Become Fearless

1. Education/research Many times, fears are irrational and are caused by the unknown. We wake up in the middle of the night with the sweats and heart palpitations because we are so scared about what would happen if…and yet most of us never take the time to learn about what the if is. Example: If I go (or allow my child to go) hiking, I could fall off a cliff. Imagine the fear that could evoke. Research and learn what you can to do help prevent that occurrence. What should you have with you? What should you not do (ie, turn around and talk). What is the worst case scenario? If you are scared of spiders, then research all of the different types of spider. Looking at the pictures will help alleviate some of the fear. Learn as much as you can about the components of the fear. If you are fearful of strangers and others who are different than you are, research their beliefs. Talk to people who are knowledgeable about that which scares you. If cancer scares you, be better informed about what you can do to help prevent it and learn what your screenings should be.

2. Support Have a support person or a support group. If you are scared of the grates in the sidewalk, have someone hold your hand and step on it. Then gradually, maybe over days, take another step until you are across the grate. Worried about an illness, find a support group that works with people with the same illness. Worried about the future, have the support person listen and discuss issues.

3. Use a Mirror Talk yourself through it. Fear of not being clear when you speak? Use the mirror. Fear of not being graceful, practice in front of a mirror.

4. Write About It Putting things into words makes them real. Expand upon your fears. Cross them out. Clump different fears together and see if you can eliminate any one because of overlapping. Keep a journal. Mail letters to yourself.

5. Use Your Body Take a yoga class, exercise, breathe properly. (I can teach these techniques on the radio.)

6. Practice Practice until you are so sick of something that it no longer scares you. Taking an important test? Practice! Walking down a runway? Practice. Pitching in the big game? Practice. Need to learn to kill bugs? Practice with the small ones first.

7. Get a Lucky Charm This could be a lucky penny, a magic bracelet, or a poem that you carry with you. You could use a picture, a smooth stone, or a ring. What matters is that you have something to calm your nerves and helps you to refocus yourself.

8. Try and understand why you have this fear. Did you get stung by a hive of bees when you were young? Are you allergic to peanut butter? Do your fears incapacitate you? Should you consider therapy? What is the fear, what is the root, how badly does it affect your life, and can you and yours live with it?

9. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Dale Carnegie

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