2 MINUTE READ – 5 fear-busting tips!
There’s a lot of fear and worry out there at the moment, so I thought I’d share 5 quick but very powerful fear-busting tips which will help you cope better with Covid. And of course these are transferrable to other areas of your life or other challenging circumstances too!
Tip 1 – When you feel fear, ask yourself what you are focusing on, what thoughts you are having and what voice you’re listening to! This is SO powerful and when you realise that you can focus on different things and choose different thoughts (because thoughts influence our feelings) you can take back command. Plus we all have at least 2 voices. A negative, unhelpful and often fearful one. And a positive, helpful, it’s ‘going to be OK’ voice. You can override the negative one. And one great way to do this is (there are lots but this is my favourite) is to drown out the unhelpful voice, by making it quiet, pushing it away and making the thoughts smaller. And then bring in the positive one, by making it louder, bigger, more colourful. It can take a little practice but managing the negative voice is one of the greatest ways you can cope better with fear and indeed override it.
Tip 2 – Remember that a lot of fears don’t actually come true! How many things in the past have you been afraid of that actually didn’t happen? How much stress have you experienced by worrying about things that never came to fruition? What are you telling yourself that might happen, which might actually not?! As humans we can default to the worse case scenario and play the horror movie version of events. This then creates anxiety. Why? Well it’s called the ‘anxiety gap’. Our brains struggle to process things that haven’t happened yet. So as we start to try to work out things in the future, our brains can’t and anxiety is the feeling we get. Also, our brains can’t tell us what is real and what is imagination. So as we play out the worse case scenario, we get the feelings as if it has taken place. Stay in the present as much as possible and remember that at anytime you can choose to play the more Disney version of the movie in your mind!
Tip 3 – Focus on FACTS not FICTION – Fear builds without action. And we feed our fears (see more on tip 5). So when we are fearful about something, look for FACTS rather than get caught up in fiction. I was coaching someone last week who runs her own business and was panicked and worried about money. She was riddled with all the ‘what if’s’ and telling herself that her life was all doom and gloom. This was showing up in her work as she was approaching it from a place of stress and worry. So I said OK let’s look at the facts first. I got her to work out the minimum amount of money she needed to earn between now and the end of February to cover costs in her business including her salary. I asked her to tell me what was in her business account and what her monthly costs were. This gave us a target figure to aim for (which was actually completely realistic to achieve with a few tweaks here and there). I then got her to look at her personal bank account, including the space on her credit card. Whilst I’m not advocating mass use of credit cards, we forget that sometimes they can help us create some space and stay calm whilst we get a plan together to earn more. She had done my money management program so knew exactly what was going in her account and she realised that she could cut back her monthly spending even more. Without actually needing to use her credit card – but reminding herself that she had back up for at least 12 months if needed – it took her to a place of calm, where she could breathe again! Then she was able to think straight, make better decisions and focus on what I call small business power actions that make a big impact.
Tip 4 – Remember you can reframe your fears! As I said above, you can play two different stories with what’s going on in your life (whether covid or otherwise). I have to reframe things a lot in my life. The way you do this is say “I COULD… see x, focus on y, compare myself to z and tell myself everything’s awful. OR… I can CHOOSE to see a, focus on b and compare myself to c (always compare yourself to those worse off that you) and feel more empowered. We have something in our brains called the Reticular Activating System (RAS for short) and our RAS filter is designed to filter in the information around us. When we focus on doom, gloom and fear, the RAS filter gets to work and brings in more to your attention. When you play a different narrative, it looks for alternative things to bring to you. I could be playing an awful story in my head about the world right now, and indeed some of my personal circumstances and challenges. But I’m choosing to play the better version. I am happy, calm, empowered, relaxed and have a lot of self-belief and confidence. Trust me, it could quite easily be the opposite! It’s all about mind management.
Tip 5 – Don’t feed the fears and make them grow! When you feed fears, like anything they grow in size! When we focus on a fear, we often make it bigger AND the RAS filter gets to work too, so we see more fears. But it’s that great saying “Did you have a bad day or did you have a bad 5 minutes that you took with you all day?”. And fears can build and build if we don’t let them go. Don’t get me wrong, some fear is good! It can motivate us to make changes, tackle something, get more serious and up our game with solutions. But the issue is when we let them sit with us and manifest with us. When you find yourself falling prey to fears and you can feel that they are growing, do all the things I’ve mentioned here and remember that you can feed the opposite of fear in just the same way. Which is optimism, hope, faith and a big can-do attitude!
Whatever you’re going through, YOU’VE GOT THIS!
I’m known by many as the plot twist queen and I’ve coped extremely well this year, despite many challenges behind the scenes. Why have I coped? Because I’ve been through some HUGE plot twists in the last ten or so years, I can count at least five really major ones!
And by navigating my way through each one, I’ve gained strength I didn’t know I had, formed an excellent life skillset, an empowering and positive mindset and I’ve become a very resilient human being as a result. I’ve smiled my way through 2020, I’ve reigned in all fear, stayed in the present, only put my focus on things I can control and focused on solutions.
If you’re struggling with the challenges and changes of Covid or you’re someone that generally has a lot of fear in your life and it’s holding you back. Come and join my 2021 BEST program which is kicking off for the 9th year running on the 18th January! Early bird places are now available. CLICK HERE for everything you need to know about BEST