Before you can overcome fear, you must be able to identify it. In other words, you must be able to name the thing that you’re afraid of specifically. If you’re not clear regarding the source of your anxiety, you’ll struggle to resolve it.
To identify your fears, ask yourself a series of questions:
- What am I afraid of?
- Why am I afraid of it?
- What do I try not to think about?
- When do I feel afraid?
- What emotions do I feel?
- What adverse outcomes am I envisioning?
- What pictures do I have in my head about this situation?
You may need to work a bit to get to the bottom of your fears. It’s common to have smaller fears stacked on top of a much larger one.
For example, say you’re afraid of losing your job. Is that the ultimate fear? Probably not. More likely, you’re fearful of not having enough money to pay the bills or losing the respect of your peers when being forced to restart your career.
When identifying your fears, keep pushing until you get to the root cause. Work to determine the root fear that is causing all your other anxieties. Keep asking yourself, “So what?”
- So, what if I lose my job? I won’t make any money.
- So, what if I don’t make any money? I can’t pay the bills.
- So, what if I can’t pay the bills? I can’t provide for my family.
Dig until you determine what your ultimate fear is.
Next, become aware of all the different ways your fear is affecting your life. Is it
- Causing you constant emotional distress?
- Keeping you from doing things you want to do?
- Is it hampering your relationships?
- Is it hurting your work performance?
- Is it stealing your happiness?
- Is it preventing you from enjoying the present?
The goal of this exercise is to bring you face-to-face with the consequences of your fear. When you see how fear and anxiety damage your life and hold you back, you become much more motivated to take action.
It may help you to write out your thoughts as you work through the above processes. Writing things down helps you think clearly and forces you to give voice to your anxious thoughts and feelings.
You can’t avoid your fear. The more you try to prevent it, the more it will grow. The only way forward is to look it in the eye.
Thich Nhat Hanh put it well when he said, “Every time your fear is invited up, every time you recognize it and smile at it, your fear will lose some of its strength.”
Confront your fears face-to-face and put a name to them. Then you can begin to dismantle them.
That concludes part 4. You can read part 5 tomorrow. Are you impatient to read the complete report? If you would like the entire story now, text lw to 415 212 9757. Until next time, stay safe and keep the faith.
Until next time, stay safe and keep the faith.