Challenge Your Fear

challenge your fear
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Let’s take this example so commonly used by other people to prove this point. If they use it, it’s probably real so I’m going to use it too because I’m too lazy to think about a new one. Let’s say that you are a very hard worker in your company and you have excellent results, but your salary is not hard or excellent. You’re afraid to go ask for a raise because you think your boss won’t give it to you anyway and you’ll make him/her mad. Let’s put this in the 10 question format, as above.

  1. What am I really afraid of?

   – I think I’m afraid to make him/her so mad that I’ll get fired.

  1. What are the worst things that could happen (related to the answer above)?

   – I get fired.

   – I won’t be able to pay my bills;

   – I won’t be able to provide for my family.

  1. How would my life look like if those things really happen (describe one day of your “new” life, the sour version)?

   – I’ll probably sit around the house very sad because I won’t know what to do. I’ll probably apply to other jobs for a few weeks until someone would hire me.

  1. What are the best things that could happen (related to what you want to do)?

   – I get a bigger raise that I ask for.

  1. How would my life look like if those things really happen (again, describe one day of your “new” life, the sweet version)?

   – I’d go out with my family more often. I’d buy some new things for the house and I’d also fix that toilet seat (maybe I’d change it with a puffier one).

  1. Do I see myself doing it for the rest of my life despite the potential shitty outcome?

   – I don’t know if this applies here. I like the work I do so I’d probably try to find a new job in the same field.

  1. What do I really want to achieve with this?

   – I’m busting my ass here every day and I work so much more than my colleagues. I deserve it. If I can make sacrifices for them, they should make some for me.

  1. Is this achievement worth the process and the potential shitty outcome?

    Well, yeah. I don’t want to work for nothing. I put passion in it, but it doesn’t pay my bills.

  1. What can I do to diminish the chances of those shitty things to happen, but still going for what you want?

   – I guess I can have some numbers that prove how much work I’m putting in. I can try to find a moment when my boss looks more relaxed so his/hers reaction won’t be that dramatic. Also, until I find that moment, I guess I could look around for jobs just in case.

  1. If I fail and the worst things happen, would I be able to move on with my life despite it?

   – It would be harder in the beginning, but I’ll manage it. This job is not my life. My family and I are much more important.

    Just writing down how our lives would be just in case the worst scenario happens can have a great impact over that fear because now we have control over that outcome. “Knowing” how our lives can be and knowing that it’s not that horrible as we imagined (actually, we haven’t really imagined… it was the fear the one creating those exaggerated outcomes so we won’t get out of our comfort zone) is important because we’ve seen that we can survive to that worst case scenario. We might even find some positive aspects in all of that. At least, those dragons are not unnameable anymore and we have some sort of a plan to face them.

*Passage from my book -> Fighting the Inside Dragons* (You can find it here on Kindle and Paperback)

   How do you challenge your fear?

13 thoughts on “Challenge Your Fear

  1. Over thinking always stopped me from doing things I was afraid of. Logically trying to tell myself it will be okay didn’t work. I had to prove to myself that it would be okay so I could learn to trust that. If I need to go somewhere that scares me like to the dentist I focus on what needs to be focused on till time to go then I will go. To me the act of moving was always the hardest part. If I could just get going then I had a better chance of just going but if I sat and thought about it then the fear would stop me from even trying to go.

    1. It depends of the “overthinking style” if we can call it like that. If you think only about that fear without comparing it to anything, than it’s very harmful. If you compare the possible outcome with situations you already overcame, it’s easier. At least, that’s what works for me.

      1. I’m not trying to say your technique doesn’t work. I’m simply saying when I tried to do something similar it didn’t work for me because the longer I thought about what I was afraid of, even when I knew I had no reason to be and knew the importance of doing it, I couldn’t move. The longer I sat was almost a guarantee that I wouldn’t act.

      2. Have you tried Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule? It’s designed to bypass the overthinking and start to move. As you said, sometimes it works to do things instead of overthinking them. I usually do it in the morning when I need to get up.

      3. I have never heard of that or Mel Robbins. I kinda just go off of what feels right to me. I have been an over thinker most of my life and my own thoughts have crippled me most of the time. I could never use logic to do anything I simply found the only way I was able to push forward was to start moving.. it’s weird but usually it’s the starting that’s the worst like going to the dentist. I hate it like everyone else but I also have/had fears about going anywhere but I found for me that once I get somewhere I am not afraid anymore because I am moving. It’s always the beginning that determines if I will succeed or not so I have to just move before my brain has a chance to slam on the breaks.

  2. I try to go with “What’s the worst that can realistically happen?” That’s a challenge because I *will* catastrophize things, but when I break it into logical bits – the fear may still be there, but at least I have a goal. Dentist is one – I hate going, but I also know that if I don’t follow up with a certain issue there will be a root canal (shudder) which is expensive and painful. At this moment, I’m just waiting to know when I can go in. Because, yeah – pain sucks more than fear.

    1. Yes, pain sucks. That’s why so many great pieces of art came out of pain. It’s much stronger than fear and it makes sense to pursue the goal because it eases the pain.

  3. Liked the way you made strings of questions. This should be the way in which someone can come out from their worst fears. Overthinking, but surely not pointless.

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