I am certain that most of you have many fears in your lives, some have been there forever and some are situational or conditional. My question is, has anyone of you thought of doing some FEAR SETTING, make plans to overcome fears corresponding to the goals, finances, family & things that are in your CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE?
I usually review my goals on SMART checklist, as a best practice learned in my 11+ years of corporate experience. Recently, while reviewing my goals, I ticked a lot of things out of the checklist, until I stumbled upon a thought that got me THINKING.
I was left DUMFOUNDED to realize that I am nowhere addressing MY FEARS, such as what if I fall short on targets, experience a loss of credibility, or even worse if I don't get paid. Evidently, I had a few fears but never did it cross my mind that it's critical to acknowledge them. Real achievers, take everything into account while setting themselves any target.
I thought of doing a fear-check, so in one of my sessions in an MBA college, I threw a few questions to my audience -
- How many of you dream? Apparently, I saw 99% hands going up. I followed up with another question -
- How many think they will achieve their dreams? c85% of them had their hands up, with my next question -
- How many of you have no fears or inhibitions to realize your dreams? astonishingly only 2% hands stayed up.
This was a huge revelation, in a room filled with a couple of hundreds, 98% people assumed that their fears will not let them turn their dreams into a reality. This made me think of a quote aptly put by Seneca,
WE SUFFER MORE OFTEN IN IMAGINATION THAN IN REALITY
So what can be done? I did some research on this subject and out of the limited information that I could find, the primary action was simple, believe that you can overcome your FEARS!
Further in my research, I found that similar to goal setting, FEAR SETTING is all about envisaging the most horrible thing that could happen which may prevent you from taking a certain action around your goals and creating plans to attack those fears.
Be honest, not many of you share your fears with more than one person at most, some may do it with a couple, but that's it. The majority of you like to keep your fears within and letting it make us weak from inside. Instead, why not make a plan to address those fears and take necessary actions to become strong.
A few of you may debate, it is all about the mind and how we condition it, some may make easy choices but lead a hard life and ones who want to defeat their fright, will make difficult choices to lead an easy life.
However, it is not always easy to control your mind or choices. Ask yourself a simple question, would you like to make FEAR your companion or rather have the arsenal to explode it. If I was you, I would choose the latter.
To overcome your fears, let's look my interpretation of a methodology (post my research), which can be useful and close to reality, I call it -
LOOK IN THE EYE OF THE FEAR APPROACH
A simple three step approach to knowing your fears, make plans for them and crush them to some extent, if not eliminating them completely
Foremost, like in goal setting, WRITE all your fears down in three sections discussed below. Every factor, that gives you anxiety, makes you nervous, don't let you perform at your best. It can be fear of failure, stage fright, addressing team concerns, a sales pitch, proposing someone and so on.
List your fears three columns, Classify - all those fears relating to your next move or a long term decision, Avert - all those things you can do to prevent it partially or completely and Fix - what can you do to resolve issues IF your fear comes true, be it taking help or preparing in advance for it.
Second, ASSESS the possible benefits or favorable outcomes of the goals that you are setting or something you are about to commit too, like marriage or a relocation or blogging :). Once you begin evaluating, you will find strong reasons to back yourselves, many call it a "driving force". When you become passionate about your goals or dreams, when you find your motive, when you get your purpose, fears begin to lose its impact. So spend good enough time thinking about this step and tabulate them under Eventual Benefit - Interim Benefit - Initial Benefit. (you can replace benefit with anything like loss, results)
Lastly, REFLECT, what can be the consequences of not following your goals or dreams? The effects can be physical, emotional, mental, financial among others over the future, say 6 months to 1 year, in some cases, it can be for life as well. The example I use often is "I Wish...".
Things that you wished you could do or would like to do but you hold back because of some or other fear. So, ensure to know what is at stake or what will you lose out on if you succumb to your fears. Use LOOK IN THE EYE OF THE FEAR APPROACH
I often motivate myself by saying, it is better to follow my dreams than to regret of not following them, later.
Addressing your fears at the right time can assist you with creating tangible action plans to overcome them which can then make it easier for you to accomplish your goals or dreams. My advice to you all out there is, tie up the Fear Setting exercise alongside the Goal Setting drill at regular intervals.
So, what are you waiting for,
CONQUER YOUR FEAR, MAKE YOUR DREAMS A REALITY
What do you do to FIGHT YOUR FEARS?
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