Reframing fear to overcome it and move forward with your goals
Fear is often perceived as bad - but, as Chris Anderson, puts it: “Fear is there for a reason”. It is trying to protect you and keep you safe. If you always do what you have always done, you are staying within your comfort zone; and within your comfort zone there is no fear because, well, it is comfortable! As soon as you try to step outside of this, there is some element of the unknown; something is different to what you have known/done/been before, and you try to protect yourself by pulling back into your comfort zone. Here, in the comfort zone, you are safe, protected...but you will never grow, develop or become who you are meant to be.
So, how do you move from a fear state into a more growth mindset so you can achieve all your amazing goals - whether that is going for a promotion, speaking in public or deciding to get healthier? I think that, if you can reframe fear with the following 7 steps, you can find ways to move past it:
1. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
Check in with yourself - is this fear still true for you? Is this an old belief you can now let go of?
2. What do you want to achieve?
You make decisions by moving towards something or moving away from something. When you are moving towards something you are aiming for your desired outcome, working towards who you want to be or what you want to achieve. When you are moving away from something, you are letting your fear of what you don’t want to be or happen define you and your actions. Make sure your goals are so compelling that you no longer fear what you are losing by achieving them.
3. Get clear on your reasons (and why they are more important than your fears)
Write down your ‘whys’ for you goal. Shift your focus to the positives of the change you are making and fall in love with the you that will achieve this great outcome.
4. Decide how you want to feel
Fear and excitement have exactly the same physical response in the body - sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, increased heart rate...it is just how you label the emotion that changes.
5. Act as if
How would someone who wasn’t afraid be thinking and behaving in this situation? Now think, act, behave as they would!
6. Be positive and nice to yourself!
Why do you feel it is okay to speak to yourself in a way you would never speak to anyone else? Think about how you would help a friend that was afraid of something. What would you say? How would you encourage them? Now give the same advice to yourself.
Set yourself a goal, and set yourself a reward for when you achieve this goal. And then celebrate this when you do achieve it!
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About Lindsey Hood
I am a qualified life and executive coach who specialises in working with successful, talented women who secretly struggle with imposter syndrome. Using a combination of psychometric tools and coaching to deepen self awareness, we work together so you can appreciate your own unique attributes, and then harness this to excel in the career you love.