Fear is rooted in the primitive part of your brain the stem of your brain, which houses your instinctual “fight-or-flight” reaction. Our ancestors were able to survive, in part, by sticking with what was familiar. As a result, we have a programmed part of us that compels us to stick with the familiar in order to stay safe.
Instead of being distraught by the fear or succumbing to it, recognize that its presence means that you are at your growing edge. You are in the first phase of challenging who you have been to stretch and grow into a new layer of magnificence. Keeping this new perspective in mind, implement the following seven steps to help you overcome the fear and move more quickly into magnificence.
1. Identify the Fear
There are many types of fear: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being judged, fear of death, fear of commitment, etc. It’s important to identify your specific fear and write it down. Being very specific helps you more readily dismantle the fear.
2. Evaluate the Intensity of the Fear
Using a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest level of intensity, note the intensity of your fear. What physical impact is the fear having on you? Notice the sensations in your body without judging or analyzing them. Does your throat feel constricted? Does your belly ache?
3. Discover the Underlying Limiting Belief
Underneath each fear is a limiting belief that fuels the fear. For example, a person may have a fear of success because they believe that, if they are successful, they would never have time to spend with their family. Jot down the underlying belief(s) behind your fear. Be specific. Take your time to get to the root.
4. Challenge the Limiting Belief
For each limiting belief, ask yourself the following question: “What’s NOT true about this belief?” Pretend that you are a detective or a defense attorney and find evidence that contradicts the belief. Use evidence from your own life or from others who are already doing what you believe is impossible. Using the fear of success example from above, one way to challenge the limiting belief is to find stories of women who have successful careers and are great moms (if you don’t know of any, email me and I’ll give you a whole list of them!).
5. Visualize Conquering the Fear
Get a vivid picture of yourself having conquered the fear and its underlying belief and achieving what you want. Make this visualization really come to life. Feel it throughout your body, using all your senses. While staying in the visualization, ask yourself, “What’s possible now?” Notice how different you feel without the fear and limiting belief.
Ask yourself, “What would it take to turn down the intensity of this fear?” Brainstorm a list of possible action steps you could take that would help you reduce the intensity of your fear and move you in the direction of what you really want. Don’t over-think this exercise. Be sure to write down ANY possible action item.
7. Commit & Implement
Choose 1-3 items from your brainstorm list and commit to completing them within the week (break down any action item that is too large to complete in one week). Once completed, re-evaluate the intensity of your fear. You’ll notice that it is significantly reduced or completely gone!
These steps work to lessen the intensity of any fears you may have and move you into taking actions toward what you truly want. Repeat these steps as often as necessary to eradicate any irrational fears and underlying beliefs. Remember, your fear just means that you are at the edge of who you are, daring to stretch into a bigger and better version of you.