What are you Afraid of?

Fear plays a significant role in our lives by helping us identify legitimate physical and emotional threats. Many time though, we can feel afraid of situations that are not life threatening. The presentation you have to give this week isn’t life threatening. The meeting with your boss isn’t either.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you do things that add stress to your life unintentionally. I make a conscious choice to deviate from my plan and it means that whatever was displaced then has to be accomplished later. It’s different from procrastination in that I have made the decision to do something that wasn’t planned knowing that it will involve sacrifice. Even though I know that, I can be disappointed in myself if I don’t follow up and get my plan accomplished.

What separates people that succumb to the anxiety and stress from those that effectively cope and get through is often simple self talk. Something you can say to yourself (in your head) when you feel those tell tale signs that trigger our fear. Find a message that you can tell yourself that will get you back on track. At times one simple deviation can turn into a flood of negative feeling and subsequent unproductive behavior all based on the initial fear of what you were facing. 

Accepting the behavior and coming up with a mantra that you can recite to yourself helps bridge the gap back to peace and calm. 

Is it Your Perspective?

When you’re afraid, its nothing more than an opportunity to learn and grow. When you expose yourself or your work to public scrutiny it can be very frightening. Instead of dreading feedback, look forward to it as an chance to improve. You’re about to receive critical information to make your work that much better. When people give you information, its a gift. We all have moments when we produce a dud, it happens. The more we screw up, the more we learn how not to let it happen again. It makes you stronger.

Let’s say you’ve just delivered  a workshop and everyone simply walked out to their next event or speaker. You haven’t learned anything. Now if you get feedback about how it was hard to see your slides, you’ve learned how to improve the presentation next time. Granted, the feedback is not always that simple to take. Sometimes it hurts. If that’s the case, it may take some soul searching and honesty with yourself though it is still an opportunity to get better.

Can you think of a situation you were “afraid” of that ended up turning into an opportunity to learn? Share it with us.

Next time you feel that lump in your throat think about embracing it. Step up to the podium and look forward to hearing feedback, in fact I dare you to ask for it.