Katy Morin

Taking Action Even When You're Scared to Death

For all of you fear-y people out there, no need to worry. You can take action when you're scared to death. It just takes some willpower and the right frame of mind for it.

Scared to Death: What's stopping us?
On any given day, just about anything can scare the living daylights out of us. Some common worries that many people experience include social anxiety, public speaking, and doing something on our own for the first time. Social anxiety is typically seen as a problem experienced by introverts or certain personalities that prefer more solid friendships rather than getting too close too quickly. However, social anxiety can also affect extroverts and those who prefer getting close to people rather quickly. It all depends on your frame of mind.

Breaking Down Your Fears Into Chunks
You can overcome any fear if you break it down into smaller parts that seem less scary than facing the overall thing at once. For instance, if you're afraid of public speaking, just think about how you're going to get up there and say your speech instead of thinking about all of your classmates staring at you and judging you as you make a fool out of yourself. When we feel like we have control over our actions and we feel like we can conquer the situation at hand, we tend to feel better about ourselves and not as scared anymore.

Practice Makes Perfect: Face Your Fears and Keep Going
If you don't take action and practice the skill you need to overcome your fears, you'll never get over them. If you want to get better at public speaking or anything similar, start speaking publicly. Join a Toastmasters club. It may not be as scary as you think it will be because you're probably used to talking in front of people already, but the more practice that you give yourself, the more comfortable and less scared that you will be when it's time to go out there and do it for real someday.

Using Your Brain's Wisdom to Overcome Fears
If you're not sure what you should be scared of, ask yourself what your brain would say if it were talking to you. This will give you at least some idea of what could happen should things go wrong. When our brain is fearful, it causes us to become anxious and start freaking out about the thing that has us questioning our very sanity. However, you know that nothing is going to happen, so what's stopping you? That's right, fear. But the things you're scared of are usually overrated in comparison to the fact that there are actually much scarier things out there. If you want to overcome your fears, just think about what your brain would say if it were talking to you.

Talk Yourself Up Beforehand
It's always better when we have a solution in mind for whatever is scaring us before we are faced with the actual thing in question. If you ever get on stage and you feel like you're going to die, remind yourself that everything will be okay and that even if your presentation bombs, your life isn't going to end. There is no such thing as dying from embarrassment and shame (though that's not to say that it still can't hurt). It's like getting on an airplane: we know that we're safe while we're flying in the air, but we're still scared because we don't know what could happen. This sort of fear is called healthy fear because it keeps us safe. Fear itself is not bad, it's just being so scared that you can't think straight.

Know When to Ask for Help
If you're still feeling too afraid to do the thing that you're afraid of, ask for help. There are times when it's just better to go with the flow rather than try your hardest and then fall flat on your face. If you have a phobia or some sort of anxiety disorder, then there are certainly people out there who can help you bring your anxiety problems under control. One session with a psychologist, psychiatrist or coach can really help get you started on your way to conquering your fears once and for all.

There is value in learning to control your fears and not letting them rule you. If you do this, then you will be able to feel more comfortable with yourself and the world around you. Don't let any fears hold you back from living the life that you deserve.
Created with