Connect with your fears through 8 ways to overcome them

This article is a summary of a Success Mastery class that I took from my mentor Robin Sharma. Wanted to share my key learnings from there.

The very fact that if we are humans we are bound to have fears. As fear is a basic emotion as told by Paul Eckman along with Anger, Happiness, Surprise, Sadness and Disgust. It is universally experienced by all humans irrespective of their age, colour, religion etc. Fear takes many forms sometimes in subtle ways such as Needing to always be in control, fear of failure.

As a child I had a fear of public speaking so much so that I would turn down any opportunity to go close to a stage far from the possibility of going and speaking to an audience from there. I also turned down the opportunity to be the school captain thinking that might expose how terrible I am at public speaking and all my fears of blanking out, blurting out non sensical stuff will come true.. From there to reaching a point where whenever there was an event in my MBA college or later on in my companies I was offered to emcee the events. That was a long journey of being vulnerable, acceptance, trying and failing, trying and failing and getting up again with the learnings again and again. I am still learning and doing better than what I was yesterday. The main thing I understood was my fear was shrinking me and my possibilities and the only way to overcome it was to embrace and then face it and then let it run through me enough times that ultimately it had to give up and I could emerge stronger and fearless.

Robin Sharma talks about 11 core fears all humans experience. They are –

  • Fear of Failure (there can be no success without experiencing failure and yet we fear it)
  • Fear of Success (Lives within the realm of your subconscious)
  • Fear of Rejection ( we don’t ask for what we want as we fear rejection)
  • Fear of not being good enough (deep inside we feel like a fraud..goes back to our childhood when some episode led to a core belief being set up and we are still running with it)
  • Fear of not having enough (keeps limiting the choices we make..we get into the habit of overpromising and underdelivering)
  • Fear of Looking Different (leads to self betrayal)
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of being alone (rather than filling our lives from within we fill our lives from outside)
  • Fear of illness (its generally acquired from one of your parents having this fear)
  • Fear of love (when you don’t feel worthy of we reject it before being rejected)
  • Fear of being insignificant

Fears are your signposts of where you need to grow – Robin Sharma

If you want to move to the next level of your greatness then fears are wonderful teachers and yet most of us run away from our fears.

There is a beautiful saying – “What you resist will persist and what you befriend will start to transcend”

There are few tools to overcome fear

  1. Build heightened awareness around your fears – This can be done through journaling, by talking about them, creating an inventory of your fears. Use questions auch as –

What are the fears that are limiting me?

How do they play out in my life.. in my my interactions with people?

  • Validate your fears – Understand where does the fear manifest in your body. For eg tightness in your tummy before speaking in a public setting).. You have to understand that emotions are like a rain storm..they have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • Putting a voice to your fears – Fear is kind of energy and what you resist will always persist
  • Correspondence with Fear – Writing a letter to each fear with as much emotional engagement. Saying the fear will no longer hold you. You will be no longer limited by actually works
  • Execution Intelligence Around Fear – Run towards your fear..than running away from it..its more a behaviour change. Notice the fear and then do the very thing that makes you fearful
  • Tool of Collaging – Have a compelling reason to overcome your fears. Taking images of your best life on a huge board..visit that collage every morning
  • Tell yourself new stories – We think in terms of stories and words and thereby define our reality. Learn to reframe your reality by telling yourself new stories
  • Love – Love is the antedote of fear. Love and fear cannot coexist at the same time. Make your life a celebration

The above 8 tools provide a system to move through your fears so that they begin to loose their power on you and you can move towards your best life.

Remember your greatest life lives on the other side of your fears.

Your coach in possibilities – Parul