Acknowledge Your Fears
If you can’t be honest with yourself about what you’re afraid of, how can you begin to confront such fears? Research has found that acting fearlessly involves having an understanding of one’s owns limitations and anxieties. Making the choice to work towards overcoming these obstacles is the next step.
Mark Taylor, a psychologist for the US Navy, researched Olympic athletes to see what sort of strategies they employed to stay positive. Taylor found that several athletes visualized their goals ahead of time and also reassured and self-affirmed themselves often. These athletes were better able to cope with the overwhelming pressures of competition and expectations to succeed.
Fear and stress often come wrapped disdainfully in the same ugly package. Learn to unwrap them and cope by exercising, practicing meditation and yoga, or setting aside time to think about these issues. By allowing yourself to probe your deepest fears and learn about them, you can learn how they work and how to keep them at bay for the day, and/or confront and solve them.
Expose yourself to your fears by forcing yourself to face what you’re afraid of; whether it’s singing in front of an audience or serving food to the homeless. Psychologist Noam Shpancer said, “The only way out is through.” Repeated exposure to such seemingly nerve racking activities can dull your fear response and make the stage fright more manageable.
Practice Acts of Courage
Like patience, or your brain, or a bicep, courage is like a muscle and gains strength through being used and tested. You can develop character by practicing courageous acts like stepping out of your shell to do something you once thought was out of your reach. Courage often involves the risk of putting yourself out there, of being vulnerable, and of failing. Instead of looking at these factors negatively, think of the wonderful lessons you’ll have learned and of the stories you’ll have to tell.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
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