When you look at successful, confident people, they may look like in full control of their lives, with freedom from fear. In truth, though, fear attacks everyone, even the most confident, successful person. There is no absolute freedom from fear, but there is freedom from paralyzing fear. This is what successful people enjoy that others do not.
What is paralyzing fear? It is a great fear that stops you from doing something to achieve what you want. For example, a paralyzing fear of rejection can stop you from asking for that raise or from asking out that person you like. A paralyzing fear of looking stupid, meanwhile, may prevent you from asking that seemingly stupid but actually important question.
So what do you do to have freedom from fear, particularly from paralyzing fear? First, realize the real definition of fear. Motivational speakers and authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen said fear stands out for Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.
You create that negative outcome in your mind. As an exercise, the two authors recommend you to complete this sentence: I would really like to _________ and I scare myself by imagining ___________. The key words here are “scare myself.” You create your fear.
To check your fear, ask yourself, “Logically, what is the worst that could happen?” It may not be as bad as what you are worrying about. Fear actually magnifies the negativity of any possible outcome.
Then, imagine the best thing that could happen. Picture this very vividly in your mind. Ask yourself, “Is this not worth it for me to take action?”
Canfield and Hansen also advise taking a new perspective. If you fail, you really have not lost anything – you are just back where you started. But if you succeed, think about all the good things that will happen!
In fact, rejection can actually be a good thing. If you ask for a raise and did not get it, you are just back at your regular salary. And, if you took the rejection positively and asked for your boss’ feedback on what you should do to get a raise, you will most likely get it next time. But if you do not ask, you do not gain anything!
The only way to have freedom from fear is to not allow yourself to get paralyzed by it. Focus on the outcome you want and take action!
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