What are you afraid of?  What is it that strikes fear into your heart? Often it’s public speaking, the fear of rejection, fear of failure… maybe just feeling like you don’t quite make the grade.

What if I was to try and change your opinion and get you to see fear as a good guy?  What if you could turn your fear around? Let’s give it a try:

– Fear is your survival instinct.  Unlike your ancestors, you’re unlikely to face wild animals any time soon but that chemical ‘fight or flight’ feeling is simply trying to keep you safe.

– Fear is a dead-giveaway that you’re growing.  Any time you’re moving out of your comfort zone, feelings of fear may bubble up: the unknown is scary, stay put and stay safe.  But, put another way, the unknown is the breeding ground of possibility and growth.  You know you’re onto a good thing when fear kicks in.

– Facing your fear can give you confidence. Have you ever been terrified to try something new, be it sky-diving, going on a blind date or giving a presentation to a large audience?  Whatever that scary thing was for you, when you faced it – and the reality wasn’t that bad – didn’t you feel like you could walk on air?  The euphoric feeling of facing into a fear and going for it anyway breeds massive confidence.

So, are you convinced yet?  Convinced or not, you have two choices: to let fear stop you or to face it and step forward with gumption.  Here are 4 tips to turn your fear into gumption:

Flip it: As best as you can, try to change the focus of the situation you’re afraid of.  Say, for example, you were afraid of putting your new business idea out there because you’re afraid of failing, you could flip it and focus instead on the opportunity to get valuable feedback from customers and be able to refine your product into something more amazing.  Change your fear into genuine curiosity.

Change the picture: When you’re afraid of something, you will most likely play out the worst case scenario movie in your head over and over.  Change the picture in your head to another outcome, a positive experience.  Again, play it out like a movie in your head and start to connect with the feelings of possibility, excitement or whatever comes up for you.

Break it down: Facing a fear head on can feel totally overwhelming.  Break it down into smaller steps: what is the first thing you would have to do?  Do that.  And then the second thing?  Often, making the big fear a series of smaller fears can make it easier to tackle.  One step at a time.

You’re ok: You’re absolutely normal to feel fear.  Even the most successful people feel fear.  The difference is, they don’t let it stop them.  They feel the fear and do it anyway.  

Have you faced any of your fears head on?  What was your fear?  What did you do to tackle it?  Is there a fear that’s still holding you back?  What can you do today to “break it down” and take baby steps towards beating it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

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