What do you do when you feel fear? Try to ignore it, suppress it, push it away? What if instead you invited your fear to tea? What if you had a chat with your fear to get to know your fear better?
Contrary to what you might think: moving towards your fear actually will diminish the power of your fear. Whereas ignoring, suppressing, pushing away will make the fear larger and more powerful.
So move closer, invite your fear to tea and have a conversation with your Fear.
Just ask your fear: what are you afraid of? Maybe Fear answers: “ I am afraid my presentation will be really bad.” Then ask more questions.
You can take this conversation with Fear in two directions.
Direction A: Let Fear tell you the whole scenario including its worst ending.
Ok suppose the presentation is bad. What will happen then? “Then my supervisor will think I don’t have what it takes” And what will happen next? “Then my contract will not be renewed. And what will happen next? “Then I will be out of a job. “
Now you will be able to see the ridiculousness of some of the doom scenarios Fear comes up with. Will you lose your job over one bad presentation?
Also prepare for the worst. What can you do when you find yourself out of a job? Your answer might be: Well I have some savings, I will get unemployment benefits, so this will give me time and income to look for a new job. Following your Fear to the endgame will diminish your fears!
Conversation B: Dive into the details.
Get up close and personal. Up close and personal Fear loses much of its ominous power.
Ask Fear what a bad presentation will look like? When you really get to know the details of what Fear is afraid of, it is much easier to come up with ideas, solutions that will help you. Maybe it is about being clumsy with technical stuff, maybe it is about the content of the presentation, maybe it is about being afraid to talk too fast. Do you already have ideas coming up what would help in each of these scenario’s ? You probably do! By getting closer Fear changes from this ominous big undefined thing, to something clear and specific. Something concrete to work with.
So when Fear comes to visit this week, invite Fear to tea and get to know Fear better!
Oh, by the way: the goal is NOT to get rid of fear. The goal is to change your relationship to fear. And by changing your relationship to fear, fear will hold less power over you.
Have a wonderful week!