Are you fearless or do you fear less? Fear is a natural part of the human condition. It is impossible to truly be fearless – to have no fears.
It is absolutely possible, however, to fear less. So the question is how do you fear less?
It comes down to three things:
1. Name the fear.
2. Acquire evidence.
3. Reframe the fear.
Let’s dig into each of these further.
What do I mean by “name the fear?” You’re really great at avoiding your fears. So good, in fact, that many of you don’t really understand your fears on a deep level.
You may understand that you have a fear of public speaking, but that’s the outcome of the fear. What is the root of it? Why do you fear public speaking? Where does this fear come from? What specifically about the process of public speaking do you fear? This is naming the fear. Getting acquainted with all aspects of it.
Once you’ve named it, then you need to start collecting evidence. This might not be what you think. You’re not collecting evidence supporting the fear. No, just the opposite. You’re collecting evidence from your own personal experience that tells you, you have no reason to have this fear.
The key here is that this evidence has to come from your personal experience, not what you’ve seen in others. For example, if you’ve become acquainted with your fear around public speaking and learned that it’s root is a fear of messing up in front of others, you are going to look for evidence of two things: (1) times in your life where you’ve messed up in front of others and recovered well, and (2) times in your life where you were in front of others and did not mess up.
When you’re collecting evidence, I want you to actually make a written list. This is key for two reasons. First, it solidifies this memory in your brain more and, secondly, in moments when you feel the fear creeping in, you have a physical reminder that you can leverage in overcoming the fear.
This is how you rewire your brain and lessen the fear, which is the last step – reframe the fear.
As you build evidence from your own personal experience that debunks the fear, you experience a shrinking presence of the fear. You may notice that the fear is no longer about messing up in front of a group, but rather about standing in front of a group. You’ve now removed a part of the larger fear (the part about messing up) and lessened it to just being in front of a group.
At this point, you start the process over and look for new evidence to debunk the fear of being in front of a group. The process continues and we fear less.
Content provided by Women Belong member Bri Salsman