Overcoming fear requires a reason

Have you ever tried to manage a fear and noticed that the more you manage it the worse it gets.  You may have explored volumes of strategies available on how to manage fear by a lot of really smart people and if the strategy worked then great.  But for others, no strategy seems to work and they are still stifled by fear.

Think of the common solutions to overcoming fear and what the resolve really leads to.  To manage fear you have to identify all aspects of it and that can magnify the fear disproportionally.  Confronting any enemy including fear gives the fear power.  Making a safe space legitimizes the fear and suggests that fear has control over the entire universe except for your safe space.  Trying to separate real fear from perceived fear is difficult because all fear seems to end up in the “real fear” bucket.  So now what?

To move through fear, keep this basic truth in mind.  A truth that is as reliable as gravity itself.  That is if ones understanding of a fear is bigger than the reason to overcome it, fear wins.

“To overcome fear, the reason must be bigger than the fear.”

Big reasons takes the focus off of the fear.  A simple example is that many people are afraid of spiders and always will be.  Because they have no reason to overcome the fear.  Some people don’t sleep in fear of a burglar entering their house.  What does confronting that fear even mean and what does the safe space look like.  Better to connect with the goals a person can achieve with a good nights sleep.  Now the reason is bigger than the fear.  Perhaps you’re a boss with a very assertive direct report and the conflict of holding them accountable is stifling.  Maybe you are in fear of giving your largest customer some bad news.  Perhaps the CEO embarrasses you in meetings and you are afraid to confront them with your perspective.  You no doubt have fear about spending millions on a strategic direction because if it doesn’t go well, the company folds.  Don’t lay awake at night trying to separate the real fear from the perceived fear and energizing your courage to confront it.  Better to just build the reason so it’s bigger than the fear.