‘Cowards die many times before their deaths…’ William Shakespeare.
There is no doubt that the main source of ‘dying’ many times before death itself finally arrives, is Fear – fear of the unknown, fear of risks, fear of whatever perceived potential threats or consequences; the same FEAR that has also been dubbed “False Evidence Appearing Real”.
There is also no doubt that in most cases fear is usually accompanied by stress. It follows therefore that if we could stop or avoid the fear, we could probably also save ourselves from an enormous amount of unnecessary stresses.
So, how could we circumvent, delay or even avoid fear, and ultimately stress?
The following (in no particular order) are a few tips that I have found to be quite helpful.
Usually, when faced with something that makes you really scared or fearful, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the worst that could happen? Imagine the worst, feel it, breathe it and touch if you can.
- If the worst above could happen, what is the worst that could happen? Again, tune into it, picture it and really feel it.
- Along the same lines as above, you could go to the third level and even proceed to as many levels as you are comfortable with – until you have found answers that you are ‘at peace’ with.
You might be surprised after completing the above exercise how usually the worst that could happen is often not as scary and horrible as you thought it could be.
Here is another set of questions you could take yourself through:
- If the worst could happen, what lessons could I take way from this?
- If there was anything that could be positive about any of these, what would that be?
- What is the gift that this dilemma could be bringing to me?
You will be amazed how your world turns around when you form a habit of looking for something positive from any adverse situations.
Now, you might say “it’s easier said than done”. Let me share a recent personal example where I applied this.
Recently I made one of the dumbest internet banking mistakes one could make, and deposited ten-fold the amount of money than I should have deposited into somebody’s account. To her credit she phoned me to alert me to this error. It was on a Thursday; and she promised the money would be refunded over the weekend. Despite her assurance, the fear-and-stress-monger side of me said: “Be afraid, be very afraid…” It also said “Will she refund it, really? Don’t trust so easily”. However, the calmer side said: ‘No stress, No fear; Trust and it shall be OK”.
Come the weekend, she did not refund the money as promised. When the fear-and-stress-monger voice reared its head to say “You see? I told you so”, I just thanked it but I refused to give it any decent platform. Instead, I went through all the above questions I provided in the above exercises, until I was absolutely at peace.
Then on the Monday, as I was in the middle of writing this article, even before I knew what the final outcome of this would be, I received an SMS saying: “Morning. I have transferred your money. Should be available tomorrow”. I expressed my sincere gratitude. Her response: “Thanks that you trusted me. Have a blessed day.”
What lessons could be learnt from this experience? What would be the first or the last thing you do if you were to discover that someone had deposited ten-fold the amount of money into your account than they should have? What emotional state would you be in if you were to discover that you had handed out to someone ten times the amount of money than you should have parted with?
What could have happened if I had listened to the fear-and-stress-monger voice from the very first day, and not put myself through the above exercises? Well, I would have died on Thursday, died again on Friday, die again on Saturday, and then again on Sunday (that’s four deaths); – only to rise from the dead on Monday when the money got refunded! In the process of all these deaths, I would have distracted myself from giving my undivided attention to the full benefits of the Professional Speakers Convention which I was busy attending during that weekend.
For in-depth insights on how you could circumvent, delay or even avoid unnecessary fear and stress, book your first free coaching session, and let the journey begin (083 628 3428 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Shoni Khangala – Certified Inner Life Skills Master Coach
Founder and CEO: Potential Exponents