Fear is real, but there are tools that can defeat it.
As I stated earlier, I was nervous and afraid before I did the video, so I used a few tricks to hep me push forward in spite of the fear so I could take action now and get the video done. Check out these tools and add some of them to your toolbox.
- make a big announcement
- share the idea with your accountability group
- figure out the best and worst case scenario
- admit you are afraid
- push forward
For some people, the prospect of not acting after a big announcement has been made is unthinkable. If you are the kind of person who thinks her word is her bond, once you state you are going to do something, you have to do it. A person like this will push forward to take action now once her word is given because it is inconceivable to her to go back on her word. If you are this kind of person, when you have to do something that is scary, do not keep it a secret. Instead, announce your plans in a place where you would be uncomfortable or embarrassed for it to be known that you did not keep your word. This does not mean that you have to buy a billboard advertisement or buy a television commercial spot. Your announcement could be sharing the idea with the local parenting group, sharing your plans with co-workers or with people in your family. The public forum you choose is not important. The important thing is to make a public declaration that you will not be able to back out of, no matter how afraid you may be.
Accountability groups are amazing sources of ways to take action now and get things done. An accountability group is a group of people who join together in order to support one another in accomplishing goals. Even people who have never been in an accountability group have heard of successful one. Some popular accountability groups include Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). One of the reasons people tend to stick to their plans in Weight Watchers and AA is that the members work together to accomplish their goals. These groups provide support, feedback options and don’t take excuses for failure to stay on track. The members of these groups meet on a regular, predetermined basis to share stories, brag about successes, commiserate about failures and to promise to continue on the journey together. It is an old formula, but it is a formula that works. An interesting thing about accountability groups is that for the most part, they are single purpose groups. The people in Weight Watchers do not help you stop drinking. The people in AA do not share weight loss secrets and low-fat high taste recipes. When you create your accountability group, keep the group focused, small and workable.
One of my favorite tools for acting even when I am afraid is to look at the best case and worst case scenario. I think about the thing I want to do or need to do objectively. I make a list of the worst possible thing that could happen. I then look at the best possible thing that could happen. If I can identify these things and find a way to survive I feel empowered to take action now and do what I want or need to do. Over the course of time, I have realized that what actually happens when I take action now is neither the worst case option nor the best case option. What actually happens is something in the middle somewhere. Since I looked at both ends of the spectrum, I am always prepared for what actually results when I take action now even when I am afraid.
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Another great tool to help you take action now and get things done when you are afraid is to admit you are afraid. Fear comes and goes. It is real. Sometimes, it feels tangible, like something we can grab, hold and touch. Fear is real. You should not lie to yourself and pretend it does not exist. Instead, admit the fear is there. Admit you are afraid and then:
- remind yourself you have been afraid before and survived
- figure out exactly what it is that scares you
- tell yourself that fear comes and goes, you remain constant
Finally, when you are afraid and need to get things done, push forward. Fear is contagious and it grows if left in charge of your life. Left unchecked, fear paralyzes you. When you let fear control you, in one area of life, it becomes easier for fear to control you in other areas of life as well. Sometimes all you can do is just push forward. Do not let the fear stop you from doing whatever it is you need to do, whatever it is you want to do. Simply push forward. Push and do the thing you are afraid to do. Understand and admit that you are afraid, but you must still push forward and get things done. Just take action now and get things done. You simply decide you will not let fear win and push forward. You can do it!
Fear is real, but so is the need to take action now and get things done even if you are afraid. There are tools you can do in order to take action now and get things done when you are afraid. So, the question for you this magnificent day is, what are you afraid of and what are you going to do to take action now and get things done even when you are afraid?