Addressing fear


Scared child

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Fears are normal and natural  The goal in life is not necessarily to replace all fears but rather to acknowledge them in a way that allows us to move forward with life.  Today we will look at addressing an individual’s fears.  While we are all unique and the severity of our fears may vary, here are a few steps to concede.

Identify your feelings.  Give something a name can give it less power over us.  Often our fears exist more in our minds than in our environment.   Some fears are realistic. As Helen Spielman states “As human beings, we are unable to control our feelings, but we can control our thoughts. ” [1]  If possible, learn how others have overcome similar fears. For example, if you suffer from stage fright, do a Google search on the topic and consider Performance Anxiety Coaching as a resource.

Once an emotion & source are identified, you can begin to confront your fears. This requires courage (action in the face of fear).  The following questions may be useful at this stage including [2]:

  • Does my fear serve a purpose?
  • In what ways is my fear manifested?
  • What is the apparent trigger of this fear?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen?
  • What does the fear keep me from doing?
  • What is the benefit of decreasing my fear of _____?
  • What is it I would like to do?
  • What would I like to replace the fear?

Begin taking action.  For some this means searching for professional help.  There is no failure in asking for help.  For others, it is identifying small steps towards realistic goals they can take.  Those steps may include the following:

  1. Become aware of negative thoughts.  “We all have automatic thoughts that constantly pass through our minds, and research has shown that eighty percent of our daily thoughts are negative.” [1].
  2. Use positive statements or affirmations can be used to replace the negative chatter.
  3. Visualizations of responding to a situation in a positive manner can also be of assistance.
  4. Realize you make mistakes and can fall back into old patterns of behavior.
  5. Take a minute to breathe full, deep breaths while concentrating on your breath.  It will help calm your brain.

Empower yourself to move forward into a more joy filled life.  And, be watching for the next post on Music & Fear.

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[1] Spielman, Helen “Discipline, Exercise Can Conquer Stage Fright”, Pan Pipes vol 102, No. 3, [2] “Tackling Fears” (accessed online Sept. 20, 2010)

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