For many people, the thought of a public speaking class is enough to make them break out in a cold sweat. However, people who’ve overcome their fears and taken the plunge know that it’s more than just having the courage to go up on stage. Successful public speakers often use techniques that help them to manage their anxiety before, during, and after their presentations.
What are fears?
Fear is an uncomfortable emotion caused by the existence or expectation of danger. Some fears are universal and are not necessarily harmful. For example, it is natural to be afraid of heights. But other fears are nonuniversal; they are rooted in our personal history and are often extremely negative. For example, many people have an intense fear of being touched by strangers. These fears can lead to a kind of self-isolation that prevents us from reaching out to others or achieving our true potential.
Fear is an important part of life, but some fears are bigger than others. Most people have common fears like snakes, heights, and speaking in public. Although these fears may seem small, they’re still just as easy to overcome as any other fear.
There are fears that we all have; some are rational, others are irrational. It is our sincere hope to help you identify and understand your fears so that you can better help yourself. After all the stories about fearless people conquering their fears, you may wonder how they can do it. Is it true that anyone can conquer their fears?
Here are some tips to help you conquer your fears:
- Understand why you are afraid.
Remember that fears can be a result of mental or physical trauma. So, if you know what event caused your fear, you can think back to that point and try to work through it. Also, reframe your thoughts about your fear to get rid of it. For instance, you may have a fear of visiting doctors. Perhaps, you are scared of needles and blood, which is why you do not want to visit doctors. As a kid, you might have felt a sharp pain when the needle was injected into your body, and you might not have been able to hold the pain, which then led to trauma, making you fear needles like the grim reaper. But know that this fear can be overcome if you analyze why you are afraid so much and reframe your thoughts about why doctors need to use needles in the first place. (Note: If you have a medical-based fear, you can check out the blog posts on Thrive Works and its likes to get some help to overcome it.)
- Disconnect yourself from your fears
All of us experience fears from time to time, and we might be wondering how to get rid of them. Fear is a natural emotion that can make us feel uncomfortable, but it can also help us stay safe. Being careful of our surroundings is a good idea to avoid getting robbed or hurt. It is also necessary to protect ourselves from being bitten by snakes or attacked by a wild animal such as a bear.
- Recognize your worst possible outcome
One of the fears most of us face is our worst possible outcome. For example, if we were to find ourselves in a car accident, the panic that would ensue would be so great that we would never be able to function again. When faced with a panic attack, it’s hard to know where to start or what to do when it happens.
- Point out your fears
Don’t let your fears dictate your actions, and don’t let your actions dictate your fears. If you want to do something, do it, and then move on. There’s no point in being afraid of what you’re afraid of if you never do anything about it. The best way to overcome fears will be to acknowledge that they’re there and then do what you want to do anyway.
- Be fearless
Be fearless. Be brave enough to go after what you want, despite your fears. Do the things you love even though the world says it’s for the best. No one is perfect, but we can become perfectly imperfect in the pursuit of a better version of ourselves.
- Accept your fears
These fears can come from a few different sources, but most of them revolve around the idea that you don’t like something or another. This can be anything from not liking a certain food or going through something scary to having trouble with a certain activity such as running or going down a waterslide.
- Carry out a reality check with the worst possible outcome
Fearing the unknown is a human impulse, and it is a good one, for it keeps us alive. The anxious and fearful parts of our brain are designed to keep us safe by anticipating the consequences of our actions. But much of the time, we get it wrong. Fears are hard to avoid, but they can be managed.
Fears will keep you from moving forward, but it is also the thing that keeps them the most grounded for many people. Fear can be the natural response to tackling a new career, hammering out a new relationship, or tackling a new diet. You may have some fears that have been holding you back or worrying you but that you have not faced up to yet.