Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's in your resource tool kit to address fear?

What do you do when fears start to get a grip on your heart? Sometimes fear starts out small—and when we don't address it, it just gets bigger and bigger until it feels as though an elephant is sitting on our chest.

It's smart to have a resource tool kit that's unique to you—things that help you move past the fear and do what it is you're wanting to do. If you have such a kit, you don't have to stew and spend lots of time stuck. You can look through your tool kit and choose something that feels just right for you to do at the time.

First of all, of course, you have to be willing to look at the fear. Look it right in the eye. What does it feel like? What is it about? Break it down into small pieces. Once you know more about the specific qualities of your fear, you'll be able to choose. What might you have in your resource tool kit to address fear?

• Call a friend with whom you can talk about the fear. Sometimes another person can "talk you off the ledge" and you won't jump deeper into the fear.
• Examine the fear objectively. See whether the fear is realistic. Often it's not. Run through the scenarios, one by one, that you fear. If this particular thing occurs, what will it mean for you? Can you manage it? Survive it? That can greatly reduce or even eliminate some of the fear. Generally, when we look closely, things aren't as bad as we fear.
• List the strengths, qualities and other resources you have to face whatever you fear. You might surprise yourself!
• Focus on whatever goal you have in which fear has become an obstacle. Focusing on the goal rather than the fear often can motivate you to move beyond fear.
• Take one small step beyond the fear. For example, if you fear drowning, sign up for swimming lessons. Actually, that's more than a small step! Once you move outside your comfort zone even a bit, you'll gain confidence for doing more of that.
• Engage in some relaxation exercises or meditation to change your mindset.

These are only a few resources. What would you add to the list?

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