Fear as an acronym reads:
I think that looking at fear this way gives us as individuals all the power back. How often have we been controlled by our fear? Whether it’s the people afraid to fly who never get a chance to see the world, or the outstanding employee who is underpaid because he/she is afraid to ask for a raise. Fear is one of those emotions that can completely debilitate a person, but, I’ve found a way to combat that.
Jack Canfield, author, trainer and motivational speaker extraordinaire addresses FEAR in his book The Success Principles. What he suggests is write down all the things that you are afraid of doing. Not what you’re afraid, so, not, “I’m afraid of spiders” but “I’m afraid of picking up a spider”. From there take your fear and rewrite in a different way. So, using our spider example he suggest you write:
I want to pick up a spider, and I scare myself by imagining that it will bite me.
Here’s some more common fears expressed in this new way:
I want to ask for a raise and I scare myself by imagining that I will be yelled at or fired.
I want to go skiing and I scare myself by imagining that I will fall and get hurt.
I want to go skydiving and I scare myself by imagining that my parachute won’t open….
So, my question is: if you are able to imagine a negative outcome in such a way that you become so scared you won’t even attempt to do whatever it may be, could you, imagine a positive outcome for the same activity? And if you could imagine a positive outcome could that positive image empower you and give you the courage necessary for you to DO whatever it is that you want to do?
So back to the spider, the FEAR you imagine probably goes something like this… this horrible experience where it crawls up your arm and down your shirt and that gets you all squirmy and scared. So, could you close your eyes and imagine picking up the spider and holding it gently in your hand, looking closely at it, admiring in awe the small size of the spider, but, yet the detail in the eyes, the hair, the legs, the body etc? Do you see that the image that we hold is so important when it comes to the action we do or don’t take? And that image is something WE form in our mind. Therefore we definitely have control over what image we chose to see.
Try this exercise. Write down all the things you are afraid of doing. Then rephrase them in the way the examples indicate above. Then close your eyes and imagine a different outcome to doing whatever it is you’re afraid of. If skydiving is what you’re afraid of, see yourself, in your mindseye, sailing effortlessly through the air, taking in all the sights and sounds, floating with the assistance of your parachute, observing the sheer awesomeness of being 10,000 feet above the earth. Start to make this the new image you see when you imagine the outcome of a skydiving adventure.
I look forward to your comments.