects us from perceived harm – like change and discomfort. This keeps us from growth and attracting what we deserve, and is why Robert Allen’s quote, “Everything thing you want is just outside your comfort zone” is so powerful. Your fear keeps you rooted in what is comfortable.
Achieving greater success is uncomfortable because it rattles your natural inclination toward homeostasis. So how do you eliminate the fear in your life and attract what you want?
Look at fear-inducing scenarios as opportunities, not scary obstacles to avoid.
It’s hard to stick your neck out. Taking on new experiences puts you at risk for perceived failure, embarrassment and rejection. But taking on risks also yields the greatest rewards. If you switch your mind-set and begin looking at risks as opportunities, wonderful things can happen.
For instance, if you fear public speaking and are asked to give a presentation, focus on your strengths. Don’t focus on not being a stellar speaker – view it as an opportunity to share an innovative idea or unknown resource. Focus on what you can contribute. Decide to shine in fearful circumstances by visualizing opportunities and using the platform to highlight your talents.
Create positive “what if” scenarios.
Focusing on the negative will always increase your fear and often leads to negative outcomes. Instead, create positive “what ifs.”
“What if they say ‘no’” becomes “What if they say ‘yes’ and my life changes.”
“What if they blow me off” becomes “What if they are impressed by my ideas.”
This concept takes practice but is worth the effort.
Weigh your current situation against a more positive scenario.
Do you despise your job, but fear a change may be worse? Take an honest look at what’s in front of you. If you’re already miserable, what do you have to lose? If you can’t change your current situation (or if you’ve tried until you’re blue in the face) it may be time to move on. Concentrate on the advantages of a new direction.
Re-evaluate your decision-making periodically.
Think you’re immune to fear? An avalanche of negative circumstances can cause even the most positive of us to make decisions based on fear. If you feel stuck or hesitant, ask yourself why you feel this way. If you crave a change but find yourself second-guessing, it may be time to see if fear is behind your dilly-dallying.
Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL, BusinessInsider.com, Young Entrepreneur.com, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at www.authorjennifergarza.com or connect with her.