Overcoming Fear

Calum MacRae Jun 19, 2020

This excerpt and exercise is taken from The Coaching Institute.

Fear is in us all. It is how we deal with fear that changes the outcomes and results that we achieve. Fear stems from, and was a necessary requirement to keep us alive, back when we were hiding from predators in our caves. If we saw the grass moving in a different motion, then we knew that there may be a lion or predator stalking us and we had to act. In Western society, we rarely have those life and death fears and so we have created fears of the ego and turned them into the life and death decisions of our ancestors.

You cannot be free of fear; the key is how to deal with fear so that it empowers you and enables you to grow.

  • We are all doing the best we can with the resources available to us
  • We are all worried about whether we are good enough
  • When we come together, we realise that we all share these characteristics

Our main fears at a high level

  1. Am I good enough and will I be judged?
  2. Will I belong?
  3. Am I loved?

If you knew you could handle whatever life had to offer, what would you attempt or endeavour to do? You would be unstoppable………….

There is nothing to be gained in spending time working out why we are fearful, we don’t spend time studying what is wrong. Do the opposite and work out what we should be doing.  

Most people will

  • Wait for the fear to go away
  • Wait for the courage to turn up
  • Put off acting because of the fear but they have no strategy to get rid of it, so they remain perpetually stuck.

As a result, we come up with excuses or ‘reasons’ for things staying stuck:

  • It’s not the right time
  • I’m too busy
  • My kids are …………..
  • I have to …………….. first

And then the years pass and you have become far too afraid to actually act. The more you focus on the fear and the symptoms of the fear, the greater the issue becomes. You stop believing that you can do it and, as a consequence, you take no action reinforcing that the ‘thing’ is something to be concerned about. Your self-esteem takes a beating and therefore the fear becomes larger. This can lead to learned helplessness and even depression.  This is the wheel of fear and it continues to grow and gather momentum.

The Only Antidote

  • Fear cannot go away simply by willing it or waiting for it to fade
  • We must face the task that we think causes the fear and do the thing
  • Courage is only needed when we do something…. It is not needed sitting on the couch watching TV waiting to feel brave; its needed only when we act.


Fear Self-awareness Exercise

What word do you relate to most out of the following list that is a symptom of when you are fearful?

  • Anger.              Guilt                   Defeated
  • Out of Control   Confused            Overwhelmed
  • Victimised         Threatened         Impatience   
  • Exhaustion        Procrastination    Self- Righteousness
  • Misunderstood   Paranoid             Paralysed
  • Shame              Guilt                   Defeated
  • Out of Control    Confused            Overwhelmed
  • Victimised          Threatened
  • Other ……………………………..

Now study the following list of words 

  • Selfish                Stupid                 Weak
  • Incomplete         Ordinary              A Loser
  • Fake                   Lazy                   Invisible
  • Rejected             Dishonest            Other………………..

Pick the word from this list that gives you the most intense reaction when used in the following sentence.

“If someone that I love, admire and respect was to think that I was …………………… I would be devastated”

This is what you are most afraid of.

When you know what you are most afraid of, you are better prepared to create a proactive choice and response rather than having a knee jerk response or reaction to the fear. We have a choice in what we do.

Contact the EBS team for more information, or if you have any questions about any of the concepts discussed this month. Fear does not have to win - we are here to help you manage your worries and develop strategies to suit you and your business.

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