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Anxiety Buster: A Three-Step System To Help You Get Rid of Panic Attacks

Have you been struggling with anxiety? Then tell me if this sounds familiar:

  • You’re on edge – and on the verge of tears – almost all the time and you don’t know why.
  • Sometimes, you get really jittery and lose focus, even if you’re in the middle of a task at work
  • You’ve had times where you thought you had no control over your body. You had a bubbly feeling in your stomach, and you were gasping for air with every breath. And maybe you even got so nervous, you worried you were going to die.

If you’re suffering from panic attacks, these sensations might seem incredibly familiar to you… but when you really think about it, they just don’t make any sense.

In your mind, you know you are safe – and yet you feel like your life is in danger. Your anxiety levels skyrocket and you see it coming: your next panic attack. You hope it wouldn’t be in public and that people wouldn’t notice… but they might. You panic even more, your mind racing and you’re out of breath.

I can totally relate to how you are feeling.

Having dealt with anxiety before, I know it’s not an easy feeling. But in the past two years, I’ve discovered a three-step process that has helped me bust my anxiety and get rid of panic attacks for good. Today, I’d like to share this system with you.

Step 1: Allow yourself to feel the fear

Panic attacks are a clear sign that you’ve been suppressing fearful emotions in your day-to-day life. Instead of allowing yourself to feel the fear when it hits, you try to hide it and as your mountain of fear grows, it becomes harder and harder to suppress – until it eventually triggers severe anxiety or panic attacks.

During a panic attack, you lose control of your emotions and all that built-fear is finally released. As such, you can think of panic attacks as a cleansing mechanism of your body to get rid of excess fear.

Now, of course, panic attacks are not a particularly pleasant experience – and I can imagine that you want to find less stressful, healthier ways to deal with your emotions.

That’s why, the next time you feel on edge (or have a full-blown panic attack), try to lean in to the fear.

If you’ve never let yourself feel your fear before, it can be scary. You might even start shaking or hyperventilating, and you might worry that your life is going to end. I’ve been in that mind-space before, and I can tell you: a panic attack won’t kill you.

No need to obsess about your health, just try to breathe as calmly as possible, and let whatever happens happen.

Step 2: Let your anxiety spread through your entire body

getting rid of panic attacks

Your anxiety, no matter how bad it seems, is only a temporary state. You might feel like your panic is endless, and you might be so trapped in your emotions that you lose track of time and feel threatened in the present.

But even during a panic attack, you might be able to remember that you once felt differently, whether you were happy or angry. And to get out of your present, uncomfortable state as quickly as possible, you need to let your anxiety spread through your entire body.

You can also turn this into a game: see if you can feel your anxiety in your hands, wrists, and elbows. See if you can make it spread up all the way up to your shoulders, to your heart and chest and into your stomach. Take it from your stomach through your liver and kidneys to your pelvis. Gently shift your fear from your pelvis to your thighs and down your legs – all the way to your feet and into the ground.

Keep focusing on your breath as you relive all the thoughts that contributed to your fear, and you’ll soon notice that your panic begins to fade.

Step 3: Let go of your panic and open up to the next emotion that comes your way

It’s important to avoid staying trapped in your panic and fearful thoughts. Therefore, once you have fully felt all the negative emotions, mentally prepare to let go of your fear. You can visualise your panic dissipating, with the waves of fear gently moving on and away from your body.

Extend a warm welcome to the next sensations that come your way – whether they’re a feeling of relief, exhaustion or happiness.

You’ll feel much better afterwards – and gradually your panic attacks will become less and less frequent until they disappear altogether (at least that’s what happened for me).

Final thoughts

get rid of panic attacks

This simple system has changed my life – through it, I’ve been able to overcome my anxiety without medication and I’ve been panic-free for the past six months. I am sure you can get similar results if you apply this anxiety-busting system regularly. But if you are having a rough time, or if you struggle with severe anxiety and depression, do reach out to doctors, counsellors or therapists in your area to get professional help.

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Could You Have Imposter Syndrome?

We’ve all heard the term “fake it until you make it,” which refers to the idea that by acting confident and, as though you know what you’re doing, you will eventually make that a reality. But, what if that reality never comes and you feel like you’re faking it all the time?

Everyone occasionally feels like they’re just winging it. We hope no one notices that we don’t really know what we’re doing. But when you live constantly feeling like a fraud and worry about being exposed you may have what is called imposter syndrome.

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome refers to the persistent feeling that you aren’t actually responsible for your own achievements or success. People with imposter syndrome often feel like they’ve been lucky, in the right place at the right time, or that others are really the source of their success and feel guilty because of the praise that they’re receiving.

These feelings are often found in high achievers but can affect anyone in any walk of life, and both men and women can experience them. And it’s not just in the workplace.

Imposter syndrome can affect any positive area in your life – relationships, school, money, or family. Feeling that you don’t really deserve any of the good things in your life and are completely unworthy of what you have is a primary characteristic of imposter syndrome.

Feeling this way causes stress, anxiety, depression, and can make even the most successful people afraid to take on new challenges and unable to live with the worry of being exposed.

If this sounds familiar but you’re still unsure, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you consider yourself a high achiever?
  • Do you feel you’re lucky and worry your luck will run out?
  • Do you worry your achievements will make people expect too much of you and you’ll ultimately disappoint them?
  • Do you often feel like you’re mediocre or incompetent?
  • Does a new situation make you desperate to feel prepared, cause you to obsess over the details, or feel like nothing can be left to chance?
  • Are you controlling when it comes to events, projects, or anything else with which you are associated?
  • Do you experience constant self-doubt?
  • Are you worried that if people look too hard they’ll find flaws in your work?
  • Are you concerned that people will find out you’re not as smart or as good as you seem?

If you answered, “yes” to most or all of these, you are likely dealing with imposter syndrome. And while we can all experience these feelings occasionally, when they become persistent and get in the way of your happiness and ability to enjoy your success, they become a problem.

How To Get Over Feeling Like A Fraud

having imposter syndrome

One of the biggest problems with imposter syndrome is that no amount of success and happy achievements make it go away. In fact, it’s often the case that the greater the success, the more intense the feelings of being a fraud and being found out can become.

For some people these feelings can serve as motivation. They work harder, do more, triple and quadruple check everything just to validate themselves and increase their feelings of worthiness. But is that a healthy motivation? Not really. Using feelings of fear and self-doubt to motivate yourself is draining and costly to your mental health and overall happiness.

Finding a way to overcome imposter syndrome and feel secure in your achievements isn’t easy, however. If you suffer with this, it likely has deep roots. So to get past it you will have to truly examine your past experiences and beliefs about yourself and your abilities.

To do that consider some of the following truths:

  1. While others may have helped, you had a major role in your own success.
  2. Hard work pays off. If you have worked hard you have earned the right to be proud of what you’ve achieved.
  3. Positive or negative, other people’s opinions aren’t as important to your own mental health and happiness as yours is.
  4. You belong as much as anyone around you.
  5. Everyone around you has insecurities and feels like a fraud sometimes too. You’re not alone.
  6. Failure doesn’t make you a phony.

Although these are all true and need to be remembered, accepting them as truth can be tough. You may need work to believe them, and to that end consider using the tips below to assist you:

  • Keep a notebook of praise and compliments paid to you. Reviewing these can help you feel more secure and counter your negative self-talk.
  • Stop thinking about yourself and focus on adding value to those around you – but not in an obsessive way. The point here is to eliminate the, “What will they think of me?” train of thoughts and negative self-talk. Helping, pitching in, and doing things for others will not only make others appreciate you, it breaks down walls, brings you closer to other people, and will make you feel good about yourself.
  • Make a list of the things you’re afraid people will find out about you. Then review them and find the reasons they aren’t that bad or unique and recognize that others have the same or worse concerns about themselves.
  • Talk to someone and tell them how you feel. Doing this will take some of the fear away, allow that person to reassure you, and you may discover they have had very similar feelings.

If none of these helps and you still find that you feel like a fraud, it may be time to talk to a counselor. As I mentioned earlier, these thoughts and feelings are usually deep-seated. Getting past them will mean that you need to address their source and work through those issues before you can really move on and find the happiness and self-confidence you need.

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Be Free To Live Life On Your Terms And Master Fear

Everyone has their purpose in this world or they wouldn’t be here in the first place. Yet, why do so many live unfulfilled lives, are depressed, and lifeless? I’ll answer the question for you: fear.

Fear holds you back from leaving behind those things that hold you back. It keeps you in toxic relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and unhealthy habits. Only those who conquer their fear and overcome their shortcomings can achieve their destiny.

You will only be free if you live life on your terms. No other course of life will satisfy you. If you want to be happy, if you want to be satisfied, and if you wish to have an impact in this world, you’ve got to let go of fear.

Roadmap To Living Free

Like everything else in life, living free is a long process. It’s a way of life, and it takes dedication to achieve. However, there are some definite milestones to point out the way.

Know Yourself, Get Grounded

The first step of their journey to self-actualization begins with an honest and often painful examination of self. Whatever you believe about life, God, and the universe, the key lies in your own heart.

Once you know who you are, what you believe, and what you want out of life, then you have made a significant step. At this stage, you also consider your talents and passion. They define who you are, and will later light the way to the future.

Next, get yourself grounded in something firm. Life will inevitably knock you down, but if you are well-grounded, you can always get yourself up. Some people believe in themselves, others in family, and some in financial prosperity.

I always say that these things can and might fail at some point. If you can, put your faith in something high beyond the changing finite bounds of this world.

Assess Your Situation and Possible Options

live life on your term

The next step involves a calm and pragmatic examination of reality. Are you exercising your talents and passions? Are you earning enough? Are you happy in your work, relationship, or family?

More importantly, what tools do you have to go to the next stage? What do you need to acquire to grow? What are your options? These questions are vitally important because knowing your position allows you to plan for the future.

Plan and Set Up Milestones

Now that you have a clear picture of the past and present, set up the future. It is time to dream big and write down your goals. While you should have concrete plans for how you want to achieve them, always be open to new possibilities. The heart has a strange way of releasing keys to the future one at a time.

Team Up With Like-Minded People

Teamwork is a time-tested secret to success in everything. You are the average of your five closest people. You may have heard that if you want to walk fast, you go alone but if you walk together, you go far.

Having a team to work with makes you accountable, disciplined, and generally brings out the best in you. It also makes sure that when you fall, there will be someone to pick you up.

Write Down Your Fears and Face Them

list your fears

Fear is the biggest enemy of your goals.

To conquer fear, here are a few things you can do:

  • Wean yourself from television, social media, and mainstream entertainment. These tend to narrow your vision and deplete your confidence. Instead, read lots of great books.
  • Write down your fears and face them. Fear is often irrational, and it fades once you have it pinned down. For some people, fear is the result of some painful experience which takes a lot of courage to overcome. Either way, you can never move ahead until you slay the dragon of fear.
  • Surround yourself with positivity. Avoid negative people, media, and toxicity like your life depends on it. In a way, it does.
  • Have someone you can turn to. Sometimes, courage is admitting your fear out loud.

Do Something Selfless Every Day

Life is meaningless if you live it for yourself. Take time to serve God, serve humanity, serve your family, serve your friends, and the less fortunate in society. That is how you get fulfilled. And when you achieve your life goals, make sure it is about others. That is how you get fulfillment.

Final Thoughts

Living life on your own terms is about coming out of the shell you hide in. Face the truth instead of ignoring it, and then decide to follow your heart. Conquer your fear, and you will enjoy freedom and purpose like you never had before.

The post Be Free To Live Life On Your Terms And Master Fear appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Deal With Pests: A Quick Guide

Las Vegas is known as the Sin City. It’s a home for gamblers and showgirls and a place where you can find a variety of Elvis’ lookalike.

However, it’s not all fun in this part of the globe since there are pests that can ruin the fun. We’re talking of desert creatures that will interact unexpectedly and inflict potential harmful and annoying bites and stings to its victim.

With increases in rainfall in Las Vegas at the start of the year, pest activity is likely to thrive. Find out which creepy crawlers call Las Vegas valley their home and how to deal with pests.

Deadly Scorpions

how to cope with different types of pest

Las Vegas summer is the birthing season of scorpions. These creatures just love the desert heat.

A scorpion sting is painful and itchy. You’ll need to put an ice pack on the affected area for relief.

Go directly to the ER if a victim experiences the following:

  • Puffiness
  • Soreness
  • Fever
  • Extreme pain
  • Increased heartbeat rate or blood pressure
  • Struggles in breathing
  • Muscle weakness and twitching
  • Numbness

Bring the body of the scorpion with you so that the staff will know what anti-venom to apply. As a protective measure, sweep the areas in your home or trap the scorpions.

Infesting Cockroaches

During cold months, cockroaches hibernate and adults emerge at the slightest heat source. Cracks and crevices in the house serve as breeding grounds as well as entry points.

They scavenge for food, mostly spoiled and discards, and water and trip to places that you can’t imagine. All the germs, bacteria, and grime are brought to your place when they visit.

They bite with a stinging pain. Although it’s not alarming, swelling, unbearable pain or puffiness should encourage you to see your doctor.

So, how to deal with pests like them?

Improve sanitation, declutter, and eliminate sources of food and water. The application of cockroach killers can help eliminate a roach infestation, too.

Pesky Ants

During summer months, ant colonies grow and their numbers multiply.

The presence of an ant trail is a nuisance. When they are hunting for food and water, their trail will most likely end in your things.

Although they are small, some ants pack a mean and destructive punch. They can inject venom with their bites, producing a burning sensation and blisters.

There are ways to stop ants from coming in like sprinkling boric acid or flour at entry points. You can use vinegar, pepper or the juice from citrus fruits.

Dangerous Spiders

how to cope with different pests

Male spiders trek buildings and homes for food and insects. They do it to find female partners, too.

Las Vegas is home to the Black Widow whose bite is potentially harmful. You won’t notice the bite until you see it, and it’s not painful at first. However, the venom can cause pain, cramping, and spasms within the hour.

Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold compress to reduce puffiness, and take a sedative if needed. If pains or cramping are serious, go the ER.

There are natural ways to get rid of spiders like using eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon peel, and vinegar. They don’t like the smell of these.

These summer, fun-ruining pests may have you scratching some imaginary itch, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what nature has to offer in sunny Las Vegas. You just have to know how to deal with pests.

See Also: Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

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5 Ways to Manage Anxiety in Public Places

After losing my second child during pregnancy in May 2019, I developed what I thought would never fully grip me — anxiety. I had suffered with it before but never to the extent that I had when I lost my son. I found myself having panic attacks in the middle of supermarkets or uncontrollably sobbing when I saw a blonde baby boy. Right there, I knew that I needed to do something and I needed to act fast.

Here are some things that have helped me in managing anxiety in public places.

Choose Your Playlist

I have often seen people wondering around the supermarket in their headphones and laughed at how ignorant they looked. Then, I became one of those people.

Music is a wonderful gift and lyrics have the power to speak directly into our hearts and minds. Whenever I find myself experiencing anxiety in public places, I force my headphones into my ears and listen to music that declared hope, truth, and life.

This is a fantastic way to manage your anxiety as no one knows what you are doing. It really helped me to carry on with ordinary tasks.

Take a Deep Breath

anxiety public places

Breathing exercises have become somewhat ‘trendy’ now with all the mindful apps circling around. Despite that, I have found that deep breathing in a moment of dread has saved me on more occasions than I can count.

I have found that a couple of deep breaths can fully reset my thoughts and bring me back to my present reality. Sometimes I will even audibly say to myself “okay” as I take a deep breath and continue on my way.

See Also: 11 Really Effective Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

Remind Yourself of Your Current Reality

Often, when we find ourselves experiencing a difficult season and the weight of our reality is heavy on our chests, we assume that we will always feel this way. The truth is that anxiety can be something that we consistently have to work through, but it will not always be this intense. When I experience a panic attack or a feeling of dread, I try to remind myself of all the times it has happened before and how I am still standing. No one can rush anxiety.

Talk to the Right People

When feeling extremely low, people typically fall into one of two categories.

The first is a complete shut down of any kind of communication as we can become embarrassed of what we are feeling. The second is that we completely overshare with everyone as we are desperate to be understood and to have our feelings validated.

I have found that having two to three people who I can really trust and care deeply about me that I can contact at any time has literally saved my life in certain scenarios. Good friends are like gold dust in seasons of depression and anxiety as sometimes we become a hard friend to keep. Find your nearest and dearest and hold them close.

Just Get Out There

public places anxiety

It is so easy to stay indoors and stay in alone. When anxiety is a very real thing in our lives, it is also incredibly draining. We find that even just looking after ourselves becomes a near impossible task.

I encourage you to get outdoors at least once every day. Sometimes, it is necessary to get out of our own heads. This can only be possible if we physically get out of bed and face the outside world. I have found that even just walking my dog while applying all of the above techniques has helped me to move forward.

In closing, anxiety can be all-consuming but there are things that we can do to manage it. By letting the right people in and applying healthy techniques, we can ensure that we are moving forward step-by-step, day-by-day.

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The Most Common Fears in America and How You Can Overcome Them

The word “fear” often bears a very negative connotation. It’s seen as an emotional response that holds us back, puts us on edge, and breeds discomfort. At its core, though, fear is actually a force of good. It’s a biological response that keeps us safe whenever we perceive danger.

So, while fear gets a bad wrap, it’s more of a misnomer than anything. A true frivolous fright is called a “phobia”.

A recent survey conducted by Sofary revealed the most common phobias and anxieties that plague American minds. Since the first step towards getting over your fears is understanding where they come from, we’re going to break down a few of Sofary’s findings. Then, we’ll explore the thought processes behind frequent phobias to debunk their spookiness.

Fear of the dark

fear of the dark

As children, 50% of people said were afraid of the dark and many more feared being home alone or seeing ghosts and a terrifying monster lurking under the bed. For the majority of Americans, these scary thoughts led to recurring nightmares or dependence on a parent or guardian to soothe their worries.

Did you know that being afraid of the dark, or nyctophobia, is actually thought to be an evolutionary phobia?

In the wild, predators typically hunt at night. This caused experts to believe that the human brain has come to perceive darkness as inherently dangerous.

Since this phobia can sometimes lead to impaired sleep, there are a number of known treatments therapists use to improve the lives of people struggling with it.

The most common one is exposure therapy, proving through experience that there is nothing worrisome lurking in the dark. Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and exercise, can also ease the transition into sleep.

Fear of clowns

fear of clowns

On a scale from 1 to 10, certain childhood phobias ranked consistently high for both genders. While female respondents were much more scared of dogs than males and the inverse applied to a phobia of kidnapping, both sexes listed clowns (and ghosts) as a highly disturbing fear.

Coulrophobia stems from the fact that clowns’ faces are always made to look
cheerful. On top of that, according to Freud, things that are familiar but slightly distorted (or “uncanny”) can come across as fearsome, which toys with our minds.

To effectively face this fear, try attending a circus or show and sitting at a safe distance from the stage. This way, you can get comfortable with the fact that the object of your fear can’t harm you. You can also watch an online video of a professional clown applying their makeup to better understand the process.

It’s a good reminder that the art of clowning is simply entertainment!

Fear of spiders

fear of spiders

As adults, the most common fear among Sofary’s surveyed population was spiders or bugs. It accounted for 33% of women and 31.3% of men.

A nearly identical number of people said they were afraid of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. And just about twice the number of women find the idea of being home alone or kidnapped compared to men spooky.

The feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin at the sight of eight-legged creepy crawlies is called arachnophobia. Like nyctophobia, scientists believe that a fear of spiders is an evolutionary response for humans since some species are poisonous and can make you very ill.

Overcoming arachnophobia can start with something as simple as a Google search. Do a little reading and you’ll find that it’s rare for spiders to bite at all!

Plus, out of the 63,000 spider species in the world, just 2% are actually dangerous, making it highly unlikely that you’ll run into one that can cause you harm.

When it comes to facing your irrational fears, knowledge is power. Push past your worries with research and familiarization. More often than not, you’ll quickly begin to realize that danger is not always lurking around the corner.

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Conquering Fear: Here’s How To Change Your Perspective In Life

We had this great idea: “Let’s step it up. Let’s expand and grow. Let’s play a BIG game.”

I’m talking about me & my husband, John, here.

Now, anyone who knows us will easily realize that when we say “Let’s play a BIG game.”, it’s going to be the kind of game that would send 99% of people running for the hills.

When we say that line, it means we’re going to be so far out of our comfort zone that it won’t even be visible anymore. It’ll be long gone over the horizon.

There will be no going back and everything will change. We will not be the same people after we’ve played this level of game.

And that’s scary. When you decide to play another game or when you decide to expand your life, fear sometimes paralyzes you.

The thing is, in order to be someone different and to have something different, you need to give up who you are, the things you do AND what you have now. You can’t have something else AND be the same person you were before.

If you do something new, you will never be the same person after. You now have new experiences and the whole world will be different for you.

The same goes for what’s possible or not possible for you.

Say, you decide to learn rock climbing (and I’m using this analogy because John IS a rock climber). When you first start to climb, you grab for the big holds because you’re trying to feel safe and secure. You go up a few meters and then you realize that you can’t go any further because you’ve run out of big holds.

By that time, you’re stuck.

If you want to move on and start conquering fears, you have to use smaller holds. You have to learn to trust. As your time, experience and confidence move on, you learn how to plan ahead, look for the paths and see things differently.

conquer fear

When you’re first learning, all you can see are the big holds. You don’t pay too much attention to the smaller, sometimes tinier, ‘holds’. You don’t consider them as something that could hold you up so you skip them.

I use the term ‘hold’ very loosely and it’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

I’ve watched John climb and some of those ‘holds’ are nothing more than minor waves in the rock! IMHO, there’s nothing ‘holding’ about them, but they almost always hold him up!

When John looks at a rock face now, he sees something totally different to what he saw when he first started rock climbing. Everything is different now. As far as rock climbing is concerned, John is not the same person that he was when he first began climbing.

John’s experienced some hairy moments along the way (I’ve seen some of them), but he’s learned to push himself to try new things and to expand what he can do. Each time he’s done that, he comes down knowing different things:

  • He knows himself as someone who can do
  • He knows that… doesn’t work
  • if he sees a particular set of moves coming up, he knows that he needs to prepare for it by doing…

But, before he actually does new moves or takes a fresh route, there’s fear: What if he can’t? What if he falls off? What if he hurts himself?

John climbs with a buddy for the most part. They set up belaying ropes so if they come off, they might hurt themselves a bit, but they won’t die. So, after a while, he began to realize that if he comes off, he’ll still be able to try again and again until he can finally do it.

In other words, he knows he’s safe.

Now, rock climbing is not for everyone, myself included, but the analogy is one we can relate to:

  • When we expand our lives and grow, we will not be the same person when we’ve finished
  • Once we’ve done something — even just once — we realize that things look totally different from having had that experience
  • Doing something new is always going to be scary. The bigger the jump in the level of difficulty, the scarier it will be.
  • We are always safe. We might get a bit of an ouch, but we can learn from it and carry on.

So, we decided to play a big game. We decided to step it up massively to create a huge impact.

It’s scary. It’s an unknown territory and we don’t know how to do it.

But, from the moment we make the decision to go down that path, we’re sure that it’s the right thing to do.

The thing is, you’re not going to be able to achieve what you want to by being the person you are now. You must be someone different.

You need to give up who you know yourself to be and the things you know to be true if you want to do this new thing (like with the holds in rock climbing).

success in conquering fear

Your perspective in life must change if you’re going to see the things you need to see and achieve your goal.

And finally, this is possibly the scariest bit. You must trust that you wouldn’t feel so strongly about something if it’s impossible for you to achieve.

Remember, you put out those vibes into the universe, so everything you need in order to achieve your goal is already there. You just can’t see it by being the person you are right now. The truth is, you can only see it by being the person who has already achieved it.

Give up the fear and step into the future you know is yours.

See Also: How to Find your Buoy of Safety When You are Drowning in Fear

The post Conquering Fear: Here’s How To Change Your Perspective In Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Conquer The Fear Of Success (Or Failure)

The fear of success is a counter intuitive mindset. It’s one of those things in life that keeps us stuck in a rut or in a downward spiral. Part of us wants to do something and another part says we shouldn’t. So, how can we break the cycle?

In this article, I’m going to share with you some theories in overcoming fear of success.

Change your level of conscious awareness

In the 1970s, the most successful ad was a single frame image of Coca Cola placed within a movie which lasted 1/24th of a second. It appeared so fast that not everyone might have seen it properly.

Despite its speed, half the audience headed out to the candy bar to purchase their Coke after the movie and likely didn’t question why.

The exposure is so short that it is below the level of conscious awareness of the people. Because they didn’t realize they have been triggered, they didn’t have any defense.

So, the trick to overcoming the fear of success is to begin changing your level of conscious awareness around these subjects. As much as possible, try to build up your resistance.

It is common for people to fear forging ahead and standing out, especially if those things meant affecting their family, relationships, or life’s status quo. Others may fear failing or change, so they remain stuck, stagnant, and often miserable.

Become more aware of your behavior and their reasons. Give yourself the space to forge on. Back yourself, and take the leap towards success.

Humans are extraordinary problem-solving machines but once we experience fear, the mind that makes us so powerful begins to derail us.

Let go of what you fear you may lose

interpersonal skills

When I decided to become an entrepreneur, I knew I’d have to evolve, take on more pro-active personality traits, and learn new skills. One of my identified fears was speaking to strangers. At the same time, I figured that if I were to become successful in my new venture, I need to have positive communication and interpersonal skills.

Those are two different things and just the idea of making the switch made me feel very uncomfortable.

I realized, however, that I had to rise above that and create my success. I needed to move forward and accept what might happen.

I had to release my attachment to the things I was afraid of losing for me to start overcoming the fear of success.

See Also: 5 Things You Need To Get Rid Of To Become Successful In Life

Play out the worst-case scenario

The more you hide from potential pain, the more you fear it and the more power it has to stop you in your life. So for me, I painted a worst-case scenario and played it through.

What’s life going to look like 1 or 20 years from now? What type of person am I going to become? Where will I end up if I don’t follow my own true worth and passion?

Take on the responsibility

Fear of success is a reflection of your fear of other people’s reactions to your achievements. This is often coupled with the fear of responsibility.

Since these things can easily slow you down, don’t let other people’s opinions place doubt in your mind. Stand your ground in a proactive way and be steadfast on your path to success.

In life, you can be pro-active or reactive. When you’re reactive, things will pan out the way you’re afraid they will. When you become pro-active, you take control, become empowered and start attracting the people and opportunities that will support your success.

Embrace change

embrace change

Ultimately, the fear of success is the fear of change. You can’t predict or control it but you can choose to be optimistic, work on your conscious awareness, and believe this path is going to be better.

I have found this to be absolutely true. You can’t do it if you’re not willing to surrender to what’s going to happen.

Find out for yourself.  Let go and see what life delivers.

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

The post How To Conquer The Fear Of Success (Or Failure) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Find your Buoy of Safety When You are Drowning in Fear

Have you ever been gripped by paralyzing anxiety? Are you having difficulty overcoming fear?

What I Learned from Panic and Fear

My daughter and I celebrated her high school graduation with a vacation in my home state of Hawaii. To make it extra special, we purchased a zodiac/boat excursion on Kauai to go snorkeling offshore.

The zodiac raft raced us through the azure blue waters with dolphins playfully jumping alongside. We breathed in the salty fresh air and relished the sun’s warmth on our skin.

Once we joined the main boat, we were quickly outfitted with our snorkel gear sans life jacket or float, and jumped in. Not for a moment did I have any hint that I would soon have one of the worst experiences of my life.

We swam in the beautiful waters, floated on the gentle waves, catching glimpses of fish below us. About thirty feet from the boat, I suddenly stopped, panic-stricken. I was sure I was going to drown.

I had passed compulsory swimming classes in grade school, high school, and college. While snorkeling, there was no reason to think I’d drown but fear was immediate.

With a fragile control of my panic, my numb brain reasoned I could swim to the boat if I kept moving slowly toward it, one stroke at a time.

Eventually, I made it back to the boat’s safety, and collapsed onboard, sick to my stomach.

What I Learned about Fear that Day

In my complete panic, I thought I was going to die. Yes, unreasonable—but that thought totally gripped me.

In those moments, I barely hung on to my mind. Thanksfully, lifelong patterns kicked in.

There were others around me. Had I yelled “Help,” I would have been rescued. But my tendency to push down emotions, even strong ones, prevailed, and I couldn’t voice my distress.

Moreover, my early adopted strategy of being self-reliant was so powerful, the thought never occurred to me to ask for help. It was up to me to save myself.

Fear in its primal state reduces us to survival mode because we believe we’re going to die. When fears are the basis for our lives, our choices become limited.

It’s essential to look to see how fear may be running your life, hidden from your awareness.

What Happens When Fear is a Stranger

I’m not a fearful person. Yet when fear arises, it’s extreme and manifests as panic. It’s like someone who represses anger, and out of nowhere rage explodes.

facing fear

The other incident of panic came when I was biking recently. We never learned to ride bikes when we were kids. Consequently, my sisters and I are “dangerous” to self and others when we attempt to ride. But, I decided I was going to become comfortable on a bike.

At the end of my ride, I approached the sidewalk and garage too quickly. When I realized I wasn’t going to turn in time, I panicked, lost grip of the handlebars, hit the garage, and fell to the ground.

Again, extreme fear disabled my mind and my control. But I learned more.

Fears Reveal our Vulnerability

Had I shouted out for help when I believed I was drowning, I would have exposed my helplessness and raw panic to anyone near me. But I was “programmed” to hide such vulnerability–even at the possible cost of my life.

Like many of you, I can hide my vulnerability very well, even from myself.

After all, we are brought up to behave as if raw feelings don’t exist.

What are Our Common Fears?

Fear of failure? Fear of success?

In my view the most common fear is the fear of change.

When people report seeing patterns in their lives, how they
• end up fighting about the same things at every family gathering;
• work in jobs that they hate;
• stay in marriages that are making two people and children miserable
–they cope rather than change.

How about you?

When you decide to make a change, you face an unknown future. The unfamiliar can be uncomfortable.

When you see yourself refusing to make changes to end your suffering, you probably fear change.

These fears may not seem like the same fear I felt when I was headed for the garage door or desperately getting to the boat.

Yet it’s the hidden and powerful fear that runs your life.

See Also: “Feararchy” – The Hierarchy of Fear

What Our Fears Tell Us

When you think of your fears, doesn’t it come down to this? You fear for your safety, a basic survival issue. You believe, I am not safe.

Unfortunately, you may not discover this because you focus on fleeing from this disturbing uncomfortable feeling.

You rarely understand that a personal survival sense of safety is involved when you consider any change.

What You do to Keep Yourself Safe

When you’ve done the conventional things to make yourself feel safe–obtained your education, career, friends and perhaps a family, safety isn’t usually seen as an issue.

But when you don’t have them, you think: I need
• a relationship,
• a better career,
• more money, or
• better friends

You think personal security or safety comes from having certain things in life.

You don’t get to “I feel unsafe.”

Yet any change ultimately stirs issues about safety and survival. You hang on to lifelong beliefs, patterns, and strategies tenaciously, as if survival was at stake.

Your History has Given you Reason to Feel Unsafe

Many of you know your own history of family drama, fighting, illness in the family, accidents, losses, abandonment, betrayal, or abuse that are your reasons for feeling unsafe.

Basic trust was broken when you were young and wounded by neglect. You were alone and needed to feel safe.

If you can imagine a young version of yourself being hurt, feeling lost and desperate, you will sense the instinct to survive rising in response to the fear of dying.

That powerful fear is the driver behind everything you do to survive and make yourself feel safe.

Honor and appreciate it for what it is.

It’s the spirit that kept me swimming to the boat; the spirit behind my decision as a senior to learn to ride a bike.

Crashing and falling to the ground taught me I wasn’t going to die. It was so freeing; I laughed as I picked myself up off the ground.

How Can you Deal Effectively with Fear?

You can lose any one of the basic things in life that you gather to make yourself feel secure–family, friends, partners, money, reputation, or your health at any time.

It’s foolish to rely on external sources for the deep sense of safety you need.

Yet how do we build an internal sense of safety?

Go to the Source for the Truth, Where the Fear Originated

The source of the truth is in the young heart that first experienced the fear. There was no logic or language then, just the instinctive response to hold that fear secret, deep in the heart.

When you can go to this source of your need to feel safe, you can transform the fear.

Your intention takes you there. You don’t need any language. You are there to provide a corrective experience—to make a compassionate connection with the part of you that felt lost, alone, abandoned, and afraid.

A heart-to-heart connection restores trust and a sense of safety. You can be reassuring in your stance–you, the adult, knows with certainty that all the fears, especially the fear of annihilation or death, are not true.

See Also: 5 Tips to Eliminate Fear From Your Life

Other Ways to Have a Sense of Safety

sense of safety

When I see beauty in Nature — flowers, birds, waterfalls, mountains, canyons, meadows—and get absorbed by the beauty of what I see, I forget the fearful me, and I feel safe.
When I appreciate the gifts and full presence of an artist or musician or performer, I forget the small me — safety is no longer an issue.
When I am grateful for what I usually take for granted — the sun that nourishes all life on earth, and the Earth for the oxygen and plants that support our lives–I know I will always have this support and caring.
When I know the space and peace of meditation, I experience myself as something other than the usual me, that has no judgment about death.
The more I connect with Oneness in others and in Nature, there is a sustaining sense of safety.

When We Live through a fear, What Happens?

It was a delightful and relieving experience to read what Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the German plan to demoralize Londoners with the continuous bombing during World War II. The opposite result was a surprise.

When Londoners survived the bombing—living through their worst fears and still being alive, they were invigorated and unstoppable.

Having a fear and moving forward anyway, and learning that the fears were worse than any imagined outcome, is liberating.

Know the Power of Fear and Freedom from Fear

Choose to ride a bike when you’re afraid, panic and fall, to learn that you don’t die.
Choose to make changes because avoiding changes makes life stale or distressing.
Choose to move ahead and risk making mistakes.
Choose to let go of the familiar, to choose what is different, new, and unknown.
Choose to move through fear to learn what lies beyond.

Then you will know freedom, aliveness, and your best dreams realized.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown

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Drug Side Effects: More Dangerous Than You Think

More than ever before, people are often more willing to take a handful of pills first and ask questions later. If you have a headache you take a pill. If your back hurts you take a pill. If you have a vitamin deficiency, you take a pill. Heck, even if you don’t have a vitamin deficiency you might take a pill just in case. The problem with all these pills is that they can have bad interactions when taken together.

Do you always tell your doctor about every over-the-counter, herbal, vitamin, and supplement you take? Even if you aren’t on any prescriptions, these things can cause dangerous drug interactions.

When you go to pick up an antibiotic at the drugstore, do you tell your pharmacist about all the extra things you take? Even things that don’t have side effects on their own can have bad side effects when taken together, and telling your doctor and pharmacist about every single thing you take regularly is a crucial step in preventing many of these harmful side effects.

All Medicines Are Drugs

  • All medicines are drugs but not all drugs are medicines
  • A medicine treats or prevents a certain ailment
  • A drug triggers a certain response in the body
  • Pharmaceuticals are manufactured compounds used as drugs or medicine
  • Around 170 million people in America take pharmaceuticals

Side Effects Can Overshadow Benefits

drug interactions

Many times the side effects of a single prescription medication are negligible. Sometimes, however, those side effects can be so severe you have to do a cost-benefit analysis weighing whether you are better off with or without the medication. Other times some patients have to be on multiple medications at the same time, which can cause serious problems with interactions. Occasionally patients have to be treated for the side effects of a necessary medication with another medication, which causes still more side effects.

The bottom line is this: the fewer medications you are able to be on, the better off you are. Nearly 2 million people are hospitalized each year in the United States for adverse reactions to medications that have been properly prescribed. Even in the hospital, nearly 900,000 people each year are given medications that cause an adverse reaction. Over 100,000 people die each year from adverse reactions to properly prescribed medications.

The Opioid Epidemic

Prescriptions for opioids have steadily increased over the last decade. These days, “painkillers” are given out for everything from major surgery to a minor toothache.

This has caused an unfortunate uptick in heroin use in recent years, and news of people overdosing is a daily occurrence. In fact, it is estimated that a quarter of all patients who are prescribed opioids will become addicted, and the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last year that marijuana is no longer considered a gateway drug, but rather the real gateway drug is prescription opioids.

The estimate of how many people receive hospital treatment for complications from prescription opioids is as high as 80%.

Even Tylenol Can Be Dangerous

tylenol side effects

Taking Tylenol as prescribed is often very safe, but taking too much causes 100,000 visits to the emergency room each year. When mixed with alcohol, the likelihood of liver problems increases.

It’s also very important to read the labels when you take prescription medications – over 600 of them use acetaminophen as part of their chemical recipe, so taking additional Tylenol with many prescriptions can be a recipe for disaster.

Herbal Does Not Mean Safe

Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA the same way medications are, so pharmacists and doctors aren’t always aware of side effects and potential drug interactions. Calcium supplements are known to reduce the absorption of certain medications, while fish oil supplements can increase the risk of bleeding when mixed with blood thinners or blood pressure medication. It’s important not only to discuss supplements you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist, but to also weigh the risk versus the reward.

See Also: What to Ask Your Pharmacist

Knowledge Is Power

Knowing what you take and making decisions based on need is the first step to decreasing the likelihood of adverse drug interactions. Maybe the daytime talk show host who told you to take that extra supplement didn’t care as much about your health as he did about his own ratings.

Learn more about the potentially dangerous side effects of drugs from this infographic!

Via: ConsumerProtect.com

Drug Cocktails: Are the Side Effects Worth it? [Infographic]


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Your Ability To Fail Without Fear Is A Requirement To Reach Your Goals

What is Failure?

Did you know that you need to fail to live life? Yes, you do.

When we were all born, we never received a “book of life” that had all the rules laid out for us to skim through when we needed to refer to it.

Sure, people always told us what to do and what not to do growing up, but it wasn’t until you lived the events and saw them through your own eyes that you realized what worked or didn’t work, was good or bad, and what was a success or a failure.

Let me show how you can change your thoughts that you may finally reach your goals. But first, let’s dive into why you are being held back in the first place.

Why Getting Past Your Fears Of Failure Will Dramatically Change Your Life

moving forward

When I first wanted to start a blog, I faced this uncertainty myself. I asked myself many times, was it worth it? Is anyone even going to read what I have to say? Was this just going to be a lot of wasted time?

The fact is, I didn’t know. And that’s the beauty of it. I could have a winner on my hands and not even know it.

It was a lot of work starting a blog but I felt that I had my unique outlook on things and a lot of great information to share. I kept on with it and said that I have nothing to lose, yet so much reward to gain.

The thing is, we as humans are not psychics. We cannot see into the future. If we don’t even attempt something, then we are not living, we are just observing. We are not living out our own lives; we are bystanders just sitting on the sidelines watching everything pass us by.

It’s until we make that attempt, take that first step, hit that first roadblock, that we know if what we are doing is the right decision or not.

If you keep moving forward, and trying your best, and not giving up, then you haven’t failed yet.

If you are driving down a road, and there is a fork in the road, and you have no map and no idea which way to go, you can choose to go right or left. For you to know which way is the right way to get to your end goal and destination, you may end up having to take that wrong road.

But the point I am trying to get you to understand is that you HAD to go down that wrong road to KNOW that the right road was the right way.

See, it’s not a failure. Its just eliminating the wrong option.

What You Can Do Right Now To Overcome Your Fear

overcome fear of failure

Here are some great ways to bust through your fears and get on with your life:

Ask Yourself, “What Is The Worst That Can Happen?”

Think worst case scenario here.

If you were to attempt to do what you wanted, what could happen that you feel is the worst case. Once you realize that it may not be all that bad, then trying it out might not be as bad as you first would have thought.

See Also: 3 Questions You Need To Ask To Overcome Your Fears 

Just Take Action

Make that first step, no matter how small. Even a little progress can open up your eyes to realize that things are not all that hard.

What would be harder for you to bear? Is it trying and failing at something, or not even trying at all and then living with the regret for the rest of your life that you didn’t even try?

Focus On The Positives

Don’t focus on what bad things can happen from your attempts. Look at what great positive and rewarding things you can get out of accomplishing your goal.

For some reason, we always want to focus on the negative side of things. But we are so focused on what terrible things that could happen, that we forget the other side of the coin. We need to refocus ourselves on what great things that will come out of actions and our decisions.

Life is the same. Even if you don’t achieve your goal one way, you can certainly achieve it another. And even if that doesn’t work, just keep going. No matter how long it takes you to achieve your goal, keep going until you do.

Don’t Take It Personally

Don’t take things personally, and treat the experience as a learning opportunity.

Just go and have fun with it. Make it into some game where if you don’t pass the level, that’s okay. Just press the reset button and try again. You can never lose.

Try, try and try some more. The more you start to live life and take action, instead of just watching it pass you by, the quicker you will learn to accept the hiccups in the road of life, and you will be able to better manage these unforeseen issues.

You will start to not treat these events as failures but as learning blocks — steps that you needed to take to achieve your goals.

Forget About The Past

Forget about what’s happened in the past. Instead, focus on the goal right now.

Do not let old mistakes hold you back. Again, I hate using the words “mistakes” and “failures” because they are not.

Stop denying your past. Fix what you can and move on.

You cannot let your pride and ego get in the way of your success. When you feel that you have failed at something, don’t get mad at yourself or even others. Find out what went wrong, and fix it as fast as you can. Don’t repeat the same actions and you will be fine.

Final Thoughts

You see, failure is just another word for “I shouldn’t do it that way next time.” It’s as simple as that. Instead of looking at it as a failure, you should look at it as life telling you which path is probably not the one to take any more.

We can’t always play it safe in life. Don’t ever underestimate your worth. You are only limited by what your mind tells you that you are limited to.

Stop listening to the voice in your head, and start living a life without fear to do whatever you want to accomplish.

Just imagine what we could all accomplish if we knew that we couldn’t fail.

See Also: 5 Fears You Might Not Realize Are Holding You Back (And What To Do)


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5 Tips to Eliminate Fear From Your Life

Have you ever failed to do something, or failed to do it to the best of your ability because of fear? Unless you are some kind of superhuman, the answer is probably a definite yes. Whether it is fear of failure, embarassment, pain, or even success, fear can stop us dead in our tracks, preventing us from living our dreams.

Whenever we face some challenges in our lives, whether imagined or not, we have a choice to make: go on or give up. As the two popular acronyms tell us, FEAR can lead you to A) Forget Everything And Run or B) Face Everything And Rise. While this may sound cliche, it is true that your ability to face your fears and do it anyways will make or break you.

Whether it is running a marathon, giving a big speech, or telling someone you love them, life can sometimes be scary. It is only natural to be a little nervous and feel your hands getting sweaty and your heart beating faster right before an important event. In small doses, it is even beneficial because it prepares you for a peak performance by making you alert and focused. However, if you feel like you are controlled by your fears and can´t stop shaking at the thought of what´s going to come, it is time to learn how to control your nerves and face your fears!

Here are 6 tips to eliminate fears from your life!

Take Responsibility

The only way to truly face your fears is by first resolving to take absolute control for your life and everything in it! Your fears don´t control you, you let them control you. As long as you play the victim and make excuses, nothing will change.

The only way to overcome any challenge in your life is by owning it – by deciding that you, and only you are in charge of solving it. You can´t always control the events in your life, but you can always control how you respond to it. By taking responsibility for your fears, you also gain the ability to face them.

Think about this: What is the surest way to become afraid of something? Probably by avoiding something until you have the time to picture all the negative things that could happen a hundred times. By delaying your actions because of fear, you actually increase it. You lose self-respect and trust in your own abilities and start to doubt yourself. At the same time, your fear grows stronger and bigger because you have more time to think about it and doubt your capabilities.

The only way to finally get rid of your fear in such a situation is by taking responsibility for your life and deciding to face it no matter how frightening it may seem. Otherwise, you´ll keep running from it for the rest of your life!

Action Destroys Fear

action fears

While inaction feeds your fears, taking action will cure them. Do you remember the first time you jumped from the 10-foot diving tower? Chances are, you experienced fear at its finest: Sweaty hands, 150 heart beats per minute, nausea, and just pure nerves! You knew intellectually that you wouldn´t die but were still convinced that you wouldn´t survive this giant jump. You climbed up the ladder, stared into the deep blue of the water and finally, encouraged by all your friends or family, leaped down!

Chances are, that was also the last time you were afraid to jump from that tower. The next two or three times might have been uncomfortable for you but nothing compared to the first time. And once you jumped down that tower some more times, it just became fun, and you completely forgot about your fears!

The same principle holds true for facing any other fear. The more often you do, and the sooner you start to take action, the easier it will be to overcome it! Whenever you become aware of your fears, face them immediately. Don´t wait for tomorrow or next year to step up, but deal with it today!

The Disaster Report

I learned this technique from Brian Tracy, and have since found it a great way to put things into perspective. Sometimes, you can eliminate your fear simply by realizing how irrational it actually is.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen, realistically?” Find the worst possible consequence and decide to accept it. Usually, it doesn´t happen anyways. And even if it does, it won´t kill you.

How many times have you seen that someone was laughed at while giving a presentation? Probably never. But still, we often fear being embarassed like this terribly. Oftentimes, stress comes from denial – telling yourself that nothing bad could ever happen when in fact you know that you are lying to yourself. Accept the worst possible outcome and then make plans to prevent it from happening.

Power Posing

breathing exercise

When you are afraid of something, what happens to your body? Your breathing becomes more shallow, your muscles tense up, and you stand smaller looking to the ground. You can literally see the fear in your face.

Now, the quickest way to destroy your fears is this: A change in your physiology. In 2010, Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School Psychologist famous for her Ted Talk on Power Posing, conducted a study that revealed how the way we stand actually determines how we feel. By standing upright in an “open and expansive” posture, we can change our hormonal levels in a positive way.

See Also: 10 Life-Changing TED Talks You Should See Today 

In her experiment, high-power posers experienced elevated levels of testosterone, lower levels of cortisol, and increased feelings of power and confidence. Simply by changing the way you stand, you can change how you feel.

Another great exercise to control your physical fear response is to focus on your breathing. When under stress, it is common to breath more shallow or hyperventilate, allowing less oxygen to enter your body. This increases anxiety and fear, therefore hurting your ability to think clearly.

Once you become aware of this pattern, you can actively combat it by focusing on your breath. Breath in slowly through your nose and feel the fresh air flowing into your belly, hold your breath for a moment and then exhale slowly through your mouth. You will find that this pattern of breathing allows you to eliminate the fear response and helps you relax instead!

Act as if

This strategy, also known as “fake it till you make it”, is often seen as negative, despite its positive effects. There is no shame in acknowledging that you are not perfect, but sometimes, acting as if you are already who and what you want to be can change the way you think and act, leading to better results.

Whether you are facing an important presentation or an argument with your boss, act like you are completely confident in yourself and your abilities. Act like you know your presentation will be amazing, stand and speak like you know what you are talking about, even if you don´t feel very confident in the moment. But by acting confident, you will start to think and act more like the person you want to be.

This strategy is not only useful when facing your fears, but also at any other point in you life. When you are starting out in your career, why not act like you are one of the top people working in your industry? Why not dress like them, think like them, and act like them? Why not read the books the most successful people read, listen to the same audiotapes, and act every day as if you are already successful? Pretty soon, you won´t have to act anymore.

See Also: 3 Actionable Steps To Help You Overcome Fears 

Visualize Your Success

As a competitive distance runner, I have used this technique for years now. Before you face any important events in your life, succeed in your mind first. Close your eyes and see yourself crushing your fears, overcoming obstacles, and doing the things you are afraid of. See yourself succeeding at everything you do, no limits!

Also, make sure to use as many sensory details as possible. “See” yourself standing in front of a huge audience, “feel” your heart pumping from excitement over your great performance, and “hear” yourself giving an amazing speech and receiving a grand applause. Succeed in your mind first, and then go out and destroy your fears forever!


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The Ultimate Stepping Stone to Personal Freedom

Inadequacy is a common fear among people who want to be leaders or people who want to achieve something great in their lives. We may be bigger and better than we’ve ever been, but that doesn’t mean the larger public will immediately recognize it.

It’s that feeling of putting our all into something and not getting what we expect back. It’s reaching out to someone with compassion and then getting shut down or going unnoticed. These feelings are not fun, but they are feelings that leaders must feel.

Winners do not know if they are equipped for the task, but they take the necessary steps to find out. They aren’t sure if they can make more money or fall in love, but they give their heart to it fully anyway.

And they usually end up finding out that they are more capable than they had thought. Their newfound confidence and the empathy that grows from vulnerability become an inspiration to those around them. Maybe they are happier and more fulfilled than ever before. You can feel joy emanate from them. They are no longer shy or afraid to speak up and listen closely. They have broken out of their shell, shared their ideas, and trusted their creative intuition.

When you find the courage to grow, you are more valued at work and more connected and joyful at home. Vulnerability can paralyze us, but it can also make us stronger. We can no longer allow fear, self-doubt, shyness, nervousness, rejection, and stress to stop us from living our lives fully. We have to open up. We can’t keep closing ourselves off and missing opportunities. We need to embrace the fear and stop trying to play it safe.

If we continue to live this way, we will continue to feel disconnected. We will continue to numb ourselves.

Statistically speaking, America’s population is frighteningly unfulfilled, medicated, obese, and depressed. This is not only a reflection of what’s happening in our personal lives but also of how we feel at work. It comes from our lack of courage to be vulnerable.

It’s ironic that we’ve convinced ourselves that in the workplace we need to do the opposite of heart-centered things like opening up and compassionately connecting with others.

Writer John Steinbeck eloquently says: “It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men: kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest: sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest are the traits of success.”

Deep within us, we know that it is admirable and important to be open and selfless, but our culture has built its success on egotism and shutting oneself off from others. This lack of vulnerability, of authenticity, of realness and openness in our hearts and emotions, is ruining happiness—not only at work, but also in society at large.

What we need to consider is that fear of being open and vulnerable can paralyze us, and yet facing that fear can make us stronger. We have to break the barrier and open ourselves up to the people and things around us.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

We may fail, but if we don’t try, we imprison ourselves. Opening yourself and your heart, even in a world full of constant letdowns and no guarantees, is the way to become your best self. You need to have the courage to be vulnerable.

Sometimes we lock ourselves into situations so tightly that we can hardly even breathe. Sometimes we run imaginary scenarios through our heads about the worst things that can happen if we make certain decisions: This may happen, therefore I cannot do that. There’s no guarantee it will go well, and I don’t want to be rejected, so I’m not going to do it—it’s for my own good. Sound familiar?

Sometimes the thoughts in our heads about what may or may not happen if we do x, y, or z are even more debilitating than the actual experiences. This is because there’s no action or remedy to take that will change them. Our breath gets shorter and our hands get sweatier. If that’s the case, if your mind is blocking you from being vulnerable and being seen, you need to start by being aware that it’s happening: uh-oh, I’m worrying and feeling fearful again because my mind and body can’t tell the difference between an actual event outside and what’s going on inside my head.


Your nervous system thinks you’re being threatened and produces stress hormones to signal danger and call for protection. Then you shut down your heart and courage. There may be times when the thoughts racing in your mind have such a strong gravitational pull that you can’t get yourself out of them right away.

But with practice, the time it takes for you to realize that it’s just your mind—that it’s not reality—will shorten. You will begin to spot these thoughts, fears, and worries and to separate yourself from them.

If you don’t take time to develop awareness about these kinds of thoughts, your nervous system will produce more stress hormones and try to protect you. It will close you off from your immediate environment. The body reacts whether a threat is legitimate or not. It produces the same energy whether a burglar is really in the house or not. It responds to what the mind tells it is true.

When this happens, you simply need to be aware that it’s just your thoughts and fears, and to remember that you can triumph over them with courage. You can even take a conscious, deep breath and step out of your racing mind. Otherwise you will start to believe that the only way to protect yourself is to shut down.

When you allow this to happen, your heart shuts down. On a neurobiological level, you stop fulfilling your need for connection with the people and world around you. Eventually, however, when you step outside of these fearful thoughts and become present once again, it’s like waking up from a nightmare. Your thoughts may try to pull you back in, but the more you become aware of them, the more you can protect yourself.

do yoga

That’s why it’s so important to have an awareness practice like meditation, yoga, walking, journaling, or some other activity that pulls you back into the present. The more you practice, the less you will find yourself trapped by these negative and fearful thoughts.
Although feelings of vulnerability may seem a prison, they’re actually your greatest stepping-stones to freedom. They empower you to be courageous and to overcome your feelings of unworthiness and fear.

When we realize that courage is not the absence of fear or doubt but the ability to do things regardless of fear or doubt, we generate confident, connected, and passionate energy. We stop yielding to resistance, separation, and fear.

See Also: 5 Fears You Might Not Realize Are Holding You Back (And What To Do)


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