Sunday, July 22, 2018

Fear Is Fake News So Change The Channel From Fear To Courage In 5 Simple Steps

Fear is Fake News!!

Remember this... The broadcast of fear often blasts on all channels of our minds whenever it wants. The good news is that we can change the channel anytime by simply focusing on something else. 

One of the greatest showstoppers in life is fear. Fear of the known. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of staying the same. Fear of (whatever). Most of the time fears are unfounded and are a waste of precious time. 

So what does it take to change the channel? How can fears be managed or eliminated? When are fears important?

Fear Factors Into Our Survival

Human beings are equipped with everything we need to live, to grow, and to achieve all that we were built for. Fear is designed to keep us safe and to ensure that we are able to deliver our unique contributions. 

Fear is broadcast across two of the most complex and powerful human systems - the body and the mind. When fear is on full blast we often experience discomfort as physical manifestations like sweatiness, anxiousness, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, butterflies, fainting spells, confusion, or disorientation. These physical reactions tell us to fight or flee and it is up to us which way we decide to go on a moment's notice. 

Our responses to fear developed in our primitive limbic system before we had an executive decision-making function in our brains. It is important for us to understand this fact as we learn how to reroute fear signals through our cognitive and sensory centers while leveraging our fear instincts to our advantage.


It takes up to 400 milliseconds (ms) for the brain to process incoming information to the stage where it may become conscious. It takes a similar amount of time to prepare the body for action. So if we waited to be conscious of a sight or sound before starting to respond to it, our behavior would lag almost a second behind the events to which we are responding. By the time we leapt out of the path of a speeding car, it is likely to have run us over.


Change The Channel From Fear To Courage In 5 Simple Steps

Mastering the art of using fear to our advantage takes time. Primal fear responses often causes us to respond to uncomfortable situations as if we are in mortal danger when we may simply be preparing for a presentation or trying something new for the first time. 

To change the channel from fear to courage, we need to understand the context of fear quickly. Here's how.


Step 1: Identify Your Fears

What are you afraid of? Unless you are in real mortal danger, slow down and assess your fears to better understand why they are present. Fear helps us to prepare for the unfamiliar just as it alerts us to danger. The goal is to ensure that your fear response is used in the right context by understanding what your fear is telling you.


Step 2 - Ask yourself "What's the worst that can happen?"

We already know that most time spent in fear is wasted time since most fears do not materialize. What's the worst that can happen? Review the possibilities and accept that the worst is not THE worst thing in the world. So what if you do not get what you want in the moment. Move on to the next thing. There are always plenty of other options to be explored.


Step 3 - Prepare for the worst outcomes

Now that you know the worst possible outcomes, you are empowered to come up with alternatives before the worst can happen. This is where fear is quite useful - by helping us to prepare ahead of time. From here on it is lights - camera - action!!


Step 4 - Practice for the best outcomes

With the worst outcomes in check, now it's time to practice for the best outcomes. Practice, practice, practice. What if you actually get what you want when you want it? Are you ready to receive it? Sometimes we paralyze ourselves with fear so much that we fail to prepare for positive outcomes. Get on the other side of fear as quickly as possible and stay there. 


Step 5 - Step into courage with confidence

Courage is acting in spite of fear. One of the best ways to make our fears disappear is to move towards them while taking action. Confidence is gained through repetition. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until you feel courage with confidence. Conquering fear requires understanding your fears and putting them in check.


There is a common saying that FEAR is "False Evidence Appearing Real." Remember this when fear starts to broadcast on your channels again. You have the power to change the channel from fear to courage anytime you choose.

Here's to your empowerment!!


…until next time, count to 10 & make it count!!


Lillian Gregory is a passionate advocate for 21st Century Leadership with special focus on Women in LeadershipWomen in Technology, and US Veterans and Spouses. She provides research, strategies, tools, workshops, and events to help close leadership and career strategy gaps. Download your eBook from The Institute for Human and Leadership Excellence and get ready to climb!
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