4 min read

Face Your Thought-Monsters and Break Through Your Fears

Fear and fright shadow on the wall

There's no doubt that any activity--no matter how risky or low-key it is--has two sides to it. The fearless person probably doesn't think twice about engaging in risky activities and they probably don't give low-key activities a second thought. The timid person, on the other hand, finds it easy to make up umpteen excuses to get out of participating in even the most innocuous activities.

No matter how many great strengths the timid person has, if their life is built on safety, they may get left behind and lost in the shuffle. It's their choice, but playing it safe may lead them to miss out on much of what life has to offer. Moreso, they risk being seen as boring cowards and maybe even party poopers.

No one usually wants to be seen as a coward, so it's worth investigating ways to break through your fears.

So just how do you become more fearless? How do you become more gallant, brave, and daring?

What's Fear All About?

If you're the timid person in this scenario, these tips below might help you break through some of your long-held fears.  

First, you'll need to do some work on your internal dialogue. That is, you'll need to put your feelings in check.  Unfounded fears--the kind that hold you back--live in the grey areas of your thoughts. They tell you caution is comfortable and familiarity is easier. These grey little thought-monsters tell you to take the easy route, play it safe, and stay close to your cave, should you need to retreat quickly.

When you do step out, if not put in check, these grey thought-monsters will tell you what you're doing isn't fun. They tempt you to escape and resist taking further action.  They'll tell you, "Don't ever do this again."

Take on Your Grey Thought-Monsters

The problem with these little grey thought-creatures is their messages are often unsubstantiated. They are convincing to those who like the safety of the cocoon. The downside of buying into them is, if you never risk, you'll never know you can succeed. If you stay safe, you'll never know the pleasure new activities can bring. If you never take action, you'll be susceptible to a boring life. 

Unfounded fears are self-limiting and can even be debilitating.  It might take a forklift truck to lift you out of your doubt and fear, but by taking a few well-chosen steps, might help you burst through your fears to a more enjoyable life.  

Positive Action

To move forward and enlarge your life, take one well-thought-out innovative step after another.

Here are a few suggestions:

.   When fear rears its head, instead of running, get acquainted with it. Fear can be like a wild cat that lunges at you at the pet adoption center only to become your cuddle partner once you get to know it and it you.

.   Analyse why the wild cat is so frightened and what it requires to become more trusting, calm, and confident.

.   When considering a new activity, once dabbling awhile in the mire where the grey thought-creatures live, come up for air listing what it is about the activity that puts you off.

.   Wrestle the grey thought-creature that tempts you to give in to fear. Don't listen to his suggestions to go and eat an ice cream cone instead. Grey creatures like comfort food. They'll always tempt you to find an easier, more comfortable activity.

.   Assure yourself that at the end of your wrestling match you can choose to step away if it makes sense. That way, you've put thought into your decision rather than simply reacting to the idea. No one wants you to jump in over your head and get set back even more.

.   One of the best ways to conquer a grey thought-creature is with Information and preparation. With your list of fears in place, research possible solutions to each. The more you know about what you're getting into, the better you can plan steps that suit your personality.

.   Walk through the proposed activity in your mind as well as you can. Develop muscle memory for the task. Picture yourself as a confident warrior not only taking bold steps but enjoying the process.

.   Believe things will work out just fine. Picture the reward you might receive at the end of the process.

.   If it makes sense, find small ways to practice what it is you're considering.  If you're about to speak to a crowd, practice speaking to store clerks, or smaller groups first. If you're about to take a test of some sort, practice with a mock test first.

.   Prepare early. As much as it makes sense to, prepare the day before. Pull out the right shoes, clothes, accessories, snacks, and anything else you might need for your activity.

These ten steps are great preparation for breaking down fears into doable steps. Fear is tricky. If you let it, it can paralyse you. Instead, learn to recognize it, and put strategies like these in place to tackle it.  When you do you'll be sure to become a more adventurous and interesting individual.