In a daily devotional, I read about the following encounter:
When my daughter exclaimed, “Mommy, a bug!” I looked where she was pointing and saw the largest spider I have ever encountered outside of a pet shop. Both the spider and I knew that he would not be allowed to stay in our house. And yet, as I faced him, I found I could not take one step closer to end the standoff. My pulse quickened, I swallowed and gave myself a pep talk. Still, fear kept me frozen in place.
How many of us have faced similar situations? Oh, maybe it isn’t an encounter with an unwanted insect that makes us freeze in our tracks, but it is something. What is it for you? Having that difficult conversation with an employee, or maybe your child’s teacher? Dealing with a difficult neighbor? Maybe it’s the car salesman at your local dealership? Whatever it is – rest assured that you are not alone!! We all have fears that we have had to deal with. That should give you some initial comfort!!
Dealing with fear is a matter of perspective. It really is all in how you look at it. What most people don’t realize is that fear is neither a positive or negative emotion. Fear is neutral. It is our reaction to fear that creates the positive or negative feelings that either drive us forward or paralyze us and keep us from taking action. When I make this statement, many people look at me like I have two heads and ask, “You mean you really can have a positive response to fear?” My answer is always a resounding, “YES!”
Fear can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. The choice of which one it will be is completely up to you. Your destiny is in your own hands. You can either choose to let fear be in control and keep you from acting, or you can choose to be in control yourself and take action in spite of your fear.
Here are my suggestions for dealing with fear:
- Take the emotion out of it. Step back, look at the situation objectively, and list the facts related to your situation. Doing so helps to calm you down and drains a lot of the energy that the initial fear has charged you with.
- Decide what action you need to take. What is the best course of action to resolve the matter? What is your desired outcome and how can you best achieve it? In confrontational situations, how can you disarm the other person and create a win-win solution where everyone is satisfied with the outcome?
- ACT!! Once you are calm and have a possible solution in mind, don’t waste any time. Take action immediately. The sooner you act, the quicker the problem will be solved and the greater the impact you will have in defeating your fear.
If you follow these three simple steps, you can absolutely conquer your fears forever!!!
Remember these words from Lucille Ball:
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.