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The 7 Skills Necessary to Overcome Fear

Fear is the ultimate form of emotional baggage.

photo by Daria/Pexels
Source: photo by Daria/Pexels

Emotional baggage comes in many forms and can affect many areas of your life. It can creep into relationships, career, parenting, achievement and even the way that you manage your health.

The ultimate whammy that emotional baggage brings to the table is fear. Huge, in your way of getting anything done kind of fear. Because what baggage does is tell you that you are not capable. You are no good. You are too fat. You are unlovable. You are damaged somehow. You are not smart enough, others are better than you.

These messages all bring about the bottom line of keeping you afraid of trying things or putting yourself out there. This is because you believe the messages are correct and that you will fall flat on your face in some way. That failure will make you a laughingstock and people will say “I told you so”.

Sometimes fear can be healthy and keeps you safe. Staying in safe city zones or in lighted areas is a form of a healthy preventative fear. Remaining stuck in a bad relationship, bad job or some other unhealthy situation is an example of bad fear.

Maybe you aren’t in a bad situation but you would like to change your situation and something is holding you back. That something is usually fear. That fear comes from someplace inside you that is screaming don’t be stupid, you can’t do that!!

But you have no proof that you can’t do it. You are only hearing your fear talking and that fear is coming from some old, outdated and incorrect message stored in the archives of your brain.

Let this be the year you clean out all those old messages. Test them out to see which ones hold water. I bet not many. The fear can be so great you are afraid to eliminate it, believing that it serves you in some way. Just like any other kind of clutter, we think we may need it someday. Maybe you think it is keeping you safe. But what it is really doing is keeping you limited.

So, what to do with these old fears and messages?

Bring them out in the open. Invite them in for a little chat. What is your biggest challenge right now in life? Associate whatever fear and negative messaging comes with it. You don’t need to look at them all at once, when you start breaking them down you will see that some will go away naturally. The worst thing you can do is ignore them. If it feels like too much just sit with the thoughts for a bit without demanding change. Get comfortable with them so you can spend some time.

Everyone has fear. It is how you deal with it that matters. Allowing it to limit you is a life suck. Seeing it as a challenge that needs to be overcome and making a plan for it empowers you and puts you in control of your life.

It is not enough to say, "I am afraid of that". You have to look at why you are afraid and what it would take to not be afraid. You can break it into baby steps that match your comfort level of change.

The biggest step is to see fear as baggage and not as a rightful appendage. Those negative and fearful ideas came from somewhere, it is your job to determine where so that you can go about eliminating them.

Eliminating Fear Involves Learning These 7 Skills:

  1. Learn to trust yourself-trust that you will make good decisions, research and learn what you need and if you make a mistake you can correct it.
  2. Take ownership of your life-Taking purposeful action rather than reacting to events.
  3. Identify the components of your fear. (Rejection, failure, so on).
  4. Neutralize the above components. Know and trust that If one of those things happen you can deal with it or you can find help with it. Don't suffer it before it has happened.
  5. Build your self-esteem. Learn to like yourself. You forgive mistakes by others, why not yourself?
  6. Know that you can learn whatever you need to succeed at what you are afraid of-whether they are practical skills or emotional skills, you can master them if necessary.
  7. Believe at your very core that this can be done. This is not just for other people. This is for you. You are just as good as the next person.

Anything that you want or are thinking of doing can be done with some thought and planning.

You can still write your life blueprint knowing that you have some baggage to overcome and skills to learn. Some baggage will be in the form of fear and you can recognize it in order to work with it. Your blueprint will be a lot more fun and hopeful when you dare to dream big.

More from Audrey Sherman Ph.D.
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