Here are a few techniques to help you build your courage and face your fears.
1. Put all remote possibilities out of your mind.
Don’t worry about things you have no control over. Don’t spend your time thinking about all of the bad things that might happen to you. Don’t spend your time plotting and planning ways to make sure these things will never happen.
Courageous people don’t worry about things that are out of their control or things that are unlikely to happen. They concentrate on what they can control.
2. Face your fears before you start something.
Imagine difficult situations before they occur. Make a list of the worst that could happen, and you’ll probably see that the situation is not so bad after all.
A friend of mine lost everything a few years back—her home, cars, possessions, antiques, art, jewelry and credit. She lost it all. Now, on her way back up, whenever she’s faced with a tough decision, she asks herself, What’s the worst that can happen? And guess what, she’s already been through the worst and she survived. It’s not an issue anymore.
You don’t have to lose everything to lose that particular fear. But once you face your fear, you can move on. Once you’ve figured out the worst that could possibly happen, you’ll see that you have the inner strength to deal with it if the worst scenario comes about. And here’s the best part: If you’ve looked at the possibilities beforehand, you’ll probably never be faced with the situation at all. Why? Because you’ve already been through it. By contemplating what might happen, you’ve charted your course to ensure that it doesn’t.
3. Imagine the alternative.
Picture the result of giving into your fears. Really feel the cost of being ruled by fear; then really feel the benefits of courageously following your ambition. Carefully weigh the two and see the difference.
If you’ve been invited to address your national sales convention and are scared to death of public speaking, what should you do? You could decline the invitation, knowing full well that your fears are holding you back. Or you could take some classes, read some books, practice with a friend. See yourself stepping into a whole new league. You’ll be accepting the opportunity to gain more notoriety in your field. And you’ll be increasing your opportunities for future success.
Once again, it’s your choice. Be fueled by your fears, or face your fears. It all depends on how badly you want something. It all depends on how you choose to live your life; do you always want to be afraid of taking the next step, or do you want to build your courage and open the doors of opportunity? I know what my answer would be.
Excerpted from Leading an Inspired Life