Listening to our fear can make us less fearful because we are communicating with ourselves and can therefore begin to trust ourselves.
Successful people do not live without fear they learn how to manage it. The more successful we want to be the better we need to become at managing fear. Whether we want success in business, in our relationships, or in sports or athletics our ability to manage fear plays a large part in our success.
Some of us fall into the habit of being run by our fears. We might try to avoid them, pretend they are not there, put on a brave face, medicate ourselves with legal or illegal substances, indulge in comfort food and so on. This is not managing fear; this is letting fear manage us.
In order to manage fear we must first accept it when it is present. We need to acknowledge fear in its various guises. It may come as worry or nervousness about a job interview or the like. It may come is less obvious forms such as, frustration (partly a fear of not getting what we want) and feeling overwhelmed (a fear that we cannot handle everything). It may come in as fear of losing control or not perfoming well and build up into stress, work pressure or tension.
We may have fears around health issues. We might fear that our body will let us down via an asthma attack, panic attack, migraine headache may sabotage our efforts at crucial point if we really commit to going after an important goal.
We might fear what others think of us. We might fear being laughed at if we try something and fail at it. Fear may even come in the form of being afraid of success. We might fear what will happen if we outgrow our current circle of friends or colleagues. We might fear that success will make us isolated or arrogant and selfish.
The important thing about fear is, that for all its different guises and different disguises, it is manageable. It manageable when we chose to manage it. This realization in itself can be a major breakthrough on our way to success.
There are many ways to begin to manage fear. What is appropriate depends on the situation. Sometimes its enough to just notice that it is there, take a couple of deep breaths and move forward.
Listening to fear
Some say to just tell your fear, “Thank you for sharing” and just go ahead. There is a time and place to do just that, but it is not always the answer.
Other times we need to listen to our fear and list the various ‘concerns’ it wants to make us aware of. Perhaps there are risks in the situation we are not making due allowances for. Perhaps our fear is serving us by alerting us to a risk or danger that we have completely missed. Sometimes, by listening to our fear, and changing our tactics accordingly to lessen the risk, we can increase our chances of success. Our fear may not be saying ‘Stop’; it may be saying ‘Be aware of this…’, or ‘Do it this way instead’.
Our subconscious may have picked up essential signs about a person or situation that we are not conciously aware of. Fear can be its way of alerting us to the importance of the information it wants to bring to our attention.
We can only really learn to manage fear when we stop suppressing it, avoiding it, or being afraid of it. Between the opposites of suppressing fear and being dominated by it, we can find a middle ground where fear becomes our allay rather than our enemy on the way to success.
It takes skill and experience to learn when to listen to fear and when to just go for the goal. We cannot always wait for fear to subside before taking action. Sometimes we have to take bold action whether we feel fearful or not. If we have thought things through beforehand; listened to our instinctive self for any warning signs, and taken those into account as best can we can, then our chances of the bold action paying off are much greater than they are if we are blindly charging ahead.
Fear is something we need to learn to work with. As we learn to work with it we become wiser, more skilled and more experienced in the ways of the world and the ways of our inner life. As we do so we become less fearful. We become less fearful because we can trust ourselves more. We can trust ourselves more because we listen to ourselves more. In this way listening to our fear can make us less fearful as we learn to trust ourselves because we are communicating with ourselves.
By taking at least a few moments to find out what a particular fear is about we stand a much better chance of being able to decide whether this particular fear is something we need to work with or simply overrule. If we always just charge ahead this can be a form of moral cowardice as we are just afraid of being afriad and are avoiding it at all costs.
How do we manage fear?
There are many tools and techniques to learn to manage fear. Thinks like NLP, EFT, Self Hypnosis and the like call all help. Sometimes just acknowledging a fear is enough to calm it down “Oh, I am afraid that I might not get that job.”. Sometimes we need to answer it, “If I don’t get the job its not the end of the world. I’ll just apply for another one”.
Is managing fear really sixty percent of success? Who knows? It might be ninety percent or just ten percent depending on the person. If most of our failures are because of fear of trying, or from not listing to the potential wisdom in our fear, then learning to manage fear is a large part of our success.