One of the challenges in life is the unknown and the consequences of what can happen. It is interesting to see how fear reveals itself and where in life this happens. Fear, though a primal emotion, is a choice.
As a father, coach, and human I experience these fears as much as anyone. My perspective and trust I have built with others though has also gifted me with hundreds of more examples of fear itself. My personal encounters and those of my athletes has shown me the true nature of fear and what can be accomplished with it as your ally.
How you think of fear will define what you can and will accomplish.
I see fear amongst the following areas of life that can impact your happiness and joy. Sharing my own reflections so that you the reader and I, may appreciate the possibilities, even in those most fearful moments.
Fear of unknown
This one I have felt the most when change occurred. Change that would impact my ability to put food on the table, change to a medical condition, and heights are each unique examples to me. These have reappeared countless times.
Unknown though is the constant state of life. We see change and fear the possibilities, but this is short sighted and a tad blind. The possibilities could also become good. We may be fearing something that actually could be wonderful.
To thrive in these situations, my team and self have found the following to be helpful. Imagine the absolute worst possibility — and then ask ‘would I be ok’. If the answer is yes, I let fear dissipate and then work to ensure the positive possibilities are encouraged and kept in my heart.
Fear of consequence
If the unknown is first of fears, then the consequence is second. The anticipation of a penalty or the possible consequence fill our minds too often. An example here is a consequence of playing with our kids on a trampoline, and that resulting in a broken neck. The consequence is imagined and based on a multitude of factors that are possible, yet very hard to occur.
What you visualize that is what you realize. It is true in skiing, swimming, athletics, and yes, business. Therefore, visualizing a train wreck of a relationship or a failing business is a fine way to make it happen.
Consequences are the result of actions — actions, you and I control. So do something about them this moment.
Fear is a choice
If kindness is a choice, love is a choice, attention is a choice, and therefore fear is a choice. I can live with the fear of everything and anything I can imagine. This fear can stir and boil in my body and become stress, and actually cause disease.
Our mind is so powerful that this decision to focus on fear; allow it to enter our world, and then to obsess over it can literally create bad in our lives — forever.
Your mind though can be rewired and focus not on the 2% possible worst case, but instead relish in the 98% possibility of good!
Overcoming and reframing
To build a strong mindset and reframe in these tough real life situations, you need tools and a guide. Here are some that I encourage you to employ to your benefit — both in the present and for your physical health.
- Write down what you are focused on; what you fear
- Write down what are the possible outcomes for what you fear — and what you can control
- If you can control them, now break out actions (a plan that you can execute is the best remedy to change your perception of today and the future)
- Now daily, make sure your actions are prioritized to address these fears, and then you can cross them off your list!
- Write down what you are grateful for at this moment — perspective matters, and it is scientifically proven better that you end your journal on gratitude then a negative
Habits to overcome fear
- If you have a fear coming from a particular event / exercise, then find someone who has successfully navigated it and thrived. Get their advice and perspective
- Don’t complain or gossip — if you find yourself with friends and colleagues stewing on a fearful topic, find other friends or activities to occupy your time
- Workout 30 mins everyday to clear your mind and restless energy
- Sleep 8 hours of sleep the next 10 days, and see how your mood, energy, and fears change
In the end, allowing fear to govern our moments is a choice. Like stifling a laughter in a meeting, stifling fear is a muscle that will put you in control of your own mind and heart.
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I am a father, study of human behavior, strategist, cybersecurity veteran, and a coach and mentor on a journey to give more than I receive everyday. I lead teams globally, build products, and daily an executive for a leading company where I serve the largest companies in the world using the largest cloud deployments in the world impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries. I provide these publications and content through my media agency to deliver insights and advantages. Mindset, mental strength, mentorship, personal improvement, health, fitness, and humanist ideas are drawn from personal research and practice. Everything read and heard is my original works and my own perspective. All rights reserved for noted authors and sources. I produce research and strategy, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on published findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.