"Be Fearless" it seems to be the modern mantra for millennials, along with 'Stay Strong' 'Positive Vibes Only', 'Sorry not sorry', 'NFLTG', just to list a few. These empowerment phrases and soundbites recently got me thinking...
Why be fearless?
What does it really mean, to be fearless? Why is it so vital to our modern day existence?
With so much going on around us (just watch the news) I guess fearlessness is actually vital these days, otherwise no one would venture out of their homes.
We must and should carry on as normal, so from that perspective I agree with being fearless.
Fear is Good so why not embrace it!
Fear is required for self preservation. I don't believe that any one is ever truly 'fear-less'. Instead, I think that people who appear 'fearless' have actually recognised that fear is good, they have learnt how to embrace it rather than punching it in the face while shouting "NOT TODAY FEAR" :D
Let us join the conquerors
Fearless people are not devoid of fear, in fact they are filled with just as much fear as anyone else. What they've mastered is how to conquer their fears and say, "I feel you fear, but I'm winning this one today'. They know that to feel the fear is a form of self acceptance and they have a deeper connection with themselves because of it.
How to conquer fear (fake fearlessness)
1. Foresee fear
Having that awkward conversation with someone, starting a new project, going for a job interview, asking someone on a date. These are all fear inducing situations and some people will have a much greater degree of fear compared to others.
- Take time to acknowledge a fear inducing situation, visualise yourself in that situation. Visualisation is by far my favourite method, really go to town and imagine being in the interview and having someone sat across from you, or being that keynote speaker and having a sea of audience members in front of you. See it, hear it, feel it. When you are actually in the situation for real your brain will feel like it's in familiar territory, which can help you feel safe.
- Keep a calendar or planner (a physical item if possible) so you can visually see what is coming up in your life. I don't keep a real world calendar or planner but I use my smart phone calendar ALL THE TIME. I set alerts for 2 days before the event and one a hour before. I also check my calendar regularly to see what's coming up the week ahead.
- Rationalise your fear, why do you feel the way you do, is there something in your past (or someone else's past) which is the cause of your fear, are you worrying about the 'what ifs'?
2. Make a plan
Everyone has heard the phrase 'fail to plan, plan to fail', this is particularly true when it comes to fear inducing situations.
Instead of worrying about the 'what ifs' plan for them. I like to have a 'Plan A' and then the back up 'Plan B'. I find this really helps to alleviate any fears caused by the unknown. You can have a wild card 'Plan C' too if you want, whatever helps you to take comfort in the situation.
- Think about the best case and worst case scenarios.
- List out viable solutions to the worst case scenarios e.g. 'if ..... happens, I can do ..... instead'. I love the 'if this then that' approach, it's almost like a cocky teenager who has an answer for everything!
3. Take action
Once you have acknowledged your fear, done your visualisations, made an 'if this then that' plan for any potential shit storms then you're good to go take action! Move ahead despite your fears.
What's more, because you have taken the steps above you won't be in a reactive (fight or flight) state so you're less like to f*ck up .
Go on the date, conquer the job interview, ace the keynote speech.
But there's one more thing, the instant confidence boosting trick. Power posing! Yup, power posing.
Power Posing WTF
Amy Cuddy did a most excellent TED Talk about how your body language can shape who you are. In her TED Talk, Social psychologist Amy Cuddy proposes that "power posing" (standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident) can boost feelings of confidence, and may potentially increase our chances of success!
Instant confidence good vibes
This is my ultimate, all time fave, instant confidence booster. There is something about 'power posing' that gets the good vibes flowing through my body. I highly recommend watching Amy's TED Talk and the next time you need a quick confidence booster bust out the power pose :D
I'd love to know your tips and tricks for overcoming fears and boosting confidence, so please share your thoughts and leave me a comment.
Love and Light
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