Feeling fear has probably been the first feeling that human beings have ever experienced. We are afraid of situations, elements and people that modify our way of life. In this way, we are afraid of not finding a fulfilling partner , of not being able to make friends or of losing all the goals that we have set for ourselves in life.

How to transform your fears

Can we fight this fear and turn it into a challenge? Of course, and we are going to learn how it is possible to transform your fears and turn them into challenges that can help us overcome ourselves.

Acknowledging our fears

The first step will always be to do an exercise in self-awareness . We have to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the fears we feel. It does not matter that they seem embarrassing to us or that our friends would never experience them this way, if it affects us it is already a fear that we must recognize and face.

Recognize, identify and catalog the fears in your life . There are fears that are normal in humans such as the fear of snakes, and others that are much more specific such as being afraid to speak to classmates on graduation day. We must classify our fears according to their degree of importance in our day-to-day life, first taking care of those that most prevent us from moving forward.

Right questions, right answers

One of the questions we ask ourselves the most when trying to overcome our fears is ‘Why am I afraid?’: Mistake. The question we must always ask ourselves is ‘What do we achieve by being afraid?’ We achieve many things, such as avoiding reaching our goals, setting new goals, and preventing ourselves from being happy.

After acknowledging our fears we must acknowledge our goals . Avoid that the protagonist of our doubts is that fear we feel. If our greatest fear is to make a fool of ourselves, we don’t have to dwell on that shame that we will go through, it is much more productive to think that we are losing success and admiration precisely for not overcoming fear.

Learning to create goals

Once we have overcome our fear (or, more correctly, the fear of being afraid ) we must consider our goals. The objectives we make must be realistic to our personal situation. It is useless if we say that after giving the conference we will be invited to give another one in a few days; it can happen, but it is not a realistic goal. Yes, it is the fact that they congratulate us on our good performance.

Assessing our capabilities is essential before creating our personal challenges, but without underestimating ourselves . We have fears based on supposed internal deficiencies, let’s not confirm them by posing an impossible challenge that the only thing that will do is undermine our self-esteem.

A good way to do this is to see our successes already achieved previously, increasing the goal achieved on a small scale above. In this way we will create the feeling of constant triumph, calming fear while reaching new goals.

Rewards and punishments in their proper measure

This is the most controversial part. Meeting our challenge of transforming fear is not synonymous with stopping moving forward . We have reached our goal, reducing the fear we felt and motivating us to continue. Well, it is the right moment not to stagnate, to move on. If we don’t, we run the risk that future failures will become the excuse to say that we are no longer worth as much as before.

And what do we do in the face of failure? We dose it, without telling ourselves that nothing is wrong but neither by whipping us as if we were the worst in the world. Learning to manage the way we evaluate ourselves will help us both to regulate the fears we feel and to end our own limitations and to prepare our attitude to transform our fears.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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