Evaluate your thoughts

Facing your fears entails confronting your thoughts about fear. Because the way we think causes us to be afraid, it is necessary to expose frightening thinking.

Consider the things you want to do but cannot do due to fear. Examine yourself thoroughly concerning the things you are most afraid of. One good example is asking your boss for a raise and being fearful that he will fire you for it. Then you must ask yourself, “Is the fear reasonable?” Consider this. Is it reasonable to be fired simply because you inquired? It is not. So you’ve determined that your fear is entirely irrational.

Following the identification of your fear, the next step is to investigate the consequences you are afraid of. The things we are most afraid of are often the consequences. As in the previous example of asking for a raise from the boss, being fired may be frightening. “What happens if I’m fired?” “Will I be able to find a new job so quickly?” “Who will look after my family?” While researching the question, keep in mind that these are hypothetical scenarios, so there is no need to be concerned. Consider your apprehension objectively. Be both realistic and optimistic at the same time.

What’s an alternative?

Find an alternative now. Instead of wallowing in the negative consequences of your actions and becoming terrified, turn the negative thoughts into positive ones.

If you ask your boss for a raise, the following may occur:

(1) he may agree to the idea and give you a raise,

(2) you will be proud to ask whether he agrees or disagrees,

(3) your boss may not agree but will give you an idea on what you need to improve on to have a sure raise for the following year,

(4) in addition to a raise, your boss may give you an opportunity on a new project that will position you for a better career in the future, or

(5) When you do this exercise, you will notice that your fear gradually fades, allowing you to think more clearly and make a wise and rational decision rather than one based on your emotions.

This allows you to begin overcoming the rest of your fears. Continue to practice this type of fear assessment by starting with little worries. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be able to make them happen even on more significant concerns in life because you’ve laid a solid foundation for yourself.



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