One of the major reasons why we remain stuck in our inability to confront our fears. Most of us, I’ve been there myself, choose to ignore our fears and hope that they’ll go away. But you and I know, that never happens.
And often, fear creeps up on you just when you need courage the most. What happens? Disaster. Heartbreak. Stress. And perhaps a hundred other things that have the potential to eat you up alive — from the inside.
The most important step you can ever take is to be aware of the reasons why those apprehensions exist. That’s akin to finding your own purpose — to know why you do what you do. Likewise, your fear stems from a deep-seated thought or reason. You need to figure that out at the earliest. They said, “keep your friends close; your enemies, closer.” And fear is your enemy.
Identifying the core reasons behind your apprehensions helps you build an action plan that helps you face them systematically. And by that, I mean reasoning with your fears (or negative thoughts) and arguing them as if you were a lawyer. Present a case why you’re right and the opposition (your fears) is wrong.
It’s a great thought exercise that will have you sweating, literally. You’ve never thought so deeply about your fears like you would when you sit down and write out your responses. The effects are more therapeutic than merely journaling because you’re combining your feelings and emotions with cold-hard reason.
The change and confidence that you feel post this exercise are simply out of the ordinary. It’s as if a massive burden has been taken off of your shoulders. And at this point, you shift gears a little — you simply replace each of your fears with a positive thought. Write them down and repeat several times.
A classic 7-day exercise would be to read out loud what you’ve written first thing in the morning and the last thing before you retire.
I can’t explain the science behind this experiment but here’s what happened when I tried this myself: my negative thoughts didn’t have a counter to any of the arguments that I had so meticulously prepared… and when they crept up again, I simply replaced those thoughts with positive ones. My reasoning had simply weakened negativity which further led me to replace those thoughts with positive ones.
I’ve successfully experimented this exercise at least a dozen times in the past five years and each time I’ve emerged as a changed person. All this without relapsing even once!
Listen, if this is sounding a little too old-fashioned… you’re right. It is. In fact, I’ve read something similar in Nap Hill’s Think and Grow Rich as well! I probably should be sharing some of the powerful principles from that book as well. Later, perhaps. (Or tomorrow!)
Nonetheless, in my opinion, it’s important to confront your fears/apprehensions/negative thoughts. They’re not waiting for you to replace them with positive thoughts/actions… but waiting for you to deal with them. So, that’s exactly what you do. Weaken them with emotions and cold-hard reason and then replace them with positive thoughts, setting you on course for lasting changes.