Fear, uncertainty, doubt, anxiety - it's all real and we deal with daily. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states there are over 40 million adults in the USA alone (over 18% of the population) that has an actual anxiety disorder. Fear is crippling us. So how do we deal with this and live a life that's thriving? Is it possible? What follows are four easy steps to overcome the feelings and thoughts that starve us of a fulfilling life.
Many of us simply want to avoid fear and feelings of anxiety. We're programmed and wired this way. Our brain has a direct response to situations where we filter the situation through our amygdala and decide: fight, flight, appease or freeze. That's our natural instinct.
Most of us are familiar with goal setting. We hear of New Year's resolution, goal setting programs and more. These are great to spur us to action and making a plan. But many times our goals have real fears and anxiety associated with them. Can I really do this? Should I even try to accomplish this big task or goal? Am I capable? I propose we add these four easy steps to overcome our fear and emotions and move to greater action.
Step #1 - Address It.
Name your fear or whatever it is you need to overcome. It's fun and easier to name a goal or objective. But there is power in naming and addressing the fear or feelings holding us back. What is it you need to say on paper? Get the feeling out of your mind and proclaim it on paper. Fear of failure? Risk of success? Inadequacy? Losing control? Of the unknown? What is it that you can address and name? Put it on paper and address this question - what's are some of the worst things that can happen?
Step #2 - Manage It.
The second of the four easy steps to overcome fear is to manage it. Take the list of what you wrote down from above. You addressed these worst things that could happen. (Notice: could, not will.) Now go on to figuring out and finding ways to manage this potential risk. What or who do you have that could help alleviate this damage? What can you do to control this - before, during or after it could happen? This moves us out of the fear-based paralysis and gets us thinking creatively of ways to define how you can stop or limit each thing above from happening.
Step #3 - Fix It.
Next, if the worst actually happened, how would you repair its outcome? What could you do to fix the fallout? How can you creatively repair and restore the situation?
Step #4 - Quantify It.
First, what are the benefits of taking this action (as opposed to staying stuck and frozen)? What could partial or full success look like by moving forward? Did you realize you accomplished far more than you anticipated simply by listing out the goal and addressing the underlying fear that may have held you back? What does that feel like for success?
Also, quantify the bad. Quantify and label what inaction could keep costing you. If you did nothing - and stayed paralyzed - what does 1 year or 5 years down the road look like? Try to quantify it in terms of income lost, relationship stalled, health deteriorating, X potential missed, etc.
You've done a lot more work than anyone else who even is a self-proclaimed goal-setter. By taking these four easy steps to overcome fear, uncertainty and doubt you've made major progress. How can you justify not taking action now? Go for it!
If you haven't already, download this free FUD Factor exercise which includes the pages and four easy steps mentioned above.