How to use fear to gain confidence.
We tend to avoid conflict, stress, pain, discomfort to feel safe and happy. But if you want to grow your confidence, you have to seek all of the above.
Fear is the favorite weapon of the fearless.
You will encounter different forms of fear every day. If you live life trying to avoid them you will find ease but might miss an adventure. You can sit on the couch and feel safe but you might miss being alive. Fear is the favorite weapon of the fearless. You have to learn to use it to become the master of your fears. Here are 10 ways to think about dealing with fear.
- Be open to losing the first round to fear.
Fear will strike first. Always. It will strike you when you least expect or want it. It will come in different forms. It will come as news, an email, a phone call, a calendar appointment.
2. Fear gets its power from withholding the entire truth. It will scare you with half-truths and semi-knowns.
Fear will always hide. We fear what we don’t know. Have the courage to open the envelope of fear and read the text on the page. It will melt your fear away. You will just have a challenge that you need to solve.
3. Fear will make you feel physically weak.
Fear thrives on your strength. It feeds off your strength. The more you feel weak, the stronger fear gets. Feel the weakness. Then act on it. Say that you feel weak and then act on it. Feel weak in the gym and then act on it. Feel weak when you are about to ask a girl out and then ask her. Let the feeling of fear enter you and then move with it. Use the fear as the wind to push your sail. Welcome the wind of fear.
4. Fear loves inaction.
Fear thrives in still waters. It loves if you freeze and hide. It loves to drown you into its quicksand. Fear wants you to give up. Fear wants you to freeze.
Breathe away your inaction. Tell yourself, on the 5th breath I will do what I fear.
5. Fear comes as a gang.
Fear is never alone. It comes with many moving parts. E.g. your fear of public speaking is a bundle of fears- I might forget my lines… I might lose the flow of thoughts… I will pronounce the words badly…my attire might make people dislike me…etc.etc.etc.
Tackle each fear one at a time. Take action on the weakest fear first. Gain confidence on each step of the fear ladder, when you get to the toughest fear factor you might find that you were afraid of the bundle and not of any single fear by itself. You have to decide to fight your fears one at a time. Go after only the things that you can control. The things that you can see. Tame the bit you can and leave the rest for tomorrow. Go after your fear one day at a time. Don’t try to defeat it in one go. One step at a time.
6. Amplify your worst-case fear.
Next time you feel some kind of hesitation or self-doubt. Stop and watch it. Ask yourself — what is the worst that could happen if what I fear came true. Then ask -What would you do if the worst came true? Then ask -what can I do right now to test if I might be wrong about my worst-case scenario? You will find an answer that is rooted in courage and will give you clues to make your next move in faith and not in fear.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You can say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
7. You have to start walking towards your fear.
You have to feel fear and yet walk towards it. If you are afraid of heights and want to get freedom from them. Then you have to commit to climbing a mountain. Just because you want to rid yourself of the fear. If you are afraid of talking to women then you have to walk into a room full of them. To feel the fear first and then figure out how to deal with it.
“To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
― Taylor Swift
8. Find the reason why fear is being unfair.
Treat fear like a bully. Identify what is unfair about fear. Is fear being unfair about your ability or your freedom or your sense of justice? Fight the injustice of fear. Fight fear as if it was bullying your little sister. Go after it because it's unfair.
9. Fear is selfish — it dissolves under the light of service.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
― Audre Lorde
Make all acts of your life an act of service to help someone. Fear can’t survive when you act in service.
10. Fear hates to love.
Fear contracts while love expands. Self-love, as well as compassion, are great antidotes to fear. The more you fill yourself with compassion for yourself and compassion for humanity the less space fear will have in your life.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
― John Lennon
Our minds are designed to make us afraid to protect and preserve ourselves. But the same mind is designed to make us dream and grow. Listen to them both but act in the favor of the second- your higher mind.