Times of transition are often stressful, and some are left wondering what the next steps in their lives are as the structure that has held their anxiety for years is pulled from under them. Although I am long removed from graduations, I am also in a new space in my life. As I transition into a new space, I have been faced with many decisions that have led me to face my fears in order to fulfill my ultimate purpose in life. I’ve chosen to discuss overcoming fears and insecurities because I believe that many people experience this same issue, whether the fear or barrier is due to trauma, depression, anxiety, or insecurity or even success. It is an issue that many of us face, but it can be overcome.
In this age of social media, many of us go to social media such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and perceive others to be fulfilling the dreams that we have. I am no exception. For me, instead of feeling down on myself, I use it for inspiration. Even now as I write this blog, I am both fulfilling a small dream and conquering an insecurity of mine, fear of writing for the public. Though I don’t consider myself a writer, I’ve chosen to move towards my weakness and allow my voice to be heard, because I realize my voice matters.
I have developed a few steps that have helped me conquer my fears or insecurity. Each time I am faced with a new situation I go through these. Of course, each situation will be different and some will need more processing than others, but hopefully, if you follow these steps you will find some clarity on the other side.
Step 1: Goal Setting
Sit down with yourself and determine your ultimate goals. Ask yourself these questions.
- What drives me? What am I passionate about? What could I do for the rest of your life for free?
- If you are faced with a difficult situation, close your eyes and ask yourself what feels right in your heart? Write a positive and negative list of the decision you are considering.
Determine that this is something you want to do. This may seem simple, but it is actually the most difficult step. It is making a commitment to yourself that you are going to move past fear.
Make small goals to achieve the overarching goal:
- If I put a piece of spinach on my daughter’s plate she will throw it on the ground, because it is completely unappealing. If I dice it finely and put it in eggs, she will eat it with no problem.
- Sometimes large goals can seem overwhelming when broken down into steps they are much easier to digest.
Step 2: Moving Forward
Determine what is keeping you away from starting the steps towards your goals.
Resistance: Ask yourself what are the voices in your head telling you? Who in your past has told you that you couldn’t do it? When have you tried before and failed and what did you learn from that experience? When have you been successful in the past and what did you learn from that experience? What are you confident you can do?
Build a support system: You have made a commitment to yourself but follow-through is important and an easy way to follow through is to have others holding you accountable. Also, as you work through your fears many feelings and emotions may surface. Having a support system, whether it is a therapist or friends, and family, will be important in processing these emotions.
Step 3: Keeping track of your progress
Maintain a journal with your tasks for the goal and check the tasks off as you go. As you check these tasks off also write a short journal entry discussing if the task was hard or easy to complete. This will help you become more self-aware as to the things that may be more or less challenging for you. This is also a great way of holding yourself accountable for your progress and measuring your forward movement.
Happy Fear Conquering!!!
Kale Woods, LMFT