What do the woolly mammoth and saber tooth tiger have to do with life today? Our reaction to fear.
Many of us live life full of fear, especially at work where we spend most of our time. We might fear failure, confrontation with our boss, burning out or unexpected change.
Dr Kim Vella coaches many people who want one thing: To live a life free of fear.
As an accredited Executive Career Coach, Kim says it’s possible, but you must first understand fear and be ready to loosen its grip on your life.
Here are some basic, and interesting, truths about the fear factor:
Fear causes our brain to pump out an adrenalin rush that quickly takes control. It’s a pre-historic response designed to protect humans from scary pre-historic creatures like the woolly mammoth and saber tooth tiger. This physical response triggers the age-old fight-flight response. Today that same response is activated by ideas and thoughts. So, it’s not just you. It’s who we are as humans.
Train your brain
You can train your mind to break the cycle of fear and deal with it in a positive way. It takes practice so start by focusing less on unhelpful thoughts and ideas. Remember that your fears are far greater than what normally transpires. Develop a plan for dealing with fear—start with small steps and stick to it.
It’s a great idea to work with an experienced and professional career coach to help you deal with fear. Kim has the added advantage of having a PhD in Sociology. Her approach, while relaxed and friendly, is based on actual research, not pie-in-the-sky stuff.
If you’d prefer to give fear a go on your own, start with these tips.
- Acknowledge your fears by writing down what you’re honestly afraid of. You can’t conquer your fears if you don’t know what they are. Then you must develop a strategy for dealing with your fears. This is non-negotiable since doing nothing leads to nothing.
- Face your fears. The more you do things you’re afraid of, the better you’ll manage that woolly mammoth physical response and the more comfortable you’ll be when dealing with fear. One of the top three fears is public speaking (it’s right up there with death). The only strategy for dealing with this fear is to get organised, know your audience, prepare and practice (could even be in front of a small group of colleagues or friends).
- Practice realistic optimism. This involves being realistic, optimistic and valuing what you have. Research has proven that this will help you deal with life, which isn’t perfect. Life will always have its ups and downs.
- Take care of yourself physically, through exercise, practicing mindfulness, eating well and sleeping well. Fear loves us when we’re stressed and tired—that’s when it has total control.
- Celebrate your wins over fear. Pop the champagne. Pat yourself on the back. Gather with some friends or colleagues over a tea break. Do something that will enable you to say: ‘Well done’.
Are you living with fear? Book a free half-hour free appointment with Dr Kim Vella and start your journey to a life without fear.
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