FROM FEAR TO CONFIDENCE: The Best Kept Secrets About Fear
Do not think about the fear. If you must think, think of Courage and Confidence.
The media is heavy and replete with content on overcoming fears; to build the way individuals work, think and produce. This is great – and rightly so that people desire to get rid of fear, build courage & confidence, and live life fully. I am usually the “check my dictionary, Google meaning of words and phrases” type person, so I find it more productive to understand what this ‘fear’ is and how it works. Understanding how it works provides even more power in overcoming it.
The Dictionary states that fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. Until we feel a threat of something, we don’t fear. When we think we are in harm’s way, then the feeling of being afraid shows up. The feeling of fear is one that draws our attention to something that is lacking – it says “this is an area you lack Courage and Confidence.”
This feeling is not supposed to be a death sentence or reason for panic because that is exactly what fear wants us to do – panic and run! The modus operandi of the ‘fear fangs’ is that it finds that heart area where you are not protected, where you are open, where you are not equipped, where you lack courage and confidence and convinces your mind that you are better off running away.
This post is not an attempt to add to the overflowing yet authentic content on how to deal with your fears but instead, it is to help you understand how fear works, so you can arm yourself before it shows up and you have to ‘deal’ with it. Here are four layers of living fear proof as you journey towards building Courage and ultimately Confidence.
1. Ask yourself, “is it really fear?”
Different emotions whirl up at different times and there is a tendency to box certain “negative” emotions into the fear corner. Such times call for the clear awareness and right definition of what you’re feeling.
Take for instance, you’ve been summoned by your employer and you’re wondering the outcome of the meeting. What you may be feeling at that point, is worry and not exactly fear. But if you say to yourself, “I am afraid of going to this meeting.” You just gave power to fear and you will start wondering how to deal with the fear.
However, if you say, “I am concerned about the outcome of the meeting,” then you can start asking more questions like, “why am I concerned?” What can I do to put myself in a better light? What am I expecting to hear? How will that affect me? How can I be ready? Etc.
You see, fear is no longer your concern because you defined the emotions you felt properly. This also leads to increased confidence to face the situation because you can only deal with a matter at the level which you know and understand it.
Another example, you want to embark on a project that requires heavy funds, and you keep pushing it to ‘tomorrow.’ People and circumstances around you can trick you into believing that fear is the reason you’re procrastinating on the project. But you are not afraid of the project, you lack the capital to embark on it. If you had the capital will you still say, fear is the obstacle? The productive thing to do would be to start seeking out ways to fund your dream.
It could be uncertainty, lack of zeal, knowledge and pieces of training, or even that silly desire to remain in your zone of comfort even when you know you should push yourself. Find out what it is first before you label it fear.
2. Convince yourself that fear is not real
Recently, we are watching one of these action movies and tensions were getting high as we screamed and shouted and sat at the edge of our seat. I had to tell myself, Joyce calm down, this is a movie produced in a controlled environment. The actors are professionals and nobody is in jeopardy in real life.
Truths like these need to be injected into your being long before fear shows up. You need to garner the confidence to tell yourself that you are amazing, your dreams matter, your desires are valid. My sure way to achieving a mind strong enough to know and confess that fear is not real is meditation.
Every day I saturate myself with the truth of who I am, truths about my existence, truths about my future, truths about my past. When fear comes with something that is contrary to the truth I know and believe, I can easily call it a lie. Take, for instance, fear brings something from my past as the reason for my present or the reason for a future challenge. The truth I know is that everything in my past good or bad is preparing me for a glorious future. The future I have dreamed of, and am working towards is beautiful so why do I want to accept the lie of a pain that has not even happened, and will likely not happen!
Build your awareness of what you want. Find the courage and confidence to pursue what you really want over your awareness of the fears around you, and you’d be surprised at how quickly your mind would be transformed. It is what you think, and focus on that becomes your reality. Think and focus on fear and you give it the upper hand and it becomes your reality, but think and focus on all things that fuel your courage and confidence, then you give it your entire heart’s platform where fear is a lie.
3. Accept the feeling of fear as a friend
Remember that fear is your body’s way of saying that you MAY be in danger. It does not mean that you are in danger, you COULD be in danger. Someone learning how to drive may feel fear because being on the road could lead to a collision with other cars. It could but it hasn’t. In this instance, fear is indicating to you to get better at driving before venturing into certain terrains. It could be an indicator to find a tutor who sits in the passenger seat beside you while you drive. The presence of such a coach will increase your confidence and give you the courage to drive.
Using the driving example, you will see that there is no way to get better other than to keep driving. If you park the car and use a transport service instead, you would have missed out on the opportunity to build Confidence and Courage for that day.
Indeed fear can be a friend if it leads to practising Confidence building exercises. Sometimes fear can lead you to enrol in a courage and confidence coaching session.
The key is to always ask, “what is this feeling of fear pointing me to?”
4. Remember to breathe.
You should breathe.
I believe you should breathe.
You should believe you should breathe.
You totally should breathe.
Keep calm and breathe.
Take a breather and let the warm air fill your lungs.
Taking time to breathe is the first step to reclaiming your power and walking to a state of clarity.
Always remember, you’re your own TITANIUM!