First things first - if you feel fear when you think about doing something new or something that you lack experience in, you are not alone.
In fact, you are very normal.
Fear itself serves to protect us from harm. It serves to keep us alive. For this reason, it's only natural to fear the unknown.
Unfortunately however, in today's world, we can very easily let this fear blow out of proportion.
Let's take the fear of of meeting new people (in a safe context) or speaking up in front of a group.
On a physical level, we know that these are not 'high risk' activities. In other words, our chances of survival are pretty much 100%.
But on a mental-emotional level, it's a different story.
We know that we could 'fail' or 'mess up.' We know that we could get judged, rejected or humiliated.
The more we focus on these potential scenarios, the more fear we feel (even if the chances of them happening are still pretty low).
So how do we override this?
As you might have guessed (and feared!), the quickest and most effective way to get rid of that fear is to actually go and do the scary thing...multiple times!
But here's the strategy that most people forget or underestimate...
Consistent baby steps are powerful. The reason being is that they create a compound effect, meaning that each time you take a step, you get to grow your confidence (along with skill and expereince) gradually.
Compare this to not taking any action at all, and it's a no brainer!
So when we look at overriding the fear of meeting new people or speaking up in front of a group, one baby step could be to smile and say hello to someone new at a gathering, or to share your ideas to two people you know well.
Once you feel comfortable doing this, your next step could be asking to exchange numbers with someone you'd like to become better friends with, or sharing your opinion in a slightly larger group.
As you repeat each step, you'll notice your confidence grow and your fear lessen (just think about how you felt when you had your first driving lesson or your first day at work compared to now).
Fear will rise again - this is normal!
When you've overcome your fear in one area, it's only natural that you will want to grow further, for example, meeting new people in different contexts or talking to large groups online. When you think about doing these things, fear will rise again. This is normal!
Aside from breaking your goal down into baby steps and planning when you'll take them (so that you're consistent!) you can also reframe your fear by:
- Focusing on what you will gain from doing the scary thing. Make a list of all the things!
- Seeing mistakes and failures as valuable opportunities to learn (and a part of being human)! Embrace them!
- Acknowledging that there's a first time for everything and it's totally normal to feel some fear (even professionals get nervous).
- Remembering where you are - on a planet floating in a mind-blowing universe! Visualise yourself zooming out into space and view your fear from that perspective.
Over to you
What is something that scares you but that deep down you'd love to try or get better at?
What one baby step are you willing to take and when? (Remember to repeat this step until you're ready to stretch yourself a bit more!)
If you don't state it, you won't do it ;)
Let this be your motivation to stop waiting and start doing!
If you'd like support and accountability to overcome your fears and grow your confidence, drop me a message and together we'll explore the best plan of action to fulfil your goals!