If you experience fear and anxiety, you probably avoid the things that make you feel uncomfortable. For instance, if you don’t like crowds or if socializing makes you feel anxious, then you may choose to avoid crowds, like going out on a holiday or shopping during peak times.
Yes, this might be the most natural thing to do, but here’s the problem. The problem is that avoidance increases or intensifies anxiety. You may not realize it, but when you avoid something because of fear, the relief of not having to deal with your fear is your biggest reward. And it’s addictive too. So, if this time you feared large crowds, by avoiding the fear, you decreased your threshold to that fear.
And because it gave you an instant reward, you’re more likely to avoid it again. If large crowds make you uncomfortable, soon smaller crowds will begin to do the same. And with time, your avoidance will push you to a point where the mere sight of people or thought of engaging in the slightest conversation might put you through a panic attack. Identifying and acting against your fears will help you overcome the fear as well as any anxiety that might have accompanied it.
With plenty to benefit, it makes sense that you try.
Identifying Your Fears
To face your fears, you must first know what exactly you fear. What is it that troubles you the most? What accelerates your anxiety?
- Reflect on your top five fears ‐ the ones that are coming in the way of your goals and the ones you want to do something about.
- Where do they come from? What are the situations and events that bring on these fears?
- What’s the worst that can happen? Imagine them. Describe it in words
- Take your time and don’t rush through the experience.
- Review your answers when you are ready.
Acting against Your Fears
Taking the Step‐Up Approach
- Pick the least feared item from your List.
- Create steps that will help you overcome your fear.
- Take time to reflect on your plan. Keep it real and in order.
- Take time to execute your plan and face your fear, tracking your progress until the fear doesn’t bother you anymore.
- Again, don’t rush and take your time to live‐in the experience. Embrace the changes that come with it.
Create and Execute Your Plan
Great, so you’ve tapped into your strengths, recognize what you want and have laid out goals that will keep you busy. What next?
Well, you create a formidable plan to materialize those deliverables.
Your ability to set up a quick, direct and fool proof action plan for your goals is what is going to see you through the finish line. If you walk into the game with just the right cards in your pocket, you’ve got yourself a winner at the very beginning.
Consider Every Aspect That Might Influence, Conflict or Jeopardize Your Plan
Brainstorm on a properly written plan that lists out specific details of your action steps and deadlines. There is nothing such as an ideal plan. Your plan is only as good as your thoughts are today.
The more you learn, the more your plan is likely to change. Take time to prioritize your action steps and the sequence they are likely to follow. Treat it as the blueprint of your road to success. The more groundwork you invest in it, the more fool‐proof and success‐oriented it becomes.
Be Mindful of Any possible Setbacks, But Don’t Let Them Wear You Down
What if an old fear comes back? What if the anxiety comes back? Will they come back?
Truth is, we don’t know. Each person’s anxiety and experience are different. They might, but even if they do, you now know how to get on top of them. Don’t let the fear of evoking a fear drain you out. You have better things to focus on. Stay positive. You’ve got this.
No Need to Hurry
Remember‐while this might be about achieving your goals, it is also about overcoming your anxiety. You do not want to create a situation where you’ve taken more than you can chew.
You’re in this for a lifetime, it’s always going to be work‐in‐ progress. But each day, you’re better than what you were yesterday.
Know When You’ve Tried Too Long
Because anxiety forces your thought process to be rigid, it can sometimes make you persist on tasks even when you know they aren’t working out. Recognize the signs that you need to stop persisting.
It’s Okay to Fall. Fail Too
No one is perfect and there is no ideal plan. Keep asking yourself what’s working and what’s not? If you think you’re missing the bus and there’s scope for improvement, don’t be ashamed to get back to the drawing board and start over again. You’ll be surprised by the wave of new ideas coming your way.
Realign Your Plan. Improvise Too
Always ask yourself, “Is there a better way around?” When you stay open to new ideas, you leave room for creativity and growth.
Complete What You’ve Taken
Uncertainty can trigger a degree of anxiety in most people. But for a person suffering from anxiety, any sense of uncertainty, whether it comes from a space of unfinished tasks or repeated failures, can trigger the worst symptoms. Your anxious mind is probably waiting for a chance to bounce back in and take control. And it will try to do so.
The key is to be aware of this, but not get perturbed by it. Complete what you’ve taken and only move ahead when you’ve finished your previous task. The joy of seeing through a project from start to end will give you the confidence to win over anxiety for good.
Become a Better Version of You
Once you’ve created your plan and find it executing rather well, it’s time you reach out for brighter and more rewarding pastures. You’ve worked hard to make it so far, now, it’s time to capitalize on your achievements and make advancements. Experiment ideas and invent them too. Be a game‐changer.
When you’ve channelized your energies in the right place and know you have things going for you, you’ll leave no room for anxiety or fear to enter your life.