How to Overcome Fear – An Easy Way To Try
Is there something you know would be good for you to do but just fills you with dread?
A personal or work situation that you’ve been avoiding but know that once faced, will improve your life?
I’m in that situation right now and so sharing it with you.
How to Overcome Fear – An Easy Way To Try
I was recently talking with a fellow Nutritional Therapist student and was inspired by the fact that she’s been giving local community talks on nutrition and its relationship to body systems for the past year.
She doesn’t give nutritional advice and makes it clear that she’s still a student, but the attendees are keen to know how their body’s work and why they react to certain foods in their everyday diet.
I was inspired on two accounts. Firstly, that she’s supporting and helping her local community by sharing her knowledge and secondly, that she has the balls to stand up in front of people and give a talk!
According to many studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking.
I’ve been toying with the idea of giving a talk to my partner’s office but instead of getting on and preparing it, there always seems something else to do – like a pile of ironing!
So this is a confession.
I’m scared. No. Actually, I’m terrified of speaking in public to strangers.
I’m wobbly enough doing small speeches in front of friends at parties etc. I feel physically weak and nauseous right now at the thought of standing up and speaking to strangers.
What if I forget what to say? What if they think I’m talking crap? What if I’m asked a question I don’t know the answer to? What if people laugh? Yawn? Walk out??? Agghhh!!
However, I also know, having studied the way the mind works through my Mindfulness practice, that this feeling of fear is just my brain’s natural protective response.
It only ‘thinks’ I’m being threatened.
The amygdala, the oldest part of the brain, stores memories related to extreme experiences such as trauma or elation. It also controls the rapid decision making we need when we’re in danger. But sometimes we aren’t actually in any physical danger – our brain pattern matches to past memories of fear, discomfort, embarrassment, shame and says, ‘Oh no! Don’t go there again! Run away! Fast!!’
Why I know How to Overcome Fear
I’ve delved into my memory and I realise my brains’ probably remembering a childhood situation where I suffered awful public embarrassment.
When I was around 10, I’d entered a local talent competition playing an electric piano. ( Yeah I was a bit geeky) I wasn’t a great pianist but I wasn’t that bad. However halfway through my piece I totally forgot where I was and froze holding down one note…
That moment and one note seemed to hang in the air forever…I couldn’t wait to finish and scurry off the stage…I was so embarrassed.
My mind told me I’d screwed up. I’d made a fool of myself. I can’t remember anyone laughing but I felt the tension and amused atmosphere. I felt awful.
So I know that my brain equates getting up in front of people to demonstrate something will be a ‘danger’ to me. It’s simply trying to protect me from future embarrassment.
Why We Must learn How to Overcome Fear
I also know that in order to experience personal growth, we have to get out of our comfort zones. Fear is a signal we are doing just that.
Fear is a good thing. Not just to trigger us to jump out of the way of an oncoming car, but also to notice what’s holding us back; What’s preventing us from making changes in our life that would lead to greater happiness; Enable us to reach our goals and ultimately our dreams.
My dream is to host wellness retreats in stunning locations. So, in order to do that, I have to be able to teach and speak in public.
By taking this first fearful step into public speaking, I’m on my way to achieving my dream. Taking the approach to accept my fear puts me in a stronger position. Fear will never go away as I continue to grow in life so I now chose to feel my fear – and do it anyway!
Read This On How to Overcome Fear
This is a great book I read years ago and highly recommend, by Susan Jeffers; Feel the Fear and do it Anyway’.
Susan sadly passed away in 2012 but her website continues with inspiring ‘Feel the fear’ stories and nuggets of wisdom –
By being mindful, noticing and accepting our fears as they arise and facing them, step by step, we can achieve our dreams.
Care to join me to overcome yours?
I’d love to hear if you’re recently faced or overcome a fear and feel better for it. Do let me know below! X
Photo thanks to: Wokandapix