By Priyanshi Singh
According to David J. Schwartz, the author of The Magic of Thinking Big, the secret to overcoming fear is developing confidence.
Fear is like an infection in your body. If left untreated, it spreads unabated, causing more physical harm and pain and damaging more and more areas of your body. Fear is an infection of the mind, and when it spreads it stops you from taking chances and jumping on opportunities. It blocks your chances at success. Fear stops you from speaking up when you have something to say, and its incarnations such as anxiety and stress can actually make you physically sick.
So how do we treat this mental infection of fear and stop its spread? Confidence is the antidote to fear, and the good news is that confidence is a skill you can develop. No one is born totally confident. Confident people acquire that confidence over time—and you can too.
There are five steps to take to build confidence and destroy fear:
1. Isolate your fear and take action.
2. Think positively.
3. Gain a better understanding of other people.
4. Make moral, right choices.
5. Act confidently, even if you don’t feel like it.
ISOLATE YOUR FEAR AND TAKE ACTION: - This step has two parts. First, isolate your fear. What exactly are you afraid of? Describe it in very specific terms.
Next, take action. There’s an action to counterattack any type of fear. Prompt, decisive action conquers fear. Postponing and procrastinating is like pouring fertilizer on fear, helping it grow.
There is some kind of action for every fear.
Worried about a big test? Use the worry time as study time.
Terrified of interacting with people you don’t know? Remember that other people are human just like you; practice and get into the habit of speaking up.
Afraid of making a big decision like buying a house? Analyse all factors thoroughly. Then make a decision, and trust your judgment.
THINK POSITIVELY: - Think of your brain as a bank, where you make thought deposits and thought withdrawals. Your inner bank teller is very responsive, ready to deliver whatever memory you call upon as thought evidence. Feeling inadequate in the face of a big decision? Your “teller” will swiftly supply you with past failures, remind you of the people who didn’t like you, and offer up a slew of your worst mistakes.
Deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank, and withdraw only positive thoughts. While driving alone and before you go to sleep at night, make it a point to recall positive, successful experiences. Think about your victories of the day, big and small. This will help condition you to bring positive memories to the forefront.
When you keep thinking about a negative past experience — a jilted romance, a job failure, losing money on a bad investment — you are essentially “putting fertilizer” on the memory, allowing it to grow and become a huge negative force in your life. Even the most successful people have been in discouraging and embarrassing situations, but they don’t dwell on them.
GAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER PEOPLE: - Empathy comes up a word while understanding others emotions. You need to fit yourself on some other’s shoes. Understanding others will let you know different emotions and fears of others. Sometimes others fear is your strength and that will gain your confidence.
Use empathy when dealing with other people. Let them know you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and be attentive. Nothing impresses a person more than someone who is sincerely interested in them and seeks to help them rather than harm them. Taking such a position also puts you in better control of the circumstances because you appear as less of a threat.
MAKE MORAL, RIGHT CHOICES: - The experience of failure makes it easy for us to give up, letting fear and self-doubt win. But if you persevere and keep striving for your goals, you will be able to destroy your fear of failure and push past your limitations. In this sense “practice does make perfect.”
Practice what you fear. If you fear public speaking, write out a speech and practice in a mirror. Then try it out in front of friends or family who love you and support you, then move to the next level and deliver it to people that need to hear what you have to say because of the value it delivers.
ACT CONFIDENTLY, EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE: - To be confident you must have a confident mind-set posture. Have you ever noticed when a person says one thing but their body language is saying something different? What a person feels is reflected in how they act, the posture they have, their stanch, and their walk — body language.
Project confidence by thinking and acting like it. As referenced earlier in this article, I don’t subscribe to the “fake it until you make it” strategy.
Always strive to be yourself and no one else. Once you understand that you are the captain of your ship you can sail the seas as you want. The winds will blow but how you set and position the sails will determine your destiny.
PRIYANSHI SINGH MBA (HR)
AirCrews Aviation Pvt. Ltd.