Monday, July 11, 2011

Overcoming Fear

I like to think I don't let fear rule my life. 

I used to be deathly afraid of speaking in public.  Now I might get a few nerves before speaking in front of a group, but I find I actually enjoy it. 

I challenged my fear of rejection and failure by pitching my manuscript to agents and editors.  While I did receive some rejections, I now have a published book. 

I've made decisions in my career that challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes the outcome was what I wanted.  Sometimes not.  Always I learned something and grew as a person.

So do I let fear rule my life?  Prior to last weekend, I would have confidently said no.  And I'd be eating humble pie today as I changed my answer to yes.

My husband held up a figurative mirror in front of me and made me realize there was indeed a part of my life where I am letting fear rule me.  And it is making me miserable.  In this scenario, it is my health that we were discussing. 

So how does one overcome fear?

  1. Understand what fear is.  FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real.  I used to teach a Coaching class for a company I worked for.  One of the principles taught was:  Change the perception, Change the direction.  Follow the feeling, and there you will often find the real issue upsetting someone. 
  2. After identifying the real issue, then separate feelings from thoughts and keep an objective, open mind.  Visualize the outcome you want and take actions that will get you closer to your desired outcome.  Do not let fear rule your actions.
  3. Surrender the outcome.  Trust in God or the Universe or yourself, whatever you believe in.  Nothing is guaranteed.  Believe that whatever happens, you will be okay and you will land on your feet.  Life has an interesting way of working itself out.
Back to my health issue.  My husband and I were discussing possible remedies, including surgery.  I told him that 45% of people that tried a certain surgical remedy experienced recurring symptoms within one year.

He immediately pointed out to me that 100% of people that don't try the remedy are 100% certain of having recurring symptoms within one year.

I hate it when he's right :)